Taylor Swift, 30, proved she knows how to make her downtime inspirational when she revealed she turned her quarantine movie nights with boyfriend Joe Alwyn, 29, into critically acclaimed songs. The singer opened up about how she thought to produce what is now her latest storytelling album, Folklore, at a time she least expected it, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, and it involved some romantic moments with her actor beau.
“I wasn’t expecting to make an album. Early on in quarantine, I started watching lots of films. We would watch a different movie every night,” she told the outlet. “I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t seen Pan’s Labyrinth before. One night I’d watch that, then I’d watch L.A. Confidential, then we’d watch Rear Window, then we’d watch Jane Eyre.”
It was in the middle of watching those films that Taylor felt a surge of inspiration. “I feel like consuming other people’s art and storytelling sort of opened this portal in my imagination and made me feel like, ‘Well, why have I never done this before? Why have I never created characters and intersecting storylines? And why haven’t I ever sort of freed myself up to do that from a narrative standpoint?’” the talented songwriter explained.
Taylor shocked fans and friends when she announced the release of Folklore in July, less than a year since she released her previous album, Lover. “It was weird because I had never made an album and not played it for my girlfriends or told my friends,” she said. “The only people who knew were the people that I was making it with, my boyfriend, my family, and then my management team. So that’s the smallest number of people I’ve ever had know about something.”
One of the other unique things about Taylor’s Folklore album is that Joe, who she’s been dating since 2017, has songwriting credits on two songs. The British hunk was credited under the pseudonym William Bowery for the tunes “Exile” and “Betty” but his proud girlfriend recently revealed he was the one behind the made-up name in her Disney+ special, Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.
“That was huge for me,” Taylor explained to Entertainment Weekly about writing from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy in the song “Betty”. “And I think it came from the fact that my cowriter, William Bowery, is male — and he was the one who originally thought of the chorus melody. And hearing him sing it, I thought, ‘That sounds really cool.’ Obviously, I don’t have a male voice, but I thought, ‘I could have a male perspective.’”
Folklore received two Grammy Award nominations for Album of the Year and Pop Vocal Album. The winners will be announced during the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony on Jan. 31, 2021 in Los Angeles.