It's been over a year since Taylor Swift released Reputation, but even longer since she's given an interview. The artist effectively went into hiding after the public turned on her for her fallout with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and while Reputation was a response to that backlash, she stayed otherwise silent, especially with the press. However, with her new single and music video for "ME!," the star seems ready to step back into the limelight.
After all, for most of Swift's career, she has actually been very chatty. She hosted Saturday Night Live back in 2013, was a frequent guest (and scare victim) of Ellen DeGeneres, and posted often on social media (it was her return to more casually using Instagram earlier this year that got fans excited for a possible new era). In an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 for Apple Music, Swift explained why she suddenly went on lockdown — and why she's decided to come back.
"At the very beginning of the album I was pretty proud of coining the term, 'There will be no explanation. There will just be Reputation,'" she told the host. "And so that was what I decided was going to be the album. And I stuck with it. I didn't go back on it. I didn't try to explain the album because I didn't feel that I owed that to anyone. There was a lot that happened over a couple of years that made me feel really, really terrible. And I didn't feel like expressing that to them. I didn't feel like talking about it. I just felt like making music, then going out on the road and doing a stadium tour and doing everything I could for my fans."
And it's the fans who Swift credits with her choice to go back to approaching her music the way she had before — with joy and without defence mechanisms.
"During the Reputation stadium tour, my life felt different," she said, later adding, "I really do credit the fans for the complete resurgence of exuberance and excitement towards music and making new music."
She describes her new music, which includes "ME!," as "playful and much more inward-facing" rather than the weaponised music from Reputation. However, she'll always have a soft spot for that album, calling it something she'll "look back on and find to be one of the most beautiful times of my life, was when I realised that it's me and it's them and that's what makes this fun for me."