Taylor Swift Says Creating Record-Breaking Album "1989" Was the "Most Exciting Experience of My Life"
The artistic gamble that Taylor Swift took with 1989 -- making an album she billed as her first official "pop" record -- has paid off in spades, with record-breaking first-week sales. And despite her early success on the country charts, Taylor says making that pop move was something she was "dying" to do.
"With making a pop album, it was something I decided to do on my own," she says. "My friends have always known that my music had a lot of crossover happening. I was always at the pop award shows and things like that. So I don't think it was really a big shock to anyone who knows me that, that I made this change."
"I think this was something I clearly have been dying to do for so long," she adds. "I've just been wanting to challenge myself as a writer and to kind of switch lanes. And getting to do that and have people just so embracing it, it's really cool."
Even though the sound is different, Taylor says she approached making 1989 the same way she made her other albums. As soon as she's finished with her previous, she starts writing songs for her next one. At first, she says, all the songs come out sounding like outtakes from the previous album, so she just keeps on writing.
"I'll write and write and write and get all those songs out of my system until I then start trying all these crazy new things" she explains of her process. "And every once in a while you hit on something good."
"What ends up happening is you create a new sound for this record that stands completely on its own from everything else you've done," Taylor continues. "And in this case, I had to challenge myself even more than ever before, because I had chosen to switch genres and really explore how to craft those songs and what I would do differently."
"It was," she insists, "the most exciting experience of my life."
It was also one of the most profitable. 1989 sold 1.27 million albums in its first week, immediately becoming the second-best-selling album of the year. 1989 had the largest-selling week for any artist since 2002, and it's the only album released in 2014 that has sold a million or more albums. According to her label, Taylor sold more than two copies of 1989 every second that first week. She's now also the only artist ever to score three albums that each sold one million copies in their first weeks.
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