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Taylor Swift on Going Country to Pop: ‘Eventually You Have to Pick a Lane’

Taylor Swift
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

Taylor Swift knows that her time away from country music may not be embraced by everyone, but she’s okay with that. The ‘1989’ singer says a full-on transition to pop just felt “more natural.”

Swift stopped by ‘On-Air With Ryan Seacrest’ recently, and during a 4-hour stint as guest co-host, she opened up about what motivated her to make a “straight pop” album. She says she penned most of her new album while on the road promoting her last album, but decided that anything she wrote that sounded like ‘Red’ wouldn’t make it onto the new album — no matter how good it was.

“The best choices are bold choices,” says the ‘Shake It Off’ singer. “With my last album ‘Red,’ I kind of had one foot in pop and one foot in country, and that’s really no way to walk and get anywhere. If you want to continue to evolve, I think eventually you have to pick a lane, and I just picked the one that felt more natural to me at this point in my life.”

But just because Swift is planting both feet firmly in a new genre, that doesn’t mean she’s letting go of the other piece of her music that has made her so popular: songwriting that’s intimately inspired by her personal experiences.

“A huge goal for this album was to make songs that were instantly catchy [and] also have meaning behind them,” she says. “But I really wanted these songs to really kind of bounce out of the speakers…for my own albums, it’s all autobiographical because I think it’s much more interesting for me to tell a true story than a story I kind of conjured up.”

While her new sound may be different, it’s still all signature Swift.

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