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When it comes to Taylor Swift, an artist who lives in the public eye, blasts her day-to-day activities on social media and who built her entire career on writing intimate songs about her personal life, you might think you know everything there is to know about her. Enter her latest GQ feature, and you’ll realize how terribly wrong you are. Here are 10 things we never knew about Taylor Swift.
1. She didn’t go online for most of 2013
She avoided the Internet and reading blogs for most of the year: “The only thing anyone wanted to write about me was about me and some guy. It was really damaging”. She even forgot her Instagram password at one point.
2. She wrote a novel when she was 14
It was titled “A Girl Named Girl” and was about a mother who wanted a son but had a girl instead. Hopefully some movie studio executive is reading this article and drafts this script and sells the film rights. (But Taylor’s probably copyrighted this by now)
3. Her label didn’t want her to make 1989
Nashville-based labl Big Machine didn’t want her to make a full-on pop album. They wanted her to add elements like fiddles and steel-guitar solos to Shake It Off to still appeal to country radio.
4. And a review of Red greatly influenced the production of 1989
One review of Red she read said it wasn’t “sonically cohesive”. It was then that she decided that 1989 had to have one encompassing pop sound.
5. She hates being called “calculating”
When the journalist brings up the word, she gets flustered and upset:
Would any of this have happened if I was [calculating]? In that sense, I do think about things before they happen. But here was someone taking a positive thing—the fact that I think about things and that I care about my work—and trying to make that into an insinuation about my personal life. Highly offensive. You can be accidentally successful for three or four years. Accidents happen. But careers take hard work.
6. She was actually unpopular as a kid
While a lot of celebrities claim to have been unpopular as children, Swift recalls an upsetting anecdote from her youth. She called a bunch of her friends to ask them if they wanted to go shopping with her. After they all declined, she went to the mall with her mom and saw all the girls she called hanging out in Victoria’s Secret.
7. The Kanye VMA incident is one of her favourite career moments
The iconic “Imma let you finish” incident of the 2009 VMAs has undoubtedly gone down in award show history. While at the time it was mortifying, burying the hatchet with Ye was great. She says, “That was the most happenstance thing to ever happen in my career. And to now be in a place where Kanye and I respect each other—that’s one of my favorite things that has happened in my career.”
8. She watches episodes of Friends after her concerts
After playing sold-out stadiums, Taylor likes retreating to bed and watching Netflix: “When I go home and turn on the TV, and I’ve got Monica and Chandler and Ross and Rachel and Phoebe and Joey on a Friends marathon, I don’t feel lonely. I’ve just been onstage for two hours, talking to 60,000 people about my feelings. That’s so much social stimulation.”
9. Bad Blood isn’t about Katy Perry
…or so she says. “I never said anything that would point a finger in the specific direction of one specific person, and I can sleep at night knowing that. I knew the song would be assigned to a person.” She also never names names when it comes to the subjects of her songs: “The fact that I’ve never confirmed who those songs are about makes me feel like there is still one card I’m holding”
10. She stores Justin Timberlake as “J TIMB” in her phone
Fact. He called her during the interview to say he wanted to perform Mirrors when he joined her on stage at the Staples Center.
You can read the full GQ article here.