Who is Taylor Swift? Undoubtedly one of the most prominent artists of our times, pop star Taylor Swift has become a music industry icon and the symbol of a whole generation.
The singer-songwriter has been seamlessly grabbing headlines and stealing hearts for the whole Summer season while her live shows continue to make history.
Although we have been hearing much more of her as of late, the Taylor Swift phenomenon is hardly new.
In 2006, her debut studio album, released by Big Machine Records, marked the beginning of the singer-songwriter’s career at only 16 years of age. Her single, Our Song, turned Swift into the youngest artist in history to have written and performed a No. 1 song on the Hot Country Songs chart.
At 33, the artist is at the peak of her career with her Eras Tour – her first tour after a 5-year hiatus.
Not even halfway through its end, this world tour has already broken records from her previous Reputation Tour, a massive event that featured 53 shows around the world grossing $345,700,000.
Needless to say, this is an incredible achievement for such a young artist.
Why Does Taylor Have Us So Enchanted?
Taylor’s list of achievements goes on and on.
Before the Eras Tour even started, her 2022 album Midnights had already made history as a top seller at 1.8 million copies – doubling the success of Harry Styles’s second biggest-ever album.
Earlier this year, Taylor broke yet another record with “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” becoming her 12th top-seller album, stealing Barbra Streisand’s title of female artist with the highest number of top-selling records in history.
As if this wasn’t enough, the second half of 2023 continues to be record-shattering. Eras is, in fact, quickly becoming the highest-grossing tour ever known.
These levels of success wouldn’t be sustainable if it weren’t for one of the most loyal fan bases, the Swifties, who have transcended their fan status and virtually created a culture around Taylor Swift’s concerts, her merchandise, and her persona.
So, to what does Taylor owe her life-changing impact on the masses? We will explore that in this article.
Taylor’s Songs Tell Her Personal Stories
Every great artist knows that the most important ingredient to success is the ability to be relatable. A former child star, Taylor has been writing her own songs from the beginning of her career. Her down-to-earth and relatable lyrics portray real-life, universal experiences.
Hardcore Swifties are known to take an interest in the artist’s personal life and can read in-between the lines of her songs, clearly pinpointing what person or event Taylor is talking about. Therefore, her mostly teenage audience is given a chance to understand and empathize with their idol’s everyday struggles.
By Taylor’s very own admission, her craftsmanship as a lyricist granted her the success she enjoys today. In an interview for the Netflix documentary Miss Americana, she says, “Everybody in music has their own sort of… niche specialty thing that they do… that, you know, sets them apart from everybody else. And my storytelling is what it is for me. I know that without me writing my own songs, I wouldn’t… be here.”
She continues to add, “There is an element to my fan base where we feel like we grew up together. I’ll be going through something, write the album about it, and then it will come out, and sometimes it’ll just coincide with what they’re going through. Kind of like they’re reading my diary.”
Being authentic is what sets aside Taylor’s otherwise pretty standard pop-chord progression songwriting style. This is, of course, combined with her ability to create catchy tunes with smooth and rhythmic lyrics that perfectly fit together.
Taylor’s Songs Are Full of Easter Eggs
Along with her charisma and talent, Taylor knows how to keep her fans engaged with a good old Easter Egg hunt.
All over social media, Swifties love to speculate about the sometimes not-so-secret meaning of TayTay’s songs.
In 2020, Taylor alluded to her then-boyfriend Joe Alwyn for the first time in her album”Folklore” as “William Bowery.” Her fans connected “William” to Joe Alwyn’s great-grandfather and “Bowery” to where the couple first met.
This was not the first time the artist opened up about her relationships through her music. At 19, she had already spoken up about the controversial relationship with fellow country singer John Mayer in Dear John.
But romantic relationships are not the only ones Taylor likes to hint at in her songs. Her hit “Betty,” for example, is named after Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ third child, and the lyrics reference Betty’s siblings, James and Inez.Her openness about her personal life is even considered endearing by many. Taylor enjoys making remarks and inside jokes with her fans, like when she hinted at Kayne West interrupting her VMA speech in 2009.
Taylor Has Proven Many Times That She Truly Cares About People
Of course, being relatable is something that transcends Taylor’s songs.
Swifties appreciate that her favorite artist is all about giving back. It is so easy to get wrapped up in one’s selfishness and fame, but Taylor Swift is simply not having it. From the incredibly generous bonuses for the Eras Tour staff to her continuous involvement in fundraisers and crowdfunding projects, Taylor does a great job at awakening the reciprocity principle in her fanbase. Tickets to her concerts might be costly, but Taylor Swift’s fans see the value in supporting an artist so committed to giving back to the community.
Taylor Uses Her Social Media Platforms to Connect with Fans
One of Taylor Swift’s trump cards is undoubtedly her marketing genius. Her extremely curated social media platforms are, in fact, a winning mix of exclusive photos.
Scrolling through social media, you can see snaps from her private life, photos with friends, and behind-the-scenes stories. She also enjoys involving her fans and asking for opinions to engage in meaningful conversations with them online.
What’s more, she has been known to develop hashtags for her followers to rally around. Her hands-on approach to fame allows her to engage in meaningful conversations with a big crowd, making everyone feel part of a big family.
Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Is Breaking Records
Whatever the future has in store for the artist, one thing is clear: Taylor Swift’s music will likely remain relevant for decades.
As she wraps up the first leg of her US Eras Tour, the massive production is already on its way to becoming the first billion-dollar tour in history.
Extremely community-driven, Taylor Swift’s concerts provide a safe space for hardcore fans to gather, share their love for the pop star, and sing along. In a word, to belong.
For this and many more reasons, Taylor’s phenomenon is a pillar of contemporary pop culture.