“This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been,” the 33-year-old told the publication.
In an extensive profile for the magazine, charting Swift’s almost two-decade-long career, the Grammy winner recounts some of her biggest triumphs, including her internet-breaking Eras Tour this year and her eagerly embraced album re-releases. She also looks back on her public fallout with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in 2016, known as “Snake-gate.”
And the first time, she goes on the record about her highly publicized relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight ends Travis Kelce and the hysteria she’s created in the media. (She even pokes fun at the male football fans who are sick of seeing her at games.) Here are some of the cover story’s biggest takeaways.
She says her feud with Kim and Kanye was a “career death.”
“It’s not lost on me that the two great catalysts for this happening were two horrendous things that happened to me,” Swift says about her current global domination. “The first was getting canceled within an inch of my life and sanity. The second was having my life’s work taken away from me by someone who hates me.”
Swift doesn’t mince words about her 2016-2017 scandal involving Kanye West and, later, his now-ex-wife Kim Kardashian over his song “Famous.” Although, her claims that she was “canceled” over the incident are a bit dubious, if not easily disputable.
“You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar,” Swift tells Time. “That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”
She says Reputation (Taylor’s Version) will be “fire.”
Speaking of which, Swifties have been anticipating the re-recording of Swift’s most polarizing album Reputation, inspired by her fallout with Kim and Kanye. The singer has yet to announce a release date, but she promises the vault tracks will be “fire.”
“It’s a goth-punk moment of female rage at being gaslit by an entire social structure,” she says about the upcoming album. “I think a lot of people see it and they’re just like, ‘sick snakes and strobe lights.’”
She and Travis Kelce were officially a couple when she attended her first Chiefs game.
“This all started when Travis very adorably put me on blast on his podcast, which I thought was metal as hell,” Swift reveals. “We started hanging out right after that. So we actually had a significant amount of time that no one knew, which I’m grateful for, because we got to get to know each other. By the time I went to that first game, we were a couple. I think some people think that they saw our first date at that game? We would never be psychotic enough to hard-launch a first date.”
She says she doesn’t control the amount of camera time she receives during games.
“There’s a camera, like, a half-mile away,” the musician says. “And you don’t know where it is, and you have no idea when the camera is putting you in the broadcast, so I don’t know if I’m being shown 17 times or once.”
“I’m just there to support Travis,” she continues. “I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads, and Chads.”
She isn’t stressed about all the attention she’s receiving.
“Over the years, I’ve learned I don’t have the time or bandwidth to get pressed about things that don’t matter,” she says. “Yes, if I go out to dinner, there’s going to be a whole chaotic situation outside the restaurant. But I still want to go to dinner with my friends.”
“Life is short,” she continues. “Have adventures. Me locking myself away in my house for a lot of years—I’ll never get that time back. I’m more trusting now than I was six years ago.”
She doesn’t like being pitted against Beyoncé
“She’s the most precious gem of a person—warm and open and funny,” Swift says about the 32-time Grammy winner. “And she’s such a great disrupter of music-industry norms. She taught every artist how to flip the table and challenge archaic business practices.”
The musicians lit up social media when they attended each other’s concert film premieres this year and posed for photos together. According to the profile, it seems like that supportive gesture may have come out of frustration.
“There were so many stadium tours this summer, but the only ones that were compared were me and Beyoncé,” she adds. “Clearly it’s very lucrative for the media and stan culture to pit two women against each other, even when those two artists in question refuse to participate in that discussion.”
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