Inside the Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun Feud: Music Industry Drama, Betrayal, and Artistic Empower
Rafaella de Britto
In the world of pop culture and the music industry, feuds between celebrities are not uncommon. However, one of the most popular and prominent feuds in recent years is between the global superstar Taylor Swift and the music industry mogul Scooter Braun. This feud is more than a social media comment, it is a multifaceted narrative that touches upon issues of music ownership, artists' rights, and the intricate power dynamics within the entertainment world.
The feud between both Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun is traced back to June of 2019, when Braun's company, Ithaca Holdings, made headlines by purchasing Big Machina Label Group. This deal had profound implications, as it meant that Braun effectively became the owner of Swift's entire discography, like "Fearless", "Speak Now", and "Red". Swift, who had been with Big Machine since the start of her career, was taken aback by the news. In a heartfelt Tumblr post, she expressed her shock and dismay, accusing the mogul of orchestrating a "gross" power play and engaging in "incessant, manipulative bullying." This was the first public declaration marking the start of the feud.
The core of the fight lies within contentious issues of masters, the original recording of the songs. In the traditional music industry model, record labels typically own the masters of an artist's work, granting them control over the music and the financial proceeds. For years, Swift has always expressed her own desire to own her master, viewing it as a form of artistic and financial independence. Braun's owning her early masters seemed to smash her hopes of ever having full control. In response, Swift announced her plan to re-record her early albums (which included Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation: her first 7 albums).
The battle escalated to new heights when Swift and Braun started legal disputes that were extremely public. Swift accused Braun of attempting to block her from performing her older songs at specific events, such as the American Music Awards and her Netflix documentary, "Miss Americana". She also alleged that Braun and his associates were making her life miserable by not allowing her to purchase her masters. In response, Braun stated that he had offered Swift a fair opportunity to purchase her masters, which she had declined in re-recording her albums. This caused a huge media uproar in social media and news outlets.
The feud has broader implications that extend beyond personal conflict. It shined a light on the critical issues within the music industry, mainly concerning artists' rights and their ownership of their creative works. The battle had started an important conversation about the need for artists to have greater control over their masters and be more transparent with their record label deals. In addition, social media played a huge part in shaping the narrative of the conflict. An example of this is when Taylor Swift used her acceptance speech in Billboard's Woman of the Decade and her Good Morning America interview.
In conclusion, the Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun feud was an important step in delving into issues like music ownership, artists' rights, and the complex power dynamics within the entertainment industry. While this feud is still happening, Swift has shown resilience and has already recorded 3 out of her 7 albums, and her 4th coming out on October 27 (1989). Her music has reached new peaks, with unreleased singles like "All Too Well: 10-minute version" and "Foolish One". The majority of the public and famous figures have sided with the pop star, leaving the mogul with a scared reputation throughout the music industry. But, overall, This feud is a reminder that the intersection of art, commerce, and power remains a contentious and evolving battleground in the music industry.