A swift move

Unleash the Swifties: Taylor Swift has tapped her millions-strong social media fan base to pressure the heads of her former label, who she says are wielding “tyrannical control” over her music.

Taylor Swift's online airing of the contentious dealings that for decades mostly happened behind closed doors highlights the schism between artists adamant about holding the reins to their work and members of music's old guard.
The global superstar’s latest chess move has reignited her months-long public feud with Big Machine Label Group, spotlighting the music industry’s age-old issue of who keeps the keys to an artist’s work.

The 29-year-old pop singer known for her calculating social media strategy dropped a Tumblr post late Thursday accusing the Big Machine heads of blocking her from performing on television—she’s set to do a career-spanning medley at this month’s American Music Awards, where she’ll receive an Artist of the Decade honor—and releasing a Netflix documentary. 

She implied Big Machine—which has rebuffed the accusations—was reacting to her plans to re-record her early albums, by saying that performing on television “would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”

This summer Swift began publicly sparring with industry mogul Scooter Braun over his company’s purchase of her previous label of a decade, which gave him a majority stake in the master recordings of her first six albums.

Swift vowed to regain command of those albums by making her own new masters, which she says she’s contractually allowed to start on in November 2020.

In her post pleading for support from fans and fellow artists, Swift alluded to bullying from Braun and Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta.

Both parties have referenced a dispute over millions of dollars but voiced disagreement over who owes what.

“The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up,” Swift wrote in her post. “Or you’ll be punished.” Swift is now at Universal, with a contract under which she owns her work.

Topics: Taylor Swift , Big Machine Label Group , Artist of the Decade , Netflix , Scott Borchetta
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