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Taylor Swift
via Instagram (@taylorswift)

Taylor Swift is re-recording her old songs to regain control of her masters

The announcement comes after a deal that left the master rights to her music back catalogue in the hands of Scooter Braun

Taylor Swift is re-recording her first six albums after a record label deal “stripped” the country-pop singer of the master rights to her music back catalogue last month. Presumably the singer must be pretty desperate as – during an interview on CBS Sunday Morning – when asked whether she was planning on re-recording her old music, she replied, “absolutely”. 

Swift’s former label Big Machine sold the master rights of her albums Taylor Swift (2006) through Reputation (2017) to talent manager Scooter Braun – a transaction Swift claims she had not been told about before the news was made publicly. “I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world,” she wrote. “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.” Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta has since disputed many of Swift’s claims. 

Obviously re-recording over a decade of music releases is extreme going, but it highlights the absurdity of master rights, where musicians can lose ownership of their art because of contracts signed when they were young and eager to break into the industry (Swift was 16 years old when she released her debut album). Of course, Taylor’s situation is only a high-profile example of the shady somethings experienced by musicians all the time, not only those with her platform.

The singer is releasing her first album, titled Lover, for her new label Republic on Friday, August 23.