Taylor Swift and some of her friends from throughout the world spent quality time together Monday evening (Oct. 25) in New York during a live streaming event celebrating the release of her new album, Speak Now. The event, Speak Now: Taylor Swift Live From New York City, was streamed live on CMT.com, MTV.com, VH1.com and other MTV Networks websites in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America.
The attendees were winners of the Win With Taylor online contest. Watching her interact with the winners during a meet-and-greet segment, Swift effortless blurred the line between fans and friends. It appears they are one and the same.
The event, hosted by CMT’s Katie Cook, included a question-and-answer session with the audience and Swift’s performance of three songs — “Mine,” “Back to December” and the title track of her new album.
During the question-and-answer session, Swift responded to inquiries from those representing several nations, including Australia, Canada, Japan and India.
Asked to explain the inspiration for writing the songs on her new album, she said, “I think for me, Speak Now was inspired by the last two years of my life. You can learn a lot of lessons in two years. You have all these revelations, and you figure out that all these things are happening in your life. … Writing songs kind of helps me make sense of things, especially love and relationships and growing up and trying to be 20 the right way. All of that really came into play on Speak Now. I just hope it means something to y’all’s life because it was really a fun process to make this record.”
Another admirer asked if there are any topics she wouldn’t write a song about.
“Well, I thought so before this album,” Swift said. “For me … I’ve had two really major goals over the process of being fortunate enough to have success in music. I always wanted to remain the same person, and I wanted to remain the same songwriter. My process of songwriting began when I was 12 years old. I would sit there in a room and write a song about my life. I’m very happy to say that, at 20, it’s the same way, and I still do that. I guess there’s a little more speculation now than when I was 12, but I still write songs the same way. It’s a personal process. These are messages to people in my life.”
Swift said she has no immediate concerns about running out of subject matter for new songs.
“I’ve had this general process when it comes to songwriting,” she said. “I overthink a lot of things, so I’m constantly trying to find things that put my mind at ease. One of the things that I’ve realized is that if I write songs about my life, and my life is always changing, then my music will always be changing. I think music should be a natural evolution, and you should take chances when they feel right. A lot of decisions I’ve made in my life are based on gut feelings and things that just feel like the right decision. As far as music being about my life, that just feels right. As soon as things stop happening in my life — and love stops being fascinating and you stop finding interesting things in everyday life — I guess the songwriting could stop. But I’m really, really excited and interested in life at this point in time.”
Asked why she plans to begin her 2011 tour in Japan, Swift replied, “Japan is incredibly fun, and I love coming to visit you guys. I’m so excited that I’m getting to tour the entire world. This is actually my very first release where we’re releasing the album all over the world — at the same time. Which is one of the reasons why I’m so excited to have you all here. I wanted to make a point to have people from New Zealand in the same room with people from Boston. Going to see you guys is something I’m so excited about this spring, so starting off in Japan felt right. To go to see you and the rest of the world feels right, too.”
Following Monday’s festivities, Swift will perform Tuesday (Oct. 26) on Today and Late Show With David Letterman. After a Wednesday appearance on Live With Regis & Kelly, Swift and contest winners will join her for a flight to Los Angeles. She’ll also be performing an informal in-flight concert. On the West Coast, she’ll make a Nov. 1 stop on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and a Nov. 2 appearance on Dancing With the Stars.
Looking ahead, she’ll perform on the CMA Awards on Nov. 10 and will star in a one-hour NBC Thanksgiving Day special on Nov. 24. She has several media appearances scheduled in the UK in December and will perform on a Royal Caribbean cruise in January. Three concerts are scheduled in Japan in February, followed by a European tour in March with appearances in Norway, Germany, France, Spain and the UK.Watch performances of “Mine,” “Speak Now” and “Back to December” from Speak Now: Taylor Swift Live From New York City. View photos from Speak Now: Taylor Swift Live From New York City.