OFFSTAGE: Taylor Swift “Felt Like an Apprentice”

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

“I felt like an apprentice.” That’s what Taylor Swift told Rolling Stone about collaborating with new and different writers on the tracks for her upcoming album, Red. “They taught me so much about melodic sense, and they let me do what I love, which is the lyrics,” she said of her writing sessions with Ed Sheeran of One Direction, and pop hitmakers Max Martin (Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”) and Dan Wilson (Adele’s “Someone Like You”). I have a feeling the feeling might be mutual and that those songwriters might have learned a thing or two from Swift. She also admitted to the magazine that her own tastes stretch way beyond the country genre and that she has playlists full of Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa. But hip-hoppy beats aside, the lyrics of the new music will likely be classically Swift. This is how she sums up the way she crafts the stories in her songs: “I know general things about love. How to treat people well, what you deserve and when to walk away. Other than that, love is a complete mystery — and that’s why I like to write about it.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.