Albarn made the comments in a recent interview while talking about artists relying on “sound and attitude”.
When the LA Times interviewer mentioned Swift as an example of someone who doesn’t rely on these things, calling her “an excellent songwriter”, Albarn replied, “She doesn’t write her own songs.”
Journalist Mikael Wood replied: “Of course she does. Co-writes some of them.”
To which Albarn responded: “That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great.
“And some of the greatest singers — I mean, Ella Fitzgerald never wrote a song in her life. When I sing, I have to close my eyes and just be in there. I suppose I’m a traditionalist in that sense. A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker – less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional.”
Responding to the interview on Twitter, Swift – who is officially credited with writing or co-writing all of her music – posted: @DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really f***ed up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.”
In a comment on the post, the singer added: “PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering.”
Swift is widely recognised and highly acclaimed for her songwriting, which is often deeply confessional. Awarding her with the Songwriter Icon Award in 2021, the National Music Publishers’ Association remarked that “no one is more influential when it comes to writing music today” than Swift, while The Week described her as the foremost female songwriter of modern times.
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