UPDATE, January 24, 4:10 p.m. CT: Damon Albarn issued an apology to Taylor Swift on Twitter, writing, “I totally agree with you. i had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand.”
In the ‘90s, the question was who won the battle of Britpop: Oasis or Blur? But in 2022, Blur is now battling it out with one of the world’s biggest pop stars: Taylor Swift.
In a recent LA Times interview, writer Mikael Wood asked Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn, “You think a lot of modern musicians are relying on sound and attitude?” Albarn replied, “Name me one who’s not.”
When Wood names Swift, Albarn replies, “She doesn’t write her own songs.” Wood explains that Swift writes all her own music, but she just occasionally invites collaborators to write with her, including The National’s Aaron Dessner, who produced Folklore and Evermore.
But Albarn continues, “That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different from writing.” He adds, “I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes.”
Well, Swift caught wind of what Albarn said, and defended herself on Twitter. She wrote, “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 fucked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.” She added, “PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering.”
As you can imagine, Swift’s fans were swift to take action, calling Albarn out on his inaccurate take. Unlike the Blur vs. Oasis feud, there’s a pretty clear winner this time around. As much as it pains this writer—a longtime Blur fan—to say, Swift has been vocal about being in control of her writing throughout her career. There are countless documentaries and interviews that detail her writing process, and most of the songs in her catalog do not feature co-writers.