Damon Albarn, the songwriter and vocalist best known for fronting rock bands Blur and Gorillaz, has apologized for his statements regarding Taylor Swift’s songwriting.
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The statements in question arose out of an interview that he did with The Los Angeles Times. In this conversation, Albarn expressed his opinion on the pop icon’s writing process and even her musical style.
“I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing,” Albarn stated in the interview when discussing Swift’s co-writers. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Once this interview was published, many industry professionals and fans spoke in defense of Swift, including her producer Jack Antonoff, the National member Aaron Dessner, and even the president-elect of Chile.
Swift also quickly responded to Albarn’s statements. “I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this,” she wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Just hours later after the “All Too Well” singer fired back, Albarn apologized for his comments. Albarn claimed that his words had been twisted into “clickbait” by The Los Angeles Times reporter.
“I totally agree with you,” Albarn said in a tweet. “I had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologize unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand.”
While Albarn’s response seems sincere, this isn’t the first time the rocker has made comments like this. Albarn previously described Adele as “insecure” after a collaboration with the “Easy On Me” singer.
Photo by Beth Garrabrant.