Taylor Swift: Conquering the music industry

Top: Taylor Swift sings a song from her album, 1989, during the Eras Tour. 

In the past year, Taylor Swift has transformed from a musician into an international sensation and a household name. Having amassed 109.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify, she has been named Global Top Artist of 2023 and Time’s Person of the Year. Compared to many artists who gained fame during their first few albums, she has managed not only to maintain but to broaden her fanbase with each release. This can be partially attributed to her Eras Tour, which, with its elaborate performances and song variety, drew in listeners from all over. How did Swift establish such a loyal audience, and what do Swifties think about her concerts and recent releases?

The Eras Tour has had one of the largest turnouts of any music tour, with attendees paying hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars for tickets. When asked if it was worth it, Varshini Reddy, a senior at Washington, says, “It was. Honestly, I didn’t pay as much as some people did. I paid around $265 for tickets, $200 for merch, and $100 for outfits and transportation.” She adds that the concert exceeded her expectations, featuring a light-up stage, incredible visuals, and high-quality speakers. Rhea Shaik, a senior who was unable to attend, was less convinced. “To me, $1000 for a ticket is insane,” she said. “I’m not sure if it cost that much to put on the show, although she did have to pay the backup singers, dancers, and crew.” 

Apart from the music, the preparation for the concert was an experience in itself. Fans bought and created custom outfits, made friendship bracelets, and designed posters. “My best friend and I chose a pair outfit based on the ‘Cruel Summer’ lyric, ‘Devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes,’” explains Reddy. “I also made around 60 friendship bracelets to hand out, and completely ran out.” She elaborates that the Swiftie community was remarkably welcoming, making her feel safe despite being amidst a massive crowd.

After her final U.S. show, Swift released the Eras Tour movie for fans who couldn’t attend the concert. Despite being a theater film, it transformed into a concert-adjacent experience. Swifties stood up and danced with one another, even running to the stage to scream along. “She managed to bring strangers together to have a full-blown concert in a movie theater. I think that illustrates the impact Taylor has had and the community she’s built,” Shaik says. She and Reddy were, however, disappointed that the songs, “Wildest Dreams,” “Cardigan,” “The Archer,” and “No Body, No Crime” were excluded. Though the theater film didn’t incorporate these fan favorites, Swift recently announced that she will release a streamable version of the movie with additional songs. 

Taylor Swift has connected with her fanbase in a way that not many artists have been able to in decades. “For me, it’s because she’s vulnerable in her songs and gives a part of herself to her fans,” says Shaik. “Her songs feel raw and personal since she writes about her own life.” By releasing music consistently, appealing to the nostalgia of past albums, and putting on brilliant performances, Swift has made her way into music lovers’ hearts. She has become a singer, performer, producer, and above all, a darling to her fans.

Shruthi Subramaniyan is a senior at Washington High School. She was born and raised in Fremont, and this is her first year at The Hatchet. She’s interested in covering topics regarding the arts, culture, current events, and the Washington community. Her passions include art, music, teaching, and psychology. She also plays badminton on the school team and loves spending time outdoors with her friends. In the future, she hopes to attend university to study psychology and explore potential careers.

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