Most of the time, I can get through Quora with a sentence or two. Sometimes, however, I find myself more greatly motivated: What do you respect and admire most about Taylor Swift?
She’s somewhere between a very good and a superb lyricist; almost every song in the Swift catalog contains at least one passage that hits you square in the heart. And she’s by all available evidence a firm believer in the idea that those who have been given much are expected to give back. Perhaps most inspiring, though, is the fact that she’s negotiated her contracts with music distributors, not to her best advantage, but to the benefit of musicians who aren’t in a position to command the numbers she does. An example: The nascent Apple Music offered 90 days free to early subscribers, financed by the artists, who would draw no royalties during that period. Swift objected:
“This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field … but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.
“These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.”
Apple backpedaled. Quickly.
Taylor Swift has her quirks — her legs are insured for $40 million, and after a long period of contemplation, I don’t see how they’re worth more than $35 million — but I will always wish her well.