Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn are really becoming quite the songwriting duo, aren’t they?
Rumors swirled upon the release of Swift’s album, Folklore, in July that one of her credited collaborators, William Bowery, was actually her boyfriend of four years. (He’s credited on “Exile” and “Betty,” plus three songs on her latest album, Evermore: “Champagne Problems,” “Coney Island,” and “Evermore.”) Swift later confirmed this during her Disney+ special, Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.
The singer talked to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about her and Alwyn’s process and relationship in a new interview. (The media giant named her Songwriter of the Year in its second annual Apple Music Awards.) “He’s always the person who’s showing me songs by artists and then they become my favorite songs,” the singer revealed.
She continued, “Joe and I really love sad songs. We’ve always bonded over music. We write the saddest [songs]. We just really love sad songs. What can I say?…It was a surprise that we started writing together. But in a way it wasn’t, because we have always bonded over music and had the same musical tastes.”
Swift added, “He’s always just playing instruments and he doesn’t do it in a strategic, ‘I’m writing a song right now’ thing. He’s always done that. But do I think we would have taken the step of ‘Hey, let’s see if there’s a song in here. Let’s write a song together?’ if we hadn’t been in lockdown? I don’t think that would have happened, but I’m so glad that it did. We’re so proud of that one.”
She then told the story of how “Betty” came to be: It started in part after she heard Alwyn playing what would become part of the song on the piano. “And all I had to do was follow the piano melody with the verse melody. So because the vocal melody is exactly the same, pretty much it’s mirrored with the piano part that he wrote,” she said. “And we did the same thing with ‘Evermore,’ where I’ll just kind of hear what he’s doing and it’s exactly…it’s all there. All I have to do is dream up some lyrics and come up with some gut-wrenching, heart-shattering story to write with him.”
Watch Taylor Swift and Zane Lowe’s full conversation in the video, above.