Taylor Swift missed out on the chance to purchase the rights to her master recordings because she refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the new boss of her old record label.
Music mogul Scooter Braun has sold off the back catalog, as part of a new deal with bosses at an investment group, for a reported $300 million, and now Swift has revealed she tried to buy back the recordings from her first six albums.
“So, I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work,” she explains in a new letter to fans. “My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal, and they’ve never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off.
“He (Braun) would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me.”
Taylor claims she didn’t even know about Scooter’s sale until officials at a private equity company contacted her and suggested a partnership.
“A few weeks ago my team received a letter from a private equity company, called Shamrock Holdings, letting us know that they had bought 100% of my music, videos, and album art from Scooter Braun,” Swift adds. “This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge.
“The letter told me that they wanted to reach out before the sale to let me know, but that Scooter Braun had required that they make no contact with me or my team, or the deal would be off… I learned that under their terms Scooter Braun will continue to profit off my old musical catalog for many years.
“I was hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock, but Scooter’s participation is a non-starter for me.”
Swift reveals she has begun “re-recording my older music”, so she can claim back the rights, adding: “It has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling”.
“I have plenty of surprises in store. I want to thank you guys for supporting me through this ongoing saga, and I can’t wait for you to hear what I’ve been dreaming up. I love you guys and I’m just gonna keep cruising, as they say.”
Taylor has also uploaded the letter of response she sent to the private equity group who purchased her music last month (October 2020), revealing: “I feel the need to be very transparent with you. I will be going forward with my original re-recording schedule and will be embarking on that effort soon. I know this will diminish the value of my old masters, but I hope you will understand that this is my only way of regaining the sense of pride I once had when hearing songs from my first six albums and also allowing my fans to listen to those albums without feelings of guilt for benefiting Scooter.”
Meanwhile, the bosses at Shamrock Holdings have also released a statement, which reads: “Taylor Swift is a transcendent artist with a timeless catalog. We made this investment because we believe in the immense value and opportunity that comes with her work. We fully respect and support her decision and, while we hoped to formally partner, we also knew this was a possible outcome that we considered.
“We appreciate Taylor’s open communication and professionalism with us these last few weeks. We hope to partner with her in new ways moving forward and remain committed to investing with artists in their work.”