‘Miss Americana’ Gave Taylor Swift the Chance to See Herself Writing Songs: ‘That’s One Thing I’m Glad I’ll Have Forever’

Singer Taylor Swift is known for autobiographical songwriting above (almost) everything else. Every time a new single or an album is released, fans and entertainment writers alike race to decode the lyrics of her songs, determining which track is about her boyfriend Joe Alwyn and which rehashes the infamous Kanye West drama.

Taylor Swift Sundance
Taylor Swift attends the Netflix premiere of ‘Miss Americana’ at Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2020 | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Netfilx

But one thing Swifties have never gotten a chance to see is the artist actually working. There’s a real process behind her music and lyrics. Fortunately, the documentary Miss Americana gives us a look behind the scenes. And, as it turns out, Swift herself is happy to see those exciting moments as well.

The documentary ‘Miss Americana’ is on Netflix

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Miss Americana January 31 on @netflixfilm

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The documentary was first announced in 2019. Swift ended up revealing its existence in a social media post in which she shared more about her feud with Scooter Braun over her master recordings. Fortunately, things were worked out, and her pre-Lover music was in the doc.

Miss Americana debuted at Sundance Film Festival in Jan. 2020. Directed by Lana Wilson, it details much of Swift’s life over the past decade, from her rise as a country star through her more recent decision to be outspokenly political. And of course, there’s lots of music.

Swift allowed cameras in the studio with her for the first time

Swift will share her process a bit verbally: in interviews or private sessions with her fans. In Miss Americana, she shared that, and a lot more. “I think [with making] a documentary, if you are open enough, you can connect with people,” she said in a recent interview.

The artist said she “had no idea how it would affect the creative process” to be filming while working. “It was actually amazing having you in the studio. Because we’d finish writing a song and a sound guy would be like, ‘That’s a really good song,'” said Swift of the validation she’d receive from the documentary crew.

On her ‘ah-ha’ moments

The crew was there to film Swift at various stages of writing numerous songs, including many of her big breakthroughs. “The ideas are my favorite part of everything that I do,” she said. “That moment where you’re like ‘Oh, I know what it’s called.’ Or ‘I know what the hook is now.'”

As Wilson explains in the video above, at least one of these moments was seen on camera. At an earlier point in the movie, when she’s writing “Getaway Car,” the camera gets close to Swift just as she’s figuring out the end of the bridge to the Reputation track.

Because she had never allowed cameras in the studio before, Swift now has something new: a chance to look back at herself hard at work. “Getting to capture on film getting an idea, that’s one thing I’m glad I’ll have forever. I’ll always have kind of a memory of when that idea happened,” she said.