INTERVIEW: Taylor Swift Backstage CMA Musicfest 2009

Taylor Swift answers a few questions backstage with the media before hitting the main stage on LP Field during CMA Music Festival 2009

Q. What is your ultimate goal as an artist. If you are looking back on the career of Taylor Swift what is it you most want to be remembered for?

Taylor: I want to be great to people first and a great artists second. People on that list are Garth Brooks, Reba McIntire and Faith Hill; people that strive to be great people and kind people first before anything else gets factored in. And to hear something so wonderful from one of those people on that giant, huge amazing list is awesome, I love Reba.

Q: The first time I drove a car over hundred miles an hour, it was thrilling and scared me to death. I think you are going 100 miles per hour. Is it too fast or is it just right?

Taylor: This is just right for me. I am loving it. I played Atlanta last night and got in at 3am this morning. I went straight to the convention center to sign autographs for 5 ½ hrs and that’s the way I want to live my life. This is my favorite time of year because I remember when I was 14 years old and I was holding a clipboard interning at the CMA Music Fest. I was feeling like if there was ever a chance that one day people would line up for me to sign something of theirs, it would be a really, really good day for me. I am really happy to say that today was that day. It is so wonderful to get the chance to do this.

Q: On your recent trip to the UK, you were a success. What was it like to experience that?

Taylor: It was wonderful going to the UK. I love it over there. The people there are so wonderful and they have been so accepting. I love playing shows in London and places where they pronounce my name differently. They chant my name here and it is “Taylor” but over there, before the shows, it is “Tayla, Tayla”. It is really cute.

Q. What role does religion or faith play in your life and your music?

Taylor: I definitely know there is someone looking out for me. It is wonderful to know that all of this has happened; there has to be someone up there holding all the cards because I could never had done it on my own.

Q. Thanks to Twitter, we know that you may be doing something with John Mayer, You may be doing something with T-Pain but the details are under wraps right now. Could you talk about working with those kind of artists? What is that like for you creatively?

Taylor: I love making new friends. I respect people for a lot of different reasons. For me, great music doesn’t have to fall into one category or one genre. I just love appreciating all kinds of music. Country music is obviously my favorite and that goes without saying. I have always loved John Mayer and I think T-Pain is brilliant. Getting to work with people like that has been really fun for me. Something that I have always wanted to do and the fact that country radio has been so wonderful to me and remained so true to me despite the fact that I have gone and done all these things I dreamed about doing. It has been a really cool thing.

Q. What is it going to be like to perform with T-Pain and Def Leppard.

Taylor: The T-Pain collaboration has not really been specified yet and it has been really fun to keep that a secret. We have never confirmed if it is a performance or something else.

Q. Your music is so personal, what was it like the first time you performed a song about someone on stage?

Taylor: For me, writing a song, I sit down and the process doesn’t really involve me thinking about the demographic of people that I am trying to hit or who I want to be able to relate to the song or what genre of music it falls under. For me, when I sit down and write a song, the only person I am thinking about in that room is the person I am writing the song about. It’s what I want them to know and what I wish I could tell them to their face but I am going to say it in a song instead. For me, music is more about a diary and a confession. I love being able to say things to people that I wouldn’t be able to say if I was standing face to face with them. Music is a way for me to verbalize those things that I feel that I can’t say.

Q: What country song do you relate to the most?

Taylor: I have favorites, my top favorite country songs are “Run” by George Strait, “You Were Mine” by the Dixie Chicks and Faith Hill’s “Breathe” and “This Kiss”.

Q: You have spent the day with fans. What was the craziest and most creative thing they brought to sign?

Taylor: As far as the creative things they bring to sign, I have had a lot of interesting things like a turtle shell with my face painted on it! Today, my fans know me so well, they get me awesome presents. This one girl brought me this bracelet, I really like it. A lot of the jewelry and things I wear are fan gifts because they are so awesome. They bring great presents.

Q: As I have walked around on the streets the past few days, I have seen so many little girls from tiny to much older running around this week with sundresses and cowboy boots. Is this a fashion phenomenon that you started?

Taylor: Yes!! I wasn’t trying to start anything, I really wasn’t trying to make people dress a certain way but seeing girls come to my shows wearing sundresses and cowboy boots and curling their hair is one of my favorite experiences ever. I remember when I was considered “weird” for dressing the way I dressed and I was “weird” for having curly hair. It is really fun to see that I am not that weird anymore.

Q. I want to go back to the question about going 100 miles per hour. What do you do to keep from burning out?

Taylor: As far as burning out, I get tired a lot but I never get tired OF it. I remember when I was a little kid and I would sit there and think about how lucky I would be if someday people cared about the words I wrote. How lucky I would be if someday while walking through the mall, I saw some little girl walking by with my face on her shirt. When you spend so much time daydreaming about things like that and then it actually happens, you don’t ever complain about it. When I go to a restaurant, I know a line is probably going to form in front of the table but didn’t I always wish for that? Yes, I did and I never want to be the girl that wanted something so bad her whole life, just one thing and then gets it and complains about it. I am not going to be that girl.

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