To recap, Scooter acquired Taylor’s former record company, Big Machine, in June of 2019 — and, by extension, ownership of her master recordings up until her album Reputation. The same day the deal was announced, Taylor lamented in an emotional Tumblr post that the buyout was her “worst case scenario” and accused Braun of being a manipulative bully.
Taylor has subsequently been famously re-recording her Big Machine album catalog in an attempt to reclaim ownership of her masters, while Braun has since sold the rights to Taylor’s first six albums for a reported $300 million+.
According to the blast, “It’s been nearly three years since Taylor Swift announced she would be re-recording her first six albums after her former record label was bought by music executive Scooter Braun.
Time seemingly does not matter in this case.
The saga between Swift and Braun (and in some instances Big Machine’s founder Scott Borchetta), and the larger conversation the situation has inspired pertaining to music ownership and an artist’s right to have access to their own work, continues.
This week Braun shared his current thoughts on Swift and the ongoing situation revolving around the singer’s landmark decision to re-record her catalog through 2019’s “Lover.”
What Did Braun Say?
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Braun was interviewed by MSNBC earlier this month where the topic of Swift inevitably came up.
Braun remained diplomatic while discussing Swift.
“I think Taylor has every right to re-record. She has every right to pursue her masters,” he said, referring to the task Swift had announced in the Summer of 2019 via her official Tumblr account.
“And I wish her nothing but well,” he added. “I have zero interest in saying anything bad about her… The only thing I disagree with is weaponizing a fanbase,” Braun concluded, per Us Weekly.
What Did Braun Mean By His Statement?
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Swift isn’t the only superstar client Braun has had in his repertoire. Justin Bieber has famously been managed by Braun and his team since the beginning of his career.
In fact, Bieber fiercely defended Braun after the news broke.
Bieber alleged Swift was intending to “deface someone I love” while simultaneously trying to “get sympathy” from her fanbase.
Bieber later wrote in an Instagram post, “Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you! As the years have passed, we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our
differences, hurts, or frustrations. So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on Scooter isn’t fair.”
While Braun did not explicitly disclose what he meant by weaponizing a fanbase in his recent MSNBC interview, he is likely referring to Swift’s fanbase and their reception of the situation.
“The artists I work with have very large fanbases,” Braun continued in the MSNBC interview. “You don’t
do that. It’s very dangerous. There’s people in that fanbase who have mental health issues. There’s families involved, and I think that’s very, very, dangerous.”
“I think there’s a lot of facts out there, but at the end of the day, I think artists should actually have
ownership and they should play a role.” Braun went on to say.
The ‘Swift’ Side Of Things
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The subject of bullying has frequently been brought up throughout the discourse between Braun and Swift.
Swift, herself, first alleged there had been bullying involved within her professional relationship with Braun and Borchetta.
In her Tumblr letter, Swift wrote “I learned of Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”
She then shared an example of an Instagram post of Bieber’s, which featured a photo of Braun posing alongside Bieber and Kanye West.
The photo had allegedly been taken in the aftermath of West’s unauthorized use of Swift’s likeness in the music video for his song “Famous.”
Swift added text to the photo and circled Braun before explaining, “This is Scooter Braun bullying me on social media when I was at my lowest point. He’s about to own all the music I’ve ever made.”
Swift has not commented on Braun’s latest comments to MSNBC.
“These are two rich, very powerful men, using $300 million of other people’s money to purchase, like, the most feminine body of work,” she told Rolling Stone two months after “Lover’s” release in 2019, as per Entertainment Tonight.
“And then they’re standing in a wood-panel bar doing a tacky photoshoot, raising a glass of scotch to themselves, because they pulled one over on me and got this done so sneakily that I didn’t even see it coming. And I couldn’t say anything about it.”
Since “Lover’s” release in August of 2019, Swift released two surprise records that would both go on to become blockbusters.
Both “folklore” and its sister record “Evermore” had been written and recorded during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the next year.
Scooter Braun nor Scott Borchetta had any involvement with those two LPs, making them the second and third albums completely owned by Swift, with “Lover” being the first.