The TRUTH About Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo's Feud

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI
Summary Notes


In his video, Zach, the self-proclaimed syptologist, delves into the complex dynamics between pop artists Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift, addressing the ongoing comparisons and perceived tensions between them. He explores the evolution of Rodrigo's career, her artistic growth, and the influence Swift has had on her music, while also considering the business implications of their relationship. Zach discusses how both artists have faced challenges in carving out their unique legacies in the music industry and the role of their fanbases in fueling the narrative of rivalry. He criticizes the reductionist views of artistry that lead to oversimplified accusations of copying, and suggests that while there may not be a direct "beef," there exists a subtle competition and strategic distance maintained by Swift. Zach encourages a more nuanced understanding of the situation, hoping for a resolution that allows both artists to thrive without unnecessary conflict.

Summary Notes

Artistic Growth and Development of Olivia Rodrigo

  • Zach expresses admiration for Olivia Rodrigo's artistic growth as showcased in her recent release, "guts."
  • He notes that Olivia is building a legacy and making a significant mark on the pop music industry.
  • Zach previously discussed the need for Olivia to grow outside of her association with Taylor Swift.

"I was so pleasantly surprised and Blown Away by the artistic growth and development that we've seen from Olivia Rodrigo."

This quote highlights Zach's positive reaction to Olivia Rodrigo's artistic progress and the impact of her latest work.

"I was looking for her to grow as an artist outside of her association with Taylor Swift and for hopefully those comparisons to die down as she got further into creating her own legacy and leaving her own mark on the music industry."

Zach explains his previous expectations for Olivia Rodrigo to evolve as an artist independently of Taylor Swift and to establish her unique legacy.

Alleged Beef Between Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift

  • Zach aims to dissect the rumored tension between Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift.
  • He acknowledges that there may be tension, possibly driven by business interests rather than personal issues.
  • Fans' extreme views, either portraying Taylor as malicious or as a benevolent mentor, are both rejected by Zach.
  • He emphasizes empathy and a balanced perspective when examining the situation.

"I do think that there is some sort of tension between the two of them maybe not even necessarily between the two of them but between their teams."

Zach suggests that any tension is likely business-related and involves their respective teams rather than the artists themselves.

"I disagree with both of those characterizations and as always I try and come at these subjects with empathy and I try to look at each side of the story and come to a conclusion that feels logical and rational to me."

Zach rejects the polarized characterizations of Taylor Swift and advocates for an empathetic and balanced approach to the situation.

Reasons for Comparisons Between Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift

  • Olivia Rodrigo has cited Taylor Swift as an influence, which has led to comparisons.
  • Both artists had significant early success and have formed strong parasocial relationships with their fans.
  • Their ability to resonate with audiences beyond their target demographic is noted.
  • They are both recognized for their confessional songwriting style.

"Olivia herself cited Taylor as an influence over and over again in the lead-up to her debut album."

This quote explains that Olivia Rodrigo's own acknowledgments of Taylor Swift's influence have contributed to the comparisons between them.

"Both of them despite writing about teenage girl things found that their music resonated widely beyond their target audience and was very critically and commercially successful as well."

Zach points out that both artists have achieved widespread success and critical acclaim, even though their music often focuses on themes relevant to teenage girls.

Fan Dynamics and Toxicity

  • Some fans, particularly "swifties," are accused of being toxic and unwilling to allow other artists to share the spotlight.
  • The discussions around the artists have become hostile, with fans often discrediting Olivia Rodrigo to support Taylor Swift.
  • Zach calls for a more nuanced conversation that recognizes the achievements of both artists.

"The conversation has turned so nasty on the subject and mainly coming from the swifties surprise surprise being toxic per usual who can't seem to stand the idea that Olivia might share some of the traits and qualities that people love about Taylor."

Zach criticizes the toxic behavior of some fans who are unwilling to acknowledge similarities between the two artists.

"It's definitely delusional to discredit Olivia's Artistry in support of Taylor."

Zach challenges the notion that supporting Taylor Swift requires discrediting Olivia Rodrigo's artistry.

The Nature of Art and Influence

  • The debate over inspiration versus copying in art is highlighted as often lacking nuance.
  • Art is seen as a continuum, with all artists drawing from previous works and influences.
  • Accusations of plagiarism against Olivia Rodrigo are deemed unfounded and simplistic.

"No artist ever creates in a vacuum and you could technically say that every song written by any artist in the world was copied from somewhere else."

Zach argues that all art is derivative to some extent and that accusations of copying lack understanding of the creative process.

"This is something that has plagued Olivia from the beginning of her career and also something that Taylor has kind of directly had a hand in creating to a certain extent."

Zach acknowledges that comparisons to Taylor Swift are inevitable for young female pop songwriters and that Taylor may have inadvertently contributed to this dynamic.

Influence and Inspiration in Art

  • Art is influenced by admiration for other artists.
  • No creation exists in isolation; it reflects the creator's influences.
  • Taylor Swift's songwriting is influenced by artists like The Chicks and Joni Mitchell.
  • Taylor Swift did not invent confessional songwriting but added a country sensibility to pop country, appealing to a younger audience.
  • Taylor's success empowered a new generation of songwriters to express their truth.

"inevitably going to be inspired by her anyway nothing that you create exists in a vacuum if you love someone else's art glimmers of it will appear in your own art"

This quote emphasizes the idea that inspiration is an inevitable part of creative work. When an artist admires another's work, elements of that work will naturally influence their own creations.

The Business of Music

  • Olivia Rodrigo was initially naive about the music industry.
  • Taylor Swift understood the business aspect of music from the start, with support from her parents.
  • Success in the music industry can be surprising and overwhelming, especially for young artists like Olivia.
  • Music is not just an art form but also a business enterprise.

"I think Olivia was very naive and she has said this in interviews subsequently that she didn't really understand how the music business work and learning that lesson the hard way was rather difficult for her"

This quote highlights Olivia Rodrigo's initial lack of understanding about the music industry and the challenges she faced in learning about the business side of her art.

Media Comparisons and Artist Relationships

  • Media comparisons can create tension between artists.
  • Being compared to a successful artist like Taylor Swift can have positive and negative impacts.
  • Taylor Swift is recognized as a businesswoman aware of her competitive landscape.
  • Taylor and Olivia's interactions, such as Taylor's support for Olivia's cover and original work, show a complex relationship.

"it's the comparison that was starting to be done over and over by the media both because the material is kind very directly inspired by Taylor and also because Olivia was bringing her up all the time"

This quote discusses how media comparisons, fueled by both the artists' material and Olivia's own references to Taylor, may have contributed to a perceived rivalry or tension between them.

The Dynamics of Mentorship and Competition

  • Taylor Swift's acknowledgment of Olivia Rodrigo's success suggested a mentor-like support.
  • Olivia Rodrigo's frequent mentions of Taylor Swift in interviews may have been driven by journalistic tactics for increased media attention.
  • The music industry's competitive nature means even mentorship relationships are complex.

"when driver's license came out it transported Olivia obviously to super stardom overnight and Taylor sent her a letter of congratulations when it went number one"

This quote shows Taylor Swift's initial support for Olivia Rodrigo's success, indicating a positive relationship at the outset.

Success and Misinterpretation

  • Olivia Rodrigo's success with "Deja Vu" sparked comparisons to Taylor Swift's "Cruel Summer."
  • The public often confuses inspiration with copying.
  • The music industry and fan reactions can quickly shift perceptions of artists.

"but obviously Deja Vu really pops off. and I think everybody was surprised to see the caliber and the quality of this second single it was pretty much the second solo song we'd ever heard from Olivia Rodrigo and it was a certified Banger as well"

This quote reflects on the success of "Deja Vu" and the public's surprise at the quality of Olivia Rodrigo's second single, which led to comparisons with Taylor Swift's work.

The Complexities of Artistic Homage

  • Sampling or interpolating another artist's work can be seen as homage but also risks negative comparison.
  • Olivia Rodrigo's use of Taylor Swift's "New Year's Day" in "One Step Forward, three steps back" was a direct interpolation, which can be controversial.

"something else I think Olivia maybe shouldn't have done was include the song One Step Forward three steps back first of all it's not that good of a song second of all it directly interpolates New Year's Day as a sample"

This quote critiques Olivia Rodrigo's decision to interpolate Taylor Swift's "New Year's Day," suggesting it may not have been the best artistic or strategic choice.

Comparison and Writing Credits Controversy

  • Olivia Rodrigo faced comparisons and criticism over writing credits.
  • Olivia lost millions in royalties after Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff were retroactively credited.
  • Dan, Olivia's producer, hinted at industry practices regarding credit claims post-success.
  • Taylor Swift's direct involvement in her career decisions implies she played a role in the credit outreach.

"Olivia new cover writer definitely lost millions of dollars in royalties when Taylor and Jack were given credits for that song retroactively in July of 2021."

This quote indicates the financial impact on Olivia Rodrigo due to the retroactive credit given to Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff, highlighting the implications of writing credits in the music industry.

"Dan her producer has kind of made some sort of like vague allusions to the way in which that that credit taking happened."

Dan's comments suggest a critical view of the industry's practices regarding songwriting credits, particularly when a song achieves success.

Taylor Swift's Management and Decision-Making

  • Taylor Swift self-manages her career with a group of advisors, not a traditional management team.
  • Any outreach from Taylor's camp is seen as a direct action from Taylor herself.

"Taylor manages her entire career she doesn't have a management team she has like a kind of a group of advisors..."

This quote emphasizes Taylor Swift's hands-on approach to her career, with all decisions reflecting her personal intentions and strategies.

Public Handling of Credit Sharing

  • Hayley Williams of Paramore serves as an example of how to handle unwanted writing credits gracefully.
  • Taylor Swift's silence on the writing credit issue is seen as telling of her character.

"Hayley Williams from Paramore did when she was given credits for good for you in fact she didn't even want to be credited on that song..."

This quote illustrates an alternative approach to handling writing credits, contrasting Taylor's handling of a similar situation.

"...Taylor could have handled it in a very similar way. but on purpose she didn't do that."

The quote suggests that Taylor Swift's choice not to address the credit issue publicly was a deliberate decision, inviting speculation about her motives.

Taylor Swift's Industry Influence and Passive Aggression

  • Taylor Swift is characterized as using passive aggression in her career moves.
  • She is accused of not acknowledging Olivia Rodrigo post-credit controversy.
  • Taylor is seen as promoting lesser-known artists over more direct competitors like Olivia.

"Taylor is the queen of passive aggression whether you want to believe it or not..."

The quote characterizes Taylor Swift's behavior in the industry, suggesting she uses subtle tactics to maintain her position.

"...she has gone as far as to basically infer or claim that Gracie Abrams is her direct Heir which is just ludicrous."

This quote implies Taylor Swift strategically endorses artists who pose no commercial threat, contrasting her treatment of Olivia Rodrigo.

Olivia Rodrigo's Second Album Rollout and Taylor Swift Comparisons

  • Olivia's second album promotion was overshadowed by Taylor Swift comparisons.
  • Olivia carefully navigated questions about Taylor during interviews.
  • The change in Olivia's public admiration for Taylor suggests a shift in their relationship.

"...she literally couldn't escape the conversation about Taylor Swift she was asked if vampire was about Taylor he definitely denies that it is."

The quote highlights the persistent media focus on Taylor Swift during Olivia Rodrigo's album promotion, despite Olivia's attempts to steer away from the topic.

"...throughout this promotional cycle the flattery and citing of Taylor as an influence was very much missing from her discussions of the creative process."

This observation notes a marked difference in how Olivia Rodrigo discussed her influences during her latest album's rollout compared to her debut.

Business Strategy and Competition

  • Taylor Swift's business acumen is highlighted, with strategic decisions aimed at maintaining her market position.
  • The suggestion is made that Taylor may feel threatened by Olivia Rodrigo's success.
  • The relationship between Taylor and Olivia is speculated to be influenced by business competition.

"At the end of the day Taylor is a businesswoman what she cares most about is being successful and being the apex predator in the music industry."

This quote underscores Taylor Swift's focus on success and dominance in the music industry, framing her actions within a competitive business context.

"'s not good business practice to endorse a competitor's product and at the end of the day Taylor is a businesswoman."

The quote explains why Taylor Swift might avoid publicly supporting Olivia Rodrigo, as it could be seen as endorsing a competitor in the industry.

Taylor Swift's Career Trajectory and Tactics

  • Taylor Swift expressed acceptance of a less dominant role in pop culture as she approached 30.
  • Swift's career saw a resurgence with the success of albums like "Folklore" and "Midnights," as well as the excitement around the "Eras Tour."
  • Accusations of anti-competitive practices, such as chart manipulation through remixes and leveraging fan devotion, have been raised.
  • Taylor's reluctance to relinquish her position in the music industry is seen as a possible reason for maintaining distance from Olivia Rodrigo.

"Taylor Swift... was very resigned to turning 30 and no longer being a dominant pop culture force... but we saw a swift reversal from that... the level of success that she reached from folklore onwards... has really... shown to her and to the rest of the world that she is far from... Fading Into the background... I think that she is newly enriched activated and engaged and ready to keep being the biggest thing on planet Earth..."

This quote outlines Taylor Swift's initial acceptance of a reduced role in the music industry as she aged, followed by a strong comeback that reestablished her prominence.

"Taylor has anti-competitive business practices as a musician by... gaming charts by having like hundreds of remixes and um getting her fans to like buy stuff..."

The quote suggests that Taylor Swift has been accused of engaging in practices that could give her an unfair advantage in the music charts, such as releasing many remixes and encouraging fans to purchase multiple versions of her work.

Taylor Swift's Personal Anxieties and Olivia Rodrigo's Position

  • Taylor may have personal anxieties about new artists bypassing the struggles she faced, such as losing control of her master recordings.
  • Olivia Rodrigo is in a difficult position, where any mention of Taylor Swift leads to accusations or overinterpretations of their relationship.
  • The focus on whether Olivia's songs are about Taylor Swift detracts from her own artistic achievements.

"Taylor also has anxiety about... an ingenue taking the lessons and the hardships that she's learned... and I think we hear that very clearly in the anxieties on nothing new..."

The quote discusses Taylor Swift's potential anxieties about new artists not having to endure the same challenges she did, as reflected in her song "Nothing New."

"Olivia's perspective and the kind of impossible situation she's been put in... she can't mention Taylor without being accused of trying to use her to succeed."

This quote highlights the predicament Olivia Rodrigo faces as a rising artist, where her relationship with Taylor Swift is scrutinized to the point that it overshadows her own work.

Artistic Process and Interpretation of Songs

  • Songs are often composite sketches, not necessarily about one specific person or event.
  • Taylor Swift's songwriting frequently embodies this approach, creating art that transcends direct personal experiences.
  • Reducing songs to being about specific individuals or events undermines the artistic process.

"Songs I like to think are composite sketches... when you're creating art as an artist you're not thinking... I'm gonna get her I'm Gonna Save this I'm gonna say that... you're just being moved by what you're feeling at that moment and creating a piece of art out of it."

The quote emphasizes that songs are typically a blend of various inspirations and emotions, rather than direct messages aimed at specific individuals.

Olivia Rodrigo's Songwriting and Public Perception

  • Olivia Rodrigo's albums "Sour" and "Guts" are seen as reflections on relationships and the teenage experience.
  • Public speculation about her songs' meanings, particularly regarding Taylor Swift, is considered reductive and unfair.
  • The focus on potential feuds detracts from recognizing Rodrigo's talent and the quality of her work.

"I'm just not convinced that anything on this record is about that because it is so layered and so rich and so intricate and so clearly about being 19 years old and you know dating someone older and not knowing how to handle that..."

This quote argues against the notion that Olivia Rodrigo's songs on "Guts" are about Taylor Swift, highlighting the depth and complexity of her songwriting.

"I don't understand why there is attention or there's a hostility... from just being an observer of seeing how... unbreakable and big the Taylor Swift brand is at this point I don't see the harm in giving someone the flowers that they deserve without any strings attached."

The quote questions the perceived tension between Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo, suggesting that it is unnecessary given Swift's established success and that Rodrigo deserves recognition without comparison.

Conclusion and Future Content

  • The speaker expresses a desire for respectful and critical discussion among fans, rejecting delusional or deranged stances.
  • Anticipation is built for an upcoming video essay unrelated to Swift or Rodrigo.
  • An invitation is extended to engage with the speaker's content on other platforms, including Patreon and a podcast.

"I hope that we can keep it cute in the comment section below because if you are a delusional and deranged stand this is not the channel for you this is not the place to come this is where we have nuanced critical conversations..."

The quote calls for a thoughtful and reasoned dialogue among viewers, distancing the channel from irrational fan behavior.

"I will probably be releasing a very highly anticipated video essay about neither of the two artists that are mentioned in this video so stay tuned to find out what that is..."

This quote teases future content that will shift focus away from Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo, sparking curiosity about the upcoming video essay topic.

What others are sharing

Go To Library

Want to Deciphr in private?
- It's completely free

Deciphr Now
Footer background
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon

© 2024 Deciphr

Terms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy