Taylor Swift faces ‘worst case scenario’ after catalogue sold to Justin Bieber’s manager
Taylor Swift is currently in the midst of rather messy situation, following news that her back catalogue has been sold to manager and music mogul Scooter Braun.
On Sunday, the world of music was alerted to news that Ithaca Holdings LLC. – a media company owned and founded by manager Scooter Braun – had acquired US record label Big Machine Records for $300 million.
While Big Machine Records was founded back in 2005, it saw its biggest success almost immediately, signing a young Taylor Swift one year after she had met founder Scott Borchetta as a 14-year-old musician.
Swift’s addition to the roster was a huge boom for the label, with the music icon releasing all of her albums up to 2017 on Big Machine Records before signing to Universal late last year.
However, with news of Ithaca Holdings’ recent acquisition, Taylor Swift has described the situation as “worst case scenario”, noting that her entire back catalogue is now in the hands of someone who she claims caused her to suffer “incessant, manipulative bullying” for years.
Check out Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’:
Taking to her Tumblr blog earlier today, Swift lamented the way that recent developments have unfolded, noting that she feels “sad and grossed out” with the way things have gone.
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” Swift wrote underneath a old photo from Justin Bieber’s Instagram page. “Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in.
“I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.
“Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about 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.”
As Taylor Swift continued her post, she made note of the controversy surrounding Kanye West’s song ‘Famous’, noting how both West – then a client of Scooter Braun’s – and Justin Bieber later “bullied” her about the situation.
“Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy,” she explained. “Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.”
“This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.
“When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.
“Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create. Thankfully, I left my past in Scott’s hands and not my future. And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make.
“I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, Lover will be out August 23.”
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Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted of scooter and Kanye that said “taylor swift what up” he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.. 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. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter. Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and fourth online i dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed. Neither scooter or i have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line..
Taking to Instagram earlier this morning, Justin Bieber apologised for the screenshot shared by Taylor Swift, noting that “at the time I thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.”
“Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.!” Bieber explained. “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.
“What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter.
“Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and fourth online i dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed.
“Neither scooter or i have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line..”
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As Pitchfork noted, the wife of Scooter Braun – Yael Cohen – also took to Instagram to defendher husband, while also claiming that both Taylor Swift and her father – a shareholder of Big Machine Records – was notified about the sale to Ithaca Holdings.
“I have never been one for a public airing of laundry, but when you attack my husband… here we go,” Cohen wrote to Swift. “You were given the opportunity to own your masters, you passed. Interesting that the man you’re so ‘grossed out’ by believed in you more than you believe in yourself.
“Your dad is a shareholder and was notified, and Borchetta personally told you before this came out. So no, you didn’t find out with the world. And girl, who are you to talk about bullying?
“The world has watched you collect and drop friends like wilted flowers. My husband is anything but a bully, he’s spent his life standing up for people and causes he believes in….”
Taylor Swift has not responded to the messages from Justin Bieber or Yael Cohen at this time, but has drawn support from the likes of Halsey, who claims she stands with her during this messy situation.
Check out ‘You Need To Calm Down’ by Taylor Swift:
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.