Taylor Swift: Letting Her Hair Down

Taylor Swift muses about music, memory, makeup and more.

It’s been an eventful time for Taylor Swift since she released her wildly successful second album, Fearless, in early November. The first single, “Love Story,” reached No. 1 and the follow-up, “White Horse,” has quickly followed it up the charts, while the album has already rung up sales of more than 1.5 million. Taylor will soon set out on her first tour as a headlining act. During her brief downtime the just-turned-19 superstar agreed to take some time to answer a few questions.

CW
What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever been inspired to write a song?
TS
I usually get inspired to write in the middle of the night. I’ll come up with an amazing idea, and I’ll think, “Oh . . . I’ll remember it the next morning.” Then you never remember it the next morning! So I’ve always gotta have some sort of recording device near me when I’m sleeping.
CW
How does your new album compare to your self-titled debut?
TS
It’s the perfect continuation of the first one. It’s so personal, and I’m so glad we didn’t lose that. It’s exactly what has happened to me over the past two years. That’s what I wrote about.
CW
If you could sing a dream duet with someone, who would it be?
TS
Hmmm … probably Tim McGraw.
CW
“Tim McGraw” was your first hit, and you introduced yourself to the man himself on live TV at the CMA Awards in 2006. What was that like?
TS
I’ve never been more scared in my life! (laughs) I was shaking like a leaf!
CW
Even after three years, is there anybody in the business you still haven’t met yet that you’re dying to?
TS
I’ve never met Dolly Parton, and I’ve never met any of the Dixie Chicks.
CW
Have you ever wanted to go back in time and meet someone famous from history?
TS
I think I’d want to go back to colonial days to hang out with George Washington and John Adams and see what that was like. I’ve always been fascinated with history.
CW
On a day off, what sort of things do you like to do?
TS
I’ll go hang out with my best friend, Abigail. Or I’ll go home and sit around, or I like going to the grocery store, or I’ll write people letters. I love to write letters.
CW
Are there any artists whose music you’ve been listening to a lot?
TS
I love Katy Perry, and I love Heidi Newfield. Just different songs for different moods.
CW
So how different are you as a young woman today than when this all began for you?
TS
My schedule has changed, and my age has changed. And those are the two things that have had the most effect on my life. But I hope that people who knew me then and know me now would think I haven’t changed much. I still drive the same car, still live in the same house, still live in the same neighborhood, still have the same best friend. I don’t think I’ve changed as a person.
CW
Every night before you go onstage, do you and your band have any special rituals you do?
TS
Sometimes we’ll have a dance party. But when we do our headlining show, we’ll stand in a circle, hold hands and say a prayer.

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