The Fearless Taylor Swift
18-year-old country-music sensation raps with Kid Reporter
Taylor Swift with Kid Reporter Sydney Rieckhoff. (Photo courtesy Sydney Rieckhoff)
I was a little bit scared as I walked up the steps of country-music star Taylor Swift's tour bus. I worked on getting this interview for more than six months, and the time had finally arrived.
Her bus was fancy—it had leather furniture, a fireplace, and it smelled like perfume. Taylor invited me to sit right next to her on her couch. Her mom was there too.
For a country-music superstar, Taylor Swift is very down-to-earth. I found her to be happy, excited, and very friendly.
I asked her how she liked being famous, and she said she doesn't really look at herself as being famous, but it is a lot different going to the mall these days. On tour, Swift likes to go to malls, shop and hang out with her mom. Taylor writes songs, letters to friends, and in her journal. When Taylor was growing up, she enjoyed reading journals of people who lived in the Civil War era. Now, she reads a lot of scripts and interview questions. Everything is in preparation for her job.
"I knew I wanted to do music when I was a little baby, I knew that music was what fascinated me," Taylor said. "I would go to the Disney movies and I would hear a song once and know all the words."
Swift plays guitar and piano. She gets anxious before a show, especially when it's sold out, like the one in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where my mom and I watched her perform. It was the first show in the U.S. Cellular Center after the historic floods of June 2008. She touched the hearts of Cedar Rapids by donating $100,000 to local flood-relief efforts and flashing pictures from the flood on the large screens that were on the stage.
The concert was so exciting, especially since we were in the front row. We got our tickets before my interview came through. My mom waited in line with my aunt at 5 a.m. to be sure we'd get good seats. During the show, Taylor reached down, handed me a bracelet, and smiled at me.
During the concert, Taylor performed songs from her new album, Fearless, which is released November 11. The new songs sounded great. "Change" was my favorite. It's about things happening to you that you can't control and you pick yourself up and you keep going. "This song's for you Cedar Rapids," Swift said. The crowd went crazy like nothing I've seen before.
Taylor owned the stage with her confidence, strength, and energy. Her stage presence is amazing for an 18-year-old girl, and she is a great role model for all kids.
Taylor's advice for Scholastic News readers is to follow your dreams.
"Never stop," Taylor said. "If you are lucky enough to find something that you love, and you have a shot at being good at it, don't stop, don't put it down. I think that for me, I had to give a lot of stuff up in order to choose music. I didn't go to parties on Friday nights, but I sang in karaoke bars and festivals and fairs when I was 13. It's like there's give and there's take and it's not always going to be easy but if you stick with it, it will be worth it!"