Damon Albarn, best known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, instrumentalist and primary songwriter of the cartoon band Gorillaz, told the Los Angeles Times in a new interview his opinions on today’s chart-topping artists.
Interviewer Mikael Wood asked Albarn, 53, if he thinks “a lot of modern musicians are relying on sound and attitude,” to which he replied shortly, “Name me someone who’s not.” In an attempt to give an example of “who’s not,” Wood offered Taylor Swift as an “excellent songwriter” even though she may not have been Albarn’s “taste.” Albarn incorrectly said, “She doesn’t write her own songs.”
When told that Swift does write her own music and co-writes some of them, Albarn was quick to shut it down. “That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is,” the “Feel Good Inc.” singer explained. “Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great. And some of the greatest singers — I mean, Ella Fitzgerald never wrote a song in her life. When I sing, I have to close my eyes and just be in there. I suppose I’m a traditionalist in that sense.” Albarn is also in a band called Blur, whose most well-known song is “Song 2.”
There is at least one modern pop star who Albarn really respects. “A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother,” Albarn continued. “I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional.”
Swift, 32, caught wind of the interview on Twitter and called out the British musician. “@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging,” Swift wrote. “You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really f—ed up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.”
@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW. https://t.co/t6GyXBU2Jd— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) January 24, 2022
“PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering -_-,” Swift added.
PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering 😑— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) January 24, 2022
See what the Swifties had to say below.