Scooter Braun has shared regrets over how he handled the sale of Taylor Swift‘s master recordings.
Back in 2019, Swift confirmed her plans to re-record songs from her first six records in a bid to take control over her music once again after music manager Braun and his media holding company, Ithaca Holdings LLC, acquired Swift’s old label, Big Machine Label Group, back in June 2019.
The story then hit headlines again in late 2020 after Swift confirmed that the ownership of her back catalogue has changed hands again for the second time within two years.
After news broke of Braun selling the rights to Swift’s music to the private equity company Shamrock Holdings in a $300million (£230m), the singer shared a statement in which she said that the master recordings “were not for sale to me”.
“This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge,” Swift said. “The letter told me that they wanted to reach out before the sale to let me know, but that Scooter Braun had required that they make no contact with me or my team, or the deal would be off.” Swift’s statement claims that Braun will continue to profit from her catalogue “for many years”.
Speaking this week on NPR show The Limits With Jay Williams, Braun was asked about the situation and whether he had any regrets about how he handled the deal.
“When you bought the rights to Taylor Swift’s masters, it turned into a really big thing,” Williams said, adding: “If you could go back in time… Would you have handled it differently?”
Braun then responded: “Yes, I would’ve. I learned an important lesson from that. I think a lot of things got lost in translation. I think that when you have a conflict with someone, it’s very hard to resolve it if you’re not willing to have a conversation.
“So the regret I have there is that I made the assumption that everyone, once the deal was done, was going to have a conversation with me, see my intent, see my character, and say ‘Great, let’s be in business together.’ I made that assumption with people that I didn’t know, and I learned… that I can never make that assumption again.
He added: “In any conflict, you can say, ‘I didn’t do anything, It’s their fault!’. And you could be right, you could be justified. You could say, ‘This is unfair, I’m being treated unfairly,’ or you can say, ‘OK, I’m being treated unfairly. I don’t like how this is feeling. I can’t fix this, so how am I going to look at it and learn from it?’
“I didn’t appreciate how that all went down. I thought it was unfair. But I also understand, from the other side, they probably felt it was unfair, too. So I choose to look at it as a learning lesson, a growing lesson, and I wish everyone involved well. And I’m rooting for everyone to win because I don’t believe in rooting for people to lose.”
So far in her re-recording project, Swift has released full albums ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ and ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ with a host of outtakes and unreleased songs attached, while also sharing a re-recorded version of ‘1989’ track ‘Wildest’s Dreams’ as part of a trailer for DreamWorks film Spirit Untamed.
Alongside the continuation of the re-recording project, Swift will also release 10th studio album ‘Midnights’ on October 21, which was announced during a surprise appearance from the singer at the MTV VMAs last month.
Swift detailed ‘Midnights’ in the early hours of August 29, after making a surprise announcement at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards less than an hour earlier. While accepting the second of three awards she bagged on the night – Video of the Year for ‘All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)’ – Swift revealed: “My brand new album comes out October 21. I will tell you more at midnight.”