Joe Alwyn Talks Working on Music With Taylor Swift
Joe Alwyn on Working on Music With Taylor Swift: "It Was Fun to Do It Together"
The always private Joe Alwyn had a rewarding lockdown with his girlfriend (or fiancée?), Taylor Swift, to say the least. While the 31-year-old actor/songwriter rarely discusses his relationship with one of the world's most famous pop stars, it seems he's not opposed to sharing a bit of insight into their creative process.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the "Conversations With Friends" star revealed that scoring a Grammy for Swift's "Folklore" album was a "surreal bonus of lockdown." According to Alwyn, his contributions to "Folklore" — which included cowriting "Betty" and "Exile" using the pseudonym William Bowery — were an organic part of the couple having more free time on their hands during the 2020 lockdown.
"It wasn't like, 'It's five o'clock, it's time to try and write a song together,'" he told the publication. "It came about from messing around on a piano, and singing badly, then being overheard, and being, like, 'Let's see what happens if we get to the end of it together.' I mean, fun is such a stupid word, but it was a lot of fun. And it was never a work thing, or a 'Let's try and do this because we're going to put this out' thing. It was just like baking sourdough in lockdown."
The main difference is instead of making bread, the couple ended up with a Grammy award-winning album on their hands. In a May GQ interview, Alwyn explained why he chose to use a mysterious pseudonym on "Folklore" and its follow-up, "Evermore." "The idea was that people would just listen to the music rather than focus on the fact that we wrote it together," he said. The actor doesn't have any future plans to write any more Grammy-winning hits, but he is grateful for the experience he shared with Swift. "It was fun to do it together, and I was proud of it. It was nice getting such a positive reception," he added.
Swift previously opened up about collaborating with Alwyn in her Disney+ special, "Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions." While Alwyn downplays his contributions in his interview, Swift is quick to praise her boyfriend for helping her bring "Folklore" to life.
In the special, she tells her other "Folklore" collaborators Jack Antonoff and the National's Aaron Dessner that the actor "plays piano beautifully, and he's always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things." That includes the piano portion of "Exile." Additionally, she credits him for coming up with the chorus to "Betty," which led to them collaborating on the rest of the song. "I just heard Joe singing the entire full-formed chorus of "Betty" from another room. And I was just like, 'Hello,'" she said in the special. "It was a step that I would never have taken, because why would we have ever written a song together?"
Thanks to Alwyn's penchant for singing around the house, "Betty" became a reality, and he and Swift became collaborators as well as romantic partners. But while they've finally started opening up about working together, don't expect them to share insights into their private lives anytime soon. As Alwyn told The Guardian of his relationship with Swift, "It's just not for other people. And I don't say that with aggression."