It's no secret Taylor Swift's boyfriends have inspired a song or two. But in a new interview with Pattie Boyd for Harper's Bazaar, the singer opened up about her songwriting process and the experience of having inspiration strike.
It all started when Boyd asked the Grammy winner if she can write a song on the spot based on a boyfriend's everyday interactions.
"There are definitely moments when it's like this cloud of an idea comes and just lands in front of your face, and you reach up and grab it," Swift replied. "A lot of songwriting is things you learn, structure, and cultivating that skill, and knowing how to craft a song. But there are mystical, magical moments, inexplicable moments when an idea that is fully formed just pops into your head."
Swift referred to this process as the "purest part" of her job.
"It can get complicated on every other level," she continued, "but the songwriting is still the same uncomplicated process it was when I was 12 years old writing songs in my room."
Still, Swift admitted there are some people in this world she just "couldn't write about"—even if she's spent a lot of time with these individuals.
"It's just that some people come into your life and they have this effect on you," she said.
Of course, Swift gives plenty of nods to her current boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, on her latest album, reputation—such as in "Delicate," "Gorgeous" and "Call It What You Want."
Like Swift, Boyd understands how people can influence a songwriter. After all, she's served as a muse to both The Beatles' George Harrison and later Eric Clapton. She even admitted Clapton's hit "Wonderful Tonight" was written after she couldn't decide what to wear to a party.
"I came downstairs with trepidation thinking [Eric] was going to be so angry that I'd taken far too long, and instead he said, ‘Listen, I've just written this song,'" Boyd recalled.
But, also like Swift, she's experienced the downsides of fame. Boyd recalled having a fan kick her and pull her hair after leaving a Beatles concert.
"That is my worst nightmare," Swift admitted. "You probably felt like, 'If you knew me and I knew you, you would not be pulling my hair in an alleyway and saying, ‘I hate you.'"
Both women were photographed by Alexi Lubomirski—the same photographer who shot Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement and wedding portraits.
To read more of their interview, check out the August issue of Harper's Bazaar.