Hello. We meet again.
(Except probably not because it’s probably weird that I’m in my twenties and writing posts to you and also I didn’t write this on Tumblr and I’m not in middle school, so once again I think I’ve found myself talking to the empty abyss of the interwebs.)
On the unlikely chance you read my previous open letter to you, you probably aren’t reading this one because you’ve likely been insulted by something I said before and won’t waste your time now. However! If you haven’t read it, and are reading this one, don’t go read that one. I know it’s tempting because now I’ve told you about it, but don’t. Okay, okay, fine, go ahead and read it, but just wait until I’ve made my case here. Maybe it won’t be as offensive then.
Okay, now that I’ve established I’m a crazy person, let me dive right in:
If you can’t tell, I’ve thrown all caution to the wayside. I am definitely a fan, as I think most of our generation of 20-somethings are. And though I don’t think I can truly consider myself a “Swiftie” (and I think many others would agree) I am still full of admiration for you. I am a fan not because of your music (though I do enjoy listening) but because of you as a person.
There are many, many faces and personalities in the limelight. And having lived in the land of Hollywood, though for a considerably short time, I’ve crossed paths with a surprising number of these personalities. They are not all pretty (physically or otherwise) and they are not all exceptionally noteworthy for any reason other than that they somehow lucked into achieving that certain level of fame and money that brings automatic admiration. You, however, have not only taken your creative and artistic career to a new level of entrepreneurship and business-savvy mogul-ness, but have also managed to become an infinite source of genuine kindness, love, and support to your fans and pretty much all people in general. And in a world full of judgement, hate, and desperate attempts at “other”ing, we all need a little more love. Thank you for showing that to us, and to the next generation.
I want to say I’m sorry for misunderstanding your fight against music streaming. I was aware that your purpose for taking your music off of Spotify was in protest for the lack of quality compensation for artists. Which I 100% support, no question. My argument was simply that most listeners cannot afford to buy every single song or album that they love to listen to, which is why streaming is such a break-through in distribution, not only for music fans, but for new musicians needing to grow a fan base. Music streaming allows listeners access to hundreds of thousands of artists that they might not have the means to discover otherwise.
Thanks to your open letter to Apple, though, I realize now that these two arguments do not necessarily correlate opposite sides. In fact, the only way these two arguments connect is through a mutual center: the streaming distributor. And I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that Apple has the means by which to get the streaming service right. It is up to the distributor to provide fair compensation to artists while also providing an affordable service to listeners so that both sides can enjoy the mutual benefits of beautiful art.
I love music. It speaks to me in ways that not even writing can. And I love discovering new artists and music, and becoming part of a fan base. Music streaming gives me the opportunity to learn about and support artists that I otherwise would not know, because I live on a very tight budget working towards my own career goals and dreams, just as you have. But I see now the opportunity for this distribution method to grow while still compensating artists fairly and not crushing consumers’ wallets.
So thank you for being awesome. I hope that one day we can be friends on a high-five basis.
P.S. My prayers are with you and your family. I hope that your mother is well. I know all too well the experience of a mother with cancer. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. Yet another reason to admire your strength.