The semester one graphic design students have compiled the best of their work from the first half of the school year for your viewing pleasure. Take a look at the video by following the link provided to see what some of Lake Forest’s most talented art students are capable of.
Rapper Migos, and DJ/producer Marshmello teamed up to shoot an action-packed music video for the song, “Danger,” one of many songs that has been released on the new album for Will Smith’s upcoming Netflix movie Bright. “Danger” is a hip-hop song with brass instruments and a slide bassline, which companies Migos’ gritty style with Marshmello’s hyper-saturated touch. According to Marshmello, the trio was able to record the vocals in one take.
In the climactic clip above, Migos and Marshmello stand in the middle of a nightclub, surrounded by neon lights and women. It provides footage from an excerpt of the movie where a cop duo of Will Smith’s character, Daryl Ward, who is human, and Joel Edgerton’s Nick Jakoby, who plays a Orc creature, lurk in a crowd in search of a powerful weapon. A pack of men begin opening fire on Ward and Jakoby, causing the pair to escape with the help of an elf, played by Lucy Fry. Migos continues to rap, while champagne glasses and mirrors shatter into pieces around him.
The entire album arrives December 15 which can be found here, and the film premieres on December 22. You can watch the trailer here. The album for the movie features collaborations from several popular artists: Camila Cabello and Grey, Ty Dolla Sign, Future, Meek Mill, YG, Snoop Dogg, Steve Aoki, Lil Uzi Vert, ASAP Rocky, Tom Morello, D.R.A.M, and Neil Young. It even features Sam Hunt, alt-J, Portugal, The Man, Bastille, Logic, and Machine Gun Kelly.
It definitely is a Christmas miracle hearing that the 45-year-old Eminem has made his mark once again. It looks like an elaborate ad campaign for a fake drug called Revival sparked that very thought. This campaign featured a website, commercial, and phone number, making this a difficult mystery to unravel.
In October, an Instagram photo was released by music manager Paul Rosenberg, which showed him holding Alabama rapper Yelawolf’s album, Trial By Fire. After overanalyzing the picture, you can spot that the window behind his hand, presents a huge billboard that appears to be this “so-called” drug Revival. There is a backwards “E” in the word “Revival” on the ad, which is Eminem’s signature logo.
The campaign said, “REVIVAL is proven to effectively treat people with Atrox Rhythmus,” and the next sentence went on to say–which is the most telling of his secret message– “If you’ve tried other treatments without getting the AR symptom relief you need, REVIVAL could be music to your ears.” This is not an actual condition, and it all fell together on November 28, when an Instagram video was surfaced by Dr. Dre with the caption: “Use as prescribed by your doctor. @eminem.” Thus, it was discovered that this was a fake advertisement that was part of a larger campaign to promote Eminem’s newest album, Revival.
After videos surfaced via Twitter and Instagram, Eminem confirmed that he’s set to release his new album Revival on December 15. It has been quite some time since Eminem has created amazing metaphors and punch lines that ascended him to unprecedented fame in the early 21st century. In fact, he hasn’t released an album since 2013’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2, and it also came to my surprise that he is creating a continuation of his previous albums. This album is a compilation of Eminem’s trilogy of albums such as his 2009’s Relapse and 2010’s Recovery.
On November 10, Eminem performed on Saturday Night Live his Beyonce collaboration “Walk On Water,” which was performed live at the MTV EMAs. He also performed his 1999 hit “Stan” and 2010’s “Love The Way You Lie.” Soon, we won’t be hearing his old, famous hits on repeat, but instead new, intense album full of emotion and purpose.
The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, this year’s frosh/soph play originally written by Don Zolidis, is a wild, fast-paced comedic show that compiles a combination of the popular childhood fables, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Lean Lisa, and The Devil’s Grandmother. It introduces a cast of enchanting characters, and a plot full of surprise twists, including lots of opportunity for audience participation.
This year’s student director, Isabell Andress, is poised for the play to open tonight, November 16, and run through the weekend. While this is some of the actors and actresses’ first performances, Andress is confident that the production will be a remarkable success considering all that she has experienced in pre-production and during dress rehearsals. Andress chatted with The Forest Scout to discuss all things TBGS and to provide some insight on the play, which, again, opens tonight at 7 pm in the DMT.
Why did you want to be involved in this production? What inspires you about directing?
“I acted sophomore year, and directed a show last year. It allows me to get to know people I wouldn’t truly connect with otherwise. I also get to watch actors grow as performers as well as people.”
Andress has always loved theatre, and believes that theatre is a way to become truly confident in yourself. Theatre, at least at the high school is seen as a bit exclusive, according to Andress, but it is actually very inclusive. She mentioned that the tech crew has lots of different backgrounds and they wouldn’t have a show without them. Everybody who wants a part in the frosh/soph play is treated to some sort of role.
What have you done for this show?
“I do a multitude of jobs for this show. As student director, I provide actors with character notes, such as their strengths and what they should work on.”
As I interviewed her, she was working diligently with a performer’s hair. That is another role she has taken on, which is transforming teenagers into mythical characters. Aside from that, she helps build and design the sets, as well as work with the tech crew.
What sort of person is going to love this show? Compare it to a contemporary movie or play that your average high schooler may have seen?
“If you don’t already know the show, it is merely for people who love a good comedy. It’s a great show for you if want to have a good laugh and get some pure entertainment. If you want to get away from work, come see the show.”
What’s challenging about directing and bringing this script to life?
“The one thing that is challenging as a director is the casting because, of course, I want everyone to be apart of this amazing crew. Besides that, there have not been other challenges. The cast has been awesome and are very invested in the play. I am very proud of every act.”
Who has the best costume?
“In my opinion, the crab people have the best costumes, as well as Cole Joseph and his many costume changes throughout a scene.”
From what I saw backstage, all of the costumes were very unique and well-done. Janice Pytel, who is the brains behind the costume design, deserves an extra special shoutout.
What’s going to surprise people about this show?
“The freshman and sophomore show may be seen as a misconception in the sense that these kids are less capable than the older actors. That certainly isn’t true. They are very funny and entertaining, and the people in the booth for tech are all freshman, so it’s equally as impressive.
Next, we had a chance to chat with some of the actors involved in the production. First, we discussed TBGS with Alec Boyd.
What is your character?
“The narrator alongside Marie Atendido.”
What do you love about your character?
“Playing the narrator holds a multitude of experiences, it allows me to jump into the scene and play different characters.”
Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?
“’My uncle defended OJ, you know what that means? I could kill anyone, and get away with it.”
Overall, what do you think is the most important scene in the play?
“The last scene is the most important because it recaps and summaries everything, but all in two minutes.”
From there, we met Cole Joseph, a freshman, who is taking on the role of multiple characters.
What is your character?
“I play a number of characters. I am the prince, Cinderella, the evil stepsister, the stepmother, a swarm of birds, an actor, a Scottish pirate named Mac, and a duke.”
What do you love about your characters?
“It is very fun playing a bunch of characters all at once. It ‘s very out there and not anything like you would expect.”
Overall, what do you think is the most important scene in the play?
“My favorite scene is Hansel and Gretel because I love the accents from the characters.”
We also had the chance to sit down with Pierce Docherty, also a freshman, who plays the Prince.
What is your character?
“In the first scene of Act 1, I play the Prince. In the first scene of Act 2, I play one of the dwarfs from Snow White.
What do you love about your characters?
“I love becoming this “pompous guy.” I also love being several characters as I transition from a dwarf to myself, a narrator, the magic mirror, and then back to a dwarf again.”
What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
“I love saying the line, “Quit wagging your tongue,” while I strangle Kailey Albus to death, who is turning from Snow White to Lean Lisa.”
What’s your favorite scene?
“As many people have already said, my favorite scene was when Cole plays everyone, and he’s running back and forth and doing so much.”
We also had the chance to sit down with a female character, freshman Kailey Albus.
What is your character?
What do you love about your character?
“She’s a hardcore feminist, but it’s lowkey.”
What’s your favorite scene?
“Again, when Cole Joseph is so many different characters.”
And from there, we had a chance to meet Marie Atendido, a sophomore.
What is your character?
“I am one of the narrators, alongside Alec.”
What do you love about your character?
“I loves that I get to play myself, or at least the ideal of myself. I can be outgoing, and put myself out there.”
What’s your favorite scene?
“I love the scene with Snow White because Kevin comes and whips me over his shoulder, and it’s also a big feminist scene.”
It’s been nearly a year since Kanye West has been in the spotlight. During his 2016 “Saint Pablo” tour, he performed in a few shows that ended in much controversy. In one of his earlier shows, he stopped his performance at a festival in New York when he was told that his wife, Kim Kardashian West, had been robbed at gunpoint in a hotel in Paris.
Soon after that, he was performing at a concert in Sacramento, California, where he announced that he had not voted, but he supported President Trump. He began to bash Jay-Z and Beyoncé, creating an uprising in the crowd that led to fans demanding refunds. West consciously said to the crowd, “I’m not always going to say things the perfect way, the right way. But I’m going to say how I feel.” He added, “Get ready to have a field day, press. Get ready, get ready. Because the show’s over.” That Sacramento concert was the last show before West suddenly cancelled the remaining dates of his “Saint Pablo” tour.
In November of 2016, West was hospitalized for more than a week after supposedly experiencing “temporary psychosis due to sleep deprivation and dehydration,” which led to his long break from live performing. A family insider even said he had difficulty identifying what was real, saying he was violent, but not towards people. He stayed at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, was released after eight days, and continued treatment as an outpatient.
On Saturday night, West finally stepped into the spotlight yet again to perform with Kid Cudi for the first time since 2016 at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. If you haven’t watched the videos, Kanye couldn’t stop beaming. During the concert, West and Kid Cudi performed “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt 1,” which is off Kanye’s 2016 The Life of Pablo album. This day not only marked Kanye’s return, but it indicated that the publicized beef between Cudi and Kanye has come to an end. Supposedly Kanye has been working on a new album, so Yeezy season may soon be upon us all.
The 2017 American Music Awards is set to broadcast live on Sunday, November 19 at 8.00-11.00 pm on ABC. The musical genres that are covered by the AMAs will be pop, alternative rock, rap, country, R&B, contemporary, latin, contemporary inspirational, EDM and soundtrack. It presents announcements for New Artist of the Year, Collaboration of the Year, Tour of the Year, Video of the Year, Favorite Song and Artist of the Year. This is a time to pay tribute towards today’s most influential and iconic artists and the awards show is seen in more than 200 countries around the world.
You may be wondering what stars will be leading this year’s nominee awards? Bruno Mars is at the top this year with eight nominations. The Chainsmokers, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and the Weeknd all lead with five nominations each. A newer, well-known vocalist, Halsey, is already on set practicing to perform her hit track, “Bad at Love.” She has been nominated for Favorite Pop Song, including “Despacito,” “Shape of You,” and “Closer.” Don’t forget to vote!
There are several other artists that I did not address, so feel free to click the link below to view the full nominee list. There are three ways you can vote for this year’s nominees: you can do it online at VoteAMAs.com, via Artist pages, and on Twitter.
Attached is the link for the AMA voting: http://www.billboard.com/amas
This week’s Eye for the Arts spotlight is on sophomore Lindley Wiesner, who recently was named a finalist for the Illinois Tollway Map Cover contest. Wiesner, one of three triplet Wiesner sisters in the sophomore class, is currently enrolled in Graphic Design 2 with Ms. Carolyn Bielski.
Last year, Wiesner took Graphic Design 1 and Art 1 to further develop her interest in creating art. According to her teacher, Ms. Carolyn Bielski, Wiesner “is one of the hardest workers I know. She is [in the art studio] early every morning doing everything from class projects to making buttons for the volleyball team moms. Everything she creates is beautiful.”
Clearly, Wiesner enjoys expressing herself through her artwork. Check out some of the photographs below to get a quick sample of the portfolio that Wiesner is developing–both in idea and practice–each day at LFHS. As featured below, Lindley delves in to all forms of art and medium. Showcased here are prints, patterns, and concert posters.
Will Johnson is well-known around Lake Forest as being an outstanding performer with a powerful voice. While enrolled at Lake Forest High School, he was a member of Foresters, Madrigals, and even performed several numbers for the annual Talent Show, including singing in the famous Thunder Road Band. I was able to talk to him and ask him some questions regarding his music major at Michigan State University in East Lansing and his day-to-day college life.
Currently, Johnson is a freshman enrolled at Michigan State. He began his undergraduate study taking mainly general education courses, but is also focusing on Music and Vocal Performance, his current major. Music and Vocal Performance is a basic performance degree and, in his opinion, isn’t as intense as the mainstream Bachelor of Arts programs. If you aren’t aware of the difference, the Bachelor of Arts is a liberal arts program that provides students with artistic training and preparation within a strenuous musical field. The Bachelor of Music degree in Music and Vocal performance is based on performance and music education; it offers many performance opportunities to students.
Currently, he is taking eight classes; six of these classes are music-related. He is in choir, studio class, ear training, piano instruction class, music theory class, and English diction class. He is also taking voice lessons on the side. He informed me that his English diction class is required to be taken each semester. When he mentioned his about piano class, I was surprised to hear that this is a mandatory class. He told me that he has never taken piano lessons before, and he has always done it by ear. Piano is actually quite difficult for him, but is crucial to learn when getting involved in a music career. This is currently the only instrument that he is playing due to his busy schedule.
For his major, he is expected and required to perform. So far, he has only sang for the faculty and some students, but other than that hasn’t really had an official performance. He does have one for his English diction class next week and is practicing for his recital for voice lessons and choir performances at the end of the first semester. After hearing about all his courses and performances, it sounded like a lot, but he ensured me that he still feels like he is able to enjoy the process.
In terms of class size, there are around forty students in his Music Theory class and others are around ten students. With smaller class sizes, it allows students to be able to step out of their comfort zone and form closer relationships with their instructor. In these cases, he usually sings classical music; he starts out with art songs early in his undergrad and transforms into arias from operas. One of his personal favorites is Old English musical theatre music.
Being a previous member of Bel Cantos and current member of Madrigals myself, I was eager to hear if there are any acapella groups around campus. To my surprise, he said there are a bunch of acapella groups, and they consist of all girl or all boy groups. He even added that there is some beat boxing that goes down. Yet,, he isn’t currently involved and doesn’t intend on joining any time soon.
Finally, we got down to the big question: does he see himself pursuing music after college? “Music has always been his passion,” he said, “and it’s definitely a serious option for me.” But it still seems too early to tell if Johnson will be singing professionally in four years time.. If he were to go into music, ideally, he would want to be a recording artist or perform in a more modern aspect. Still, he also thinks it would be fun to go on tour with a more contemporary group.
Lastly, he shared some of the struggles that come along with being a performer. As a performer myself, I know that it requires lots of time and dedication, as does everything. That said, being a performer in the music industry can be quite competitive, but for a guy like Lake Forest’s Will Johnson, who has been performing for years, a career blossoms along with the right attitude.
The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business (Belmont University, Nashville)
Belmont University has prime access to music. It hosts over 80 industry guests for seminars and workshops each semester. Students have the opportunity to work events like the Grammy Awards, Sundance Film Festival, CMA Awards, and several others. It holds impressive scholars, authors, producers and engineers, songwriters, and experts who have years of experience in all aspects of music, recording, and entertainment industries. It affords students with coast-to-coast opportunities and three distinguished recording studios. It offers multiple unique, cutting-edge programs in music business, audio, engineering technology, entertainment industry studies, motion pictures, and songwriting.
Berklee College of Music (Boston, Mass,)
The Berklee College of Music holds studies in jazz, rock, electric guitar, film scoring, songwriting, turntables, electronic production, and several other fields of study. The Berklee Popular Music Institute allows student artists to perform at music festivals, including Outside Lands and Lollapalooza. Paul Wachter lets students work with Wachter in Los Angeles. Located in Valencia, Spain, the Berklee campus offers a master’s degree in global entertainment and music business. In addition, the Berklee Empowerment Initiate strives to create more pathways for young women to form careers in the music industry.
Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.)
Hofstra University just started Mane Records, a student-run label that allows participants to experience New York’s recording studios. They will be able to produce, promote, and distribute music with the help of industry professionals. It offers panels on publishing, live music, record labels, songwriting, and studio production.
Los Angeles College of Music (Pasadena, California)
LACMA’s campus in Pasadena, California has access to the city’s music and film industries. Steve Porcaro and film composer James Newton Howard, who won a 2009 Grammy Award for The Dark Knight, came to the campus recently to have conversations with students. The school has also launched a student-run label, 370 Music Group, which plans to help young artists gain understanding in the music market.
Los Angeles Film School (Los Angeles, California)
LAFS’s campus offers bachelors of science degrees in music production, recording arts, entertainment business, animation, graphic design, and film. The popular courses include sequencing technologies, music arrangement, and business management. Something that’s very interesting is the school is based in the historic RCA Building on Sunset Boulevard, which holds a studio where Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, and Henry Mancini once recorded.
Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
Middle Tennessee State University recently created a new bachelor’s degree in audio production. It also co-sponsored the first international conference on the music of Prince.
Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music (New York University Tisch School of the Arts, New York)
This university offers a study abroad program in Berlin which enhances the institute’s pop music curriculum.
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development (New York University, New York)
Steinhardt’s music business program has the performance training of a conservatory with industry perspective through courses at NYU’s Stern School of Business. It has a conference that explores the intersection of music, tech, entertainment, and real estate. NYU’s location provides a selection of New York internships, and most students go on music-related studies abroad.
Pepperdine University (Malibu, California)
The university’s Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture seeks to provide students with new entertainment industry leaders that teach courses in law, business, and the creative arts. Pepperdine’s school of law is introducing a new masters of law degree in entertainment, media, and sports.
Bandier Program for Music and the Entertainment Industries (Syracuse University)
The Bandier Program teaches the business of music, media, marketing, and entrepreneurship including a strong liberal arts background. It focuses on music as it functions in all media, most commonly new media. There is study abroad in London, England, and an optional semester in Los Angeles.
It’s been three years since music fans have heard a new soulful album from Sam Smith. Even since his Oscar win, Smith has been relatively quiet regarding his music. Lately, however, Sam Smith released a video for his new single “Too Good at Goodbyes,” which is the singer’s first new song since his 2015 Oscars win for best original song, “Writing’s On the Wall.” This is the first sample of his upcoming second LP, following his multi-platinum 2014 debut, In the Lonely Hour. Since early June, Smith has been sharing images of himself at the studio and at some video shoots. There have also been rumors that he’s been collaborating with co-writer Jimmy Mapes, Clean Bandit, Timbaland, and Adam Lambert.
When prompted, he opened up and revealed that the song is about a past relationship he was in. He said there are four songs that are about him, but he mostly focused on the people in his life and what they have gone through. He has not revealed the album’s release date, but it is said to be realized before Christmas. This album contains stories from a particularly dark period in Smith’s life, so it holds many different perspectives and is chock-full of emotion. If you’ve listened to Smith’s music before, you probably take him as having intense music. This album is supposed to be even more emotionally heavy than his previous albums.
In a 2016 interview with The Associated Press, Smith said, “It’s really deep stuff that’s coming out. I’m putting my heart even more out on the line. I’m going even deeper. I can’t believe I’m even doing it, but I’m going even deeper.” Clearly, Sam Smith is stepping up his game, and plans to give us more substance than ever before. Now we can just enjoy the one song that we have now and wait to hear the other stories that he has in store for us.
We are almost a month into school and I know, like many of you, I have been getting tired and distracted. Throughout my junior year of high school, I finally found a way to improve my focusing skills and lower my stress: the help of music meditation. Music mediation itself trains our brains, and it increases signaling connections in the brain. When I grew more consistent with it, I found that it made music sound better. It improved my focus when listening to music; moreover, it helped me to truly enjoy and experience whatever I was listening to. In addition, I noticed my sleep habits improving and my stress levels were decreasing.
If you’re wondering what I listen to, it’s the Calm App. It’s full of all sorts of meditations, sleep stories, and different nature sounds. The meditation voice is Tamara Levitt and she has more of a sing-songy type voice. Within this app, there are body scan and walking meditations, daily calm sessions, and even a meditation calendar to plan your weekly sessions. If you really enjoy it, you can pay $12.99 a month to get premium features, but I personally don’t think it’s worth it. If you’re interested, you would get meditations that have topics ranging from choice, resilience, gratitude, impermanence, and letting go. More general topics include stress, forgiveness, happiness, etc.
There are several other ways to meditate with music as well. In my opinion, it’s simply going to the beach to do homework and listening to the waves. Or doing work in your backyard to feel the stillness of the afternoon air, hear the birds chirping, and the cars passing. These are a couple of simple things that keep me inspired and refreshed.
Before reading Lily Gould’s op-ed on the transformation of Taylor Swift, be sure to watch the embedded video, her newest release, “Look What You Made Me Do.”
If you are a fellow Taylor Swift fan, you may be confused as to why she hasn’t been in the news recently. However, all of the pieces fell together after her song release, “Look What You Made Me Do.” If you have been looking in on Taylor’s whereabouts, you may have realized that she has been M.I.A for a while now. For someone who would post cute candids with her friends on a regular basis, that’s a significant change. Some thought that she could be hidden away either writing or recording. Yet, all of the confusion became even more prevalent when her 102 million Instagram followers found that she had deleted all of her photos. On August 21, she posted a short video of, oddly enough, a black screen with a snake. She proceeded to post more of these videos, but finally posted a picture labeled, “First Single Out Tomorrow Night.” The posts that followed were focused directly on her new album, Reputation, which is set to release on November 10.
The first premiere of her newest song was on a Sunday night at MTV’s Video Music Awards, and it certainly is a lot to take in on your first watch. It is chock full of different sorts of controversy, hidden references, and, again, lots of snakes. In the first scene, she transforms into a zombie in a graveyard. The tombstone on the left side holds her song-writing pseudonym, Nils Sjoberg, which she used to ghost write a song, “This Is What You Came For,” about her boyfriend Chris Harris last year. In my opinion, this symbolizes how she is going to take credit for everything she does from here on out. She will own it and not let anyone take credit for her accomplishments and successes. In addition to that, her zombie outfit symbolizes how 1989 Taylor is dead because it was what she wore in her video “Out of the Woods.” The graveyard scene, loaded with bizarre imagery and metaphor, ends when she is lying in the graveyard wearing her 2014 Met Gala dress, representing the death of the 1989 era.
The next scene transitions into a bathtub full of sparkling jewelry. To the right of the tub, there lays a $1 bill. To me, it is clear that this moment is representing symbolism on how she was rewarded for her recent trial against Radio DJ, who was accused of gropping her at the 2013 meet and greet. This scene also has been rumored to have a political twist. In fact, people have said that this is a visual representation of Melania Trump, and how she is a hidden Trump supporter.
In the third scene, Swift is sitting in a throne with a phrase from Julius Caesar which says, “Et tu Brute.” This translates to “Even you, Brutus?” the famous line that Caesar uttered before being slain by his friend. If you are unaware of the story, Brutus betrays Caesar. This is where the shade is really revealed; this could be towards Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, or Katy Perry.
From there, the video transitions into snakes and everything that they unravel about Taylor Swift’s oldest and most recent drama. You can see them used as her accessories and even one pouring her tea. Taylor is dressed in a Balmain gown, which is popular in the Kardashian and Jenner family. If you are a follower of Kendall Jenner, who’s half sisters with Kim Kardashian, she posted an Instagram a couple of days after the phone conversation with Taylor and Kanye that was made public. The picture shows Kendall in an identical stance and outfit as Swift. Not to mention they are both sipping tea. The popular term, “spilling tea” has become widely used to refer to spreading gossip, and that is exactly what they are doing.
The fifth scene is Swift in a car crash where she crashed her car into a light pole. This anecdote holds meaningful symbolism as she is holding a Grammy, but all the media cares about is the crash. There is no one shown helping her or seeming to care about her wellbeing. This is clearly a bash to the social media world and how their top priorities are towards getting the most drama-filled, headline-grabbing stories instead of thinking about the effects it may have on the celebrity.
The video then shifts into a cage where she disses Katy Perry by showing a rodent while singing, “locked me out and threw a feast.” Katy Perry recently released a song called, “Bon Appetit,” and this brief moment is in direct reference to that single. The next reveals Swift with several people in catsuits, and I found this to be directed towards Spotify because it shows them stealing Steam Co. Swift had stopped selling her music to Spotify in order to give repayments to other artists. However, she was bashed for this because others believed that she just wanted more money.
The following scene features Swift, the leader of these robotic dolls. These dolls are meant to represent female celebrities, a representation of her best friends. Many people believe that these friendships are fake, and this is Swift shutting the stereotypes down.
All that said, Swift couldn’t make a video without referencing an ex-boyfriend. In one scene, she has a row of eight boyfriends; the famous, high-profile boyfriends include Hiddleston, Calvin Harris, Harry Styles, Conor Kennedy, John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor Lautner, and Joe Jonas. Swift’s men rip off their shirts to reveal the words, “I Heart TS.” Once she snapped her fingers before the T-shirt was revealed, I automatically knew what she was trying to get across. We all know Taylor has been labeled as boy crazy, and this is a representation of people thinking she “brainwashed” her ex-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston and made him wear it.
The next and almost final scene is what pieces it all together. There is a mountain of old Taylor Swift’s including the classic high-schooler from the “You Belong With Me” music video, the dress she wore to the VMA’s when the incident with Kanye West happened, the innocent one wearing pajamas, and the swan costume from the “Shake it Off” video. They all fight to reach the top, but the new Taylor remains at the very top wearing her “Rep” shirt for her new album. She created all the different archetypes for each era, but her individuality is something that isn’t portrayed fully on the media and she is forced into the background. Still, she wants to show that she is the one and only Swift, and that she should not be defined as these characters.
Finally, a total of fifteen old Swift’s come together–including the “new” Taylor–and stand in front of a plane marked, “Reputation.” My personal favorite part of the video is when one Swift holds up her phone and announces she’s “getting receipts” and she will “edit them” too. This is an open reference to Swift’s belief that Kim Kardashian edited that ruthless audio of her. And last but not least, 2009 VMAs Swift says she would “very much like to be excluded from this narrative.”
It is difficult to understand what this all means: Is this just a way to promote herself and get more money? That may be partially true, but I do know that she is getting a lot of publicity and attention from this pseudo reference circus. Despite those factors, the one major thing she got was finally getting her voice out there.
From a fan’s perspective, all I know is that the old Taylor’s have expired, and a new Taylor has been born. We just have to wait and see what her future as an artist holds.