-- Taylor Swift today released her first-ever pop album, “1989,” and said the move away from country felt “most authentic” for her.
“I think you have to stay true to who you are [and], at the same, time challenge who you are to explore all the different aspects of what you can create,” Swift said today on “Good Morning America.”
“I could have made ‘Red’ twice. I could have done the same thing over again but, instead, I decided to go in a completely different direction, and I’m so happy that I did because the fans are truly going to get a new album,” Swift said. “This felt like the most authentic thing for me to follow because I’ve been playing around with pop sensibilities with my writing for the last couple of years and I just really wanted to go for it this time.”
The album was released to positive reviews, which Swift, 24, described as “electric” for her.
“I feel so without a doubt [that] this is the best thing I’ve done -- so to have people able to finally have it now and to have the fans understand what I’ve been working on for two years, it’s just the most amazing feeling,” she said.
Swift paid particular attention to her fans even before the album was released, inviting groups of them into her homes across the country for secret listening sessions.
“It was such a bonding experience,” Swift said. “The coolest thing is these fans heard the album a month ahead of time and then didn’t leak anything. They didn’t tell any secrets. It was so amazing.”
Tune into “Good Morning America” on Thursday, Oct. 30, beginning at 7 a.m., EST, to watch Taylor Swift perform live in Times Square.
"I’m so proud of them and that pride is an amazing feeling because I trust them, I really do," Swift said of her fans. "I think they’re good people. I think just as a group. It’s really awesome."
Swift will hold another secret listening session for fans tonight on iHeartRadio that will feature what she described as a “very special different twist."
The Nashville-based Swift moved to New York City last spring. The singer included a tribute to the city, "Welcome to New York," as the first song on “1989.”
“New York was a huge landscape for what became this album and it’s affected my life in ways I am not even aware of yet fully,” Swift said.
Swift was recently named "Global Welcome Ambassador" for New York City tourism, a title that Swift said she believes came from her passion for everything in her life, including the place she calls home.
“I’m still learning but I’m so enthusiastic about this city that I feel like when I love something, I’m very vocal about it,” Swift said. “I just go around going like, ‘Everybody, New York is amazing.’ So I think they just picked up on that and they gave me, like, a title.”
Swift will become even more of a part of New York City this New Year’s when she participates in a New York City classic, performing on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015" in Times Square before the ball drops.
“I’m so excited,” Swift said of joining the program, which airs live Dec. 31, starting at 8 p.m., EST on ABC. “It’s going to be so great to be back here for New Year’s.”