Shake it off by Taylor Swift
Probably the coolest beat of 2014 was the lead single ‘Shake it off’ by Taylor Swift, from her album 1989. And still is! You have to admit it; you can dance to it, sing along with it, play it at parties, relate to it and enjoy it in every possible situation. And the beat just makes you want to dance to it and cheers you up, no matter how sad you are.
The song was written by Taylor herself, Max Martin and Shellback, and produced by the latter, under the label Big Machine. It premiered during a Yahoo! Live Stream, and the music video had been released on the same day; 18th August, 2014.
The message behind the song can easily be understood: it’s okay to not fit in. “The message in the song is a problem I think we all deal with, an issue we deal with on a daily basis. We don’t live just in a celebrity take-down culture, we live in a take-down culture,” says Taylor, “People will find anything about you and twist it to where it’s weird and wrong or annoying or strange or bad. You have to not only live your life in spite of people who don’t understand you, you have to have more fun than they do.” So, Taylor learnt to laugh it off, to make a joke out of all the hate and simply shake it off. She mentions in her interview for The Rolling Stone, “I’ve had every part of my life dissected—my choices, my actions, my words, my body, my style, my music. When you live your life under that kind of scrutiny, you can either let it break you, or you can get really good at dodging punches. And when one lands, you know how to deal with it. And I guess the way that I deal with it is to shake it off.”
Taylor wrote a similar song in 2010, called ‘Mean’, addressing her bullies and detractors, under the category of ‘haters’, but “from a more victimized perspective” as Taylor mentions. “But in the last few years I’ve gotten better at just kind of laughing off things that absolutely have no bearing on my real life. I think it’s important to be self-aware about what people are saying about you, but even more so, be very aware of who you actually are, and to have that be the main priority.”
The music video only adds more emphasis and deeper meaning to her message. The catchy and poppy song is played while Taylor dances among different groups of professional dancers. Taylor definitely did pop out from the dancers. There is ballet, hip hop, modern dancing, finger tutting, ribbon dancing, even twerking. Taylor’s dance was mixed up, which makes the message clearer. In the end, she dances with a group of fans, who she says are the ones she fits in with.
The song has been Number One on Billboard and iTunes, and nominated for Favorite Song in the People’s Choice Awards 2015, and for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for the Grammy Awards 2015. It produced first week digital sales of 544,000 units for the chart issue dated September 6, 2014, the largest debut sales week for a single of 2014.
Shake it off is a great song. All the success Taylor is getting for it is only inevitable.