This is a real he said, she said.
Scooter Braun is sharing his side of the story in the saga of his and Taylor Swift’s ongoing beef ever since Braun became the owner of all her masters in a major business deal. If you’re a Swiftie, you already know the painstaking measures Swift has taken to regain control of her masters, and, ultimately, she re-recorded her earliest albums to skirt the issue altogether. She’s been incredibly vocal about the problem, while Braun, the man who bought them in 2019 and sold them a year later, has remained silent... until now. In a new interview, the music mogul said he did try to tell Swift’s masters back to her.
Braun acquired Swift’s masters as part of his company, Ithaca Holdings, 2019 purchase of her former label, Big Machine Records. With that acquisition, came loads of drama. Before long, Braun was wrapped up in the internet debacle of the decade after Swift accused him of not giving her a real chance to buy back her masters unless she signed an “ironclad NDA” and accused him of “bullying.” Braun, however, doesn’t feel the same about the situation.
“I regret [it] and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal,” Braun told Variety in a June 23 interview. “All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual. I don’t know what story she was told... I asked for her to sit down with me several times, but she refused. I offered to sell her the catalog back and went under NDA, but her team refused. It all seems very unfortunate.”
Ultimately, Braun wound up selling Swift’s masters to an investment fund called Shamrock in November 2020. At the time, Swift shared a statement reiterating the fact she had tried to buy them back ahead of the re-sale. "I wanted to check in and update you guys," she wrote in a Nov. 16 tweet. "As you know, for the past year I've been actively trying to regain ownership of my master recordings. With that goal in mind, my team attempted to enter negotiations with Scooter Braun.”
In the end, Braun didn’t like being labeled a bully. “I’m firmly against anyone ever being bullied. I always try to lead with appreciation and understanding,” he said. “The one thing I’m proudest of in that moment was that my artists and team stood by me. They know my character and my truth. That meant a lot to me. In the long run, I’m happy for my life’s work to be the legacy I leave behind.”
It doesn’t look like Swift and Braun will be patching things up anytime soon. After all, Swifties are convinced Tay announced the re-recording of her Red album on Braun’s birthday just to spite him. Still — Braun insisted he wishes the pop star well.
“She and I only met briefly three or four times in the past, and all our interactions were really friendly and kind,” he told Variety. “I find her to be an incredibly talented artist and wish her nothing but the best.”
Braun’s impressive roster of artists includes the likes of Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, and more, but it’s doubtful Swift will ever be included in that list. Their spat has turned into a classic case of he said, she said, and it’s far from being resolved.