Taylor Swift hopped into a New York City cab and rode down the Great White Way, hanging out the window and belting out a song to the tune of the Broadway classic 'Tonight' from 'West Side Story.' The cab was a fake, Broadway was actually a Nashville studio, and the song is part of a promo clip for the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards. Taylor is nominated for Best Female Video for 'You Belong with Me,' and says she loved revisiting her musical-theater roots with that performance.

"I grew up in Pennsylvania and the first couple of times I went to New York, I was auditioning for Broadway and Off-Broadway plays," the singer-songwriter tells MTV. "My first ventures into performing were trying out for theater and Broadway, and New York is where you go for that. I used to go to voice lessons every single week in New York City when I was 9, 10 and 11. New York has been one of my favorite places for a long time and every time I go back there, I find something new that I love."

One thing she may be hoping to find while in New York is just the right outfit to wear on the awards show. Taylor admits she hasn't found anything to wear yet and says she just wants to make sure her first appearance on the VMA's is a fashion success. She also reveals that there's one VMA regular whose fashion sense has caught her eye.

"I think Rihanna has always been amazing at the VMAs," Taylor tells PEOPLE. "Everything that she's decided to do as far as fashion on the red carpet, she takes chances. I think with the VMAs it's all about color and being risky."

Also joining Taylor for the special version of 'Tonight' are Cobra Starship, Katy Perry, Ne-Yo, and awards-show host Russell Brand.

The MTV Video Music Awards will air Sept. 13 at 9:00 PM ET.