Taylor Looks to Keith Urban, John Mayer for Inspiration
Taylor Swift only recently left her teenage years behind, and the country superstar is already hard at work on her third studio album. In spite of her skyrocketing career -- including recently being named the top-selling digital artist in music history, Taylor says her upcoming CD proves she is still evolving as an artist. And she's still learning from her musical mentors.
"I'm always going to love Keith Urban," she tells Rolling Stone. "I'm always going to love John Mayer. I'm always going to love people like that, who I feel are truly authentic. That's not to say that my music will ever sound like theirs, but I'm inspired by people who I feel know exactly who they are, and that inspires me to continue to figure out and inform who I am as an artist."
Taylor's beloved John Mayer is in Nashville this week, to perform with Keith Urban on 'CMT Crossroads.' Tabloids are all abuzz with a reported spotting of Taylor and John at dinner together on Sunday night. The two have been friends for a while and even recorded a duet together on John's latest album.
Taylor insists that even though she is country's reigning superstar right now -- taking home both the CMA and American Music Award for Favorite Female Country Artist, it's perfectly normal for her to embrace other styles of music.
"I'm inspired by all kinds of different sounds, and I don't think I'd ever be someone who would say, 'I will never make a song that sounds a certain way, I will never branch outside of genres,' because I think genres are unnecessary walls," Taylor insists. "I've been lucky to have experienced that firsthand, with people taking down those walls for me little by little. I've been lucky that country radio and pop radio have both been so wonderful to me. But when I hear a great song, I can't help but be inspired by it, regardless of whatever genre that song falls under."
Nominated for a whopping eight Grammy awards this Sunday (Jan. 31) -- second only to Beyonce in number of nods this year, Taylor has surprisingly low expectations for music's biggest night. "I predict that I will be there," she says. "I'm planning on performing, and that's really all that I can predict. You never know what's going to happen. I like being nominated for eight, I'm not going to lie. I like that feeling. It makes me smile. All I know is that I'm a really, really happy person, thinking about being nominated for eight of them, and I think that's a gift in itself, so we'll see what happens in L.A."
The next leg of Taylor's record-breaking 'Fearless' tour kicks off Feb. 4, with opening acts Kellie Pickler and Gloriana. She is also getting ready for her first major film role, when 'Valentine's Day' opens in theaters Feb. 12.