Posts Tagged ‘taylor swift’

Songwriting and Publishing: Chorus Crisis

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

Chorus Crisis

Personally, the most challenging part about writing a song is figuring out the chorus. It strikes me as difficult because it’s the climax of the song. Remember the plot diagrams that teachers used to show us in our English classes growing up? I’ve come to realize a song is somewhat like that. The rising and falling actions reflect the verses and bridge, and the climax is the chorus. There’s always a build-up to the chorus which is why there is so much pressure to make it catchy or unique because it’s what some listeners resonate with the most. I find a chorus hard to write or even compose because it needs a wow factor to stick in the audience’s brain. When writing this song’s chorus, I tried so many chord progressions, but I feel like I’ve hit a wall lyrically and melodically. With frustration at my fingertips, I try to not give into that energy and force myself to remold that into inspiration, so I turn to the artists that have influenced me most. 

My favorite Taylor Swift song is “Clean” from her fifth studio album, 1989. I absolutely love that song because, to me, it represents hope and the ability to rebuild yourself from a tumultuously toxic relationship or experience. The chorus is a breakthrough and feels like you are about to “punch a hole in the roof” as she says in the second verse of the song. When the chorus hits, it feels almost like a release of your emotions and the lyrics surround you like a warm hug to let the listener know that they made it past these strenuous endeavors. The lyrics, “Rain came pouring down/ When I was drowning, that’s/ when I could finally breathe/ And by morning/ Gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean” not only are melodically sound but allows those to dig deep inside themselves and relate this song to any life struggle. It talks about the loss of a relationship, but it could also be about addiction, depression, or the loss of someone. What I love about interpreting this chorus, is that there are no limits as to what this means to the listener. 

When writing my chorus, I keep these things in mind but also try not to allow the pressure of trying to achieve any kind of musical perfection, because that simply does not exist. With that weight off my shoulders, I begin to strum and sing what comes to mind. I finally reach what I think is going to be my chorus: “I found you/ in the corner of my eye/ hidden in plain sight/ where were you all this time/ so hard to find/ it’s too good to be true/ but I found you/ and you found me too”. I thought, yes Taylor Swift’s chorus is jam-packed with meaning and beautifully written metaphors that have all different kinds of interpretations, but there’s also a beauty to simplicity. I didn’t want my chorus to be too much or too copy-cat-esque, but I wanted to be my own style with that hint of her inspiration. 

I run into the problem of self-doubt a lot when it comes to writing music and writing in general. I always ask myself, is this too cheesy? Or is this too cliche? But what I’ve realized is that a majority of tropes that surround music are so cheesy and so cliché, but that’s because they’re universal experiences and feelings. I’m not saying that everyone needs to write a corny Top 100 pop song to be successful, but those themes are so common that it’s a matter of turning them into something that is unique to yourself. It is important to write something that will receive an emotional response, not only from listeners but from the person singing it. When I write, sing, or play an instrument, it’s something that I have to feel in my body and mind, or else the execution or performance is set up to be a disaster from the get-go. 


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By Megan Grosfeld

Megan Grosfeld is a Junior at Emerson College majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a concentration in Publishing. Her dream is to be like the modern Carrie Bradshaw of the Publishing world, but with more writing, sex, and infinite pairs of Manolo Blahniks.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services. At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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You Are What You Read

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

English novelist Angela Carter once said, “Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.” Escaping into the pages of a book is one of my favorite ways to feel both relaxed and creative at the same time. As a reader and writer, getting lost in a novel is a very therapeutic experience for me. Literature comes to life more so when I am able to relate to the story that is unfolding. Just like when I listen to Taylor Swift, when I read about a character that goes through the same experiences I do, it feels personal and safe.

Taylor Swift once told a fan she loves the novel Normal People by Sally Rooney. After reading it and watching the series adaptation on Hulu, I completely understand why she recommends it. The main characters, Connell and Marianne, struggle to communicate their feelings to each other throughout the novel. Their words get lost in translation and they never truly know what the other is feeling. While reading Normal People, I imagined myself in the story because there are often instances where I assume how someone else feels instead of asking straightforwardly. This can lead me to overthink and sometimes create irrational scenarios in my head. A part of me knows this can all be solved by being direct about my feelings, but it is easier said than done. But as Rooney’s characters showed me, I’m not the only one who does this. And certainly Taylor Swift has shown she does this too, with lyrics like “I’d tell you I miss you but I don’t know how” and “Here’s to silence that cuts me to the core.”

When I first read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Swift’s song, “The Lucky One (Taylor’s Version),” instantly started playing in my head. The story goes into detail about the main character, an actress named Evelyn Hugo, who achieved great fame and success but lacks happiness in her life. Although she is viewed as “The Lucky One” because of her looks and wealth, she does not actually feel like it. “And they tell you that you’re lucky but you’re so confused ‘cause you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used,” is the Taylor Swift lyric I believe deeply connects with this character. Evelyn Hugo had to lock certain parts of herself away in order to maintain her public image, which is certainly a universal feeling among women.

Reading is inherently imaginative and expressive because we place our own lives and feelings within these plots. The way we interpret a story is what makes each person’s experience reading it individual. I feel lucky that I’ve read novels that give me the experience of being able to temporarily transport myself to a new, special world. However, I understand that this may not come easily to everyone. It took me a while before really finding a book that set off my love for reading, so here are a few tips to find the right book for you:

  1. Visit a local bookstore. Browsing through the displays, searching through your favorite genres, and asking for staff recommendations can lead you to the start of your reading journey.
  2. Social media. If you search “Booktok” on TikTok, you can easily find recommendations from so many different people and their unique opinions and perspectives. 
  3. Join a book club. Whether it be online, on campus, or in your city, this is a great way to integrate reading into your social life. Fun discourse can lead to deep and meaningful conversations.

Don’t forget to create a playlist of all the songs that remind you of the next book you’re reading to enhance this experience!


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By Jacqueline Rappa

Jacqueline Rappa is a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Advertising and Marketing Communications with a minor in English. You can find her aimlessly walking around New York City while drinking an iced coffee and listening to her favorite albums on repeat.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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What Your Favorite Character Says About You

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Instead of feeling guilty about binge-watching a series all day, allow yourself to embrace the intriguing plot that you’re immersed in for those few hours. There is always something that can be learned from watching a film, even an early 2000s rom-com. After all, this form of entertainment can be used to spark your own creativity and imagination. Characters can inspire you and you can even find yourself relating to them and feeling seen. You can use movie elements to enhance your own life. Dialogue about love, conflict, and different passions can teach you new ideas and help you learn more about yourself.

I have an endless list of characters I love and relate to. I love seeing myself and my personality reflected in films and shows. That’s why so many of us get lost in fictional worlds. It provides us with escapism from our everyday lives. I watched the series Gilmore Girls for the first time last year and in a way, it changed how I see the world. I grew a new appreciation for living in my small neighborhood, fun days with my mom, and the joy of going to a coffee shop for a few hours. I saw my relationship with my mom reflected in the relationship between the two main characters, Lorelai and Rory. Gilmore Girls bonded us and made our relationship stronger. Throughout the series, Rory’s drive to succeed motivated me to want to learn as much as I could, take more trips to Barnes and Noble and read for pleasure. I realized how much I love to get lost in a novel because of her character. Lorelai’s carefree personality allowed me to stop taking myself so seriously and embrace my quirks. Watching her on my TV encouraged me to wear fun outfits even when I’m at home in the suburbs, not just at school in a big city.

Spending time with myself at a coffee shop on a rainy day in the city.

When I listen to music, not only do I relate the lyrics to my own life, but certain characters come to mind too. Of course, Taylor Swift has a song for every emotion and situation, so naturally, she has a song that connects with nearly all my favorite characters. This just goes to show how deeply relatable the experiences she sings about are. In “Nothing New,” Swift sings about the experience of getting older and realizing how little we know about the world and ourselves. In Gilmore Girls, as Rory goes through college, she notices she might not know herself as well as she thought she did as she starts to make mistakes. Listening to this song and having a character that also goes through this experience validated my feelings of being unsure about myself from time to time.

As a Taylor Swift fan and lover of numerous drama series, it is exciting to watch adaptations feature Taylor Swift songs. It is about time that her lyricism is used to enhance thrilling moments in film. For example, in the new Amazon Prime series The Summer I Turned Pretty, there are several Taylor Swift songs featured throughout the show. They represent the emotions of the characters and songs like “Cruel Summer” perfectly capture that hopeful feeling that fills the air at the beginning of summer. Swift’s songs add a sense of nostalgia to the series and help better connect the audience to the characters.

Watching The Summer I Turned Pretty.

If you’re ever looking to draw inspiration from a TV show or film character, try to find one that you strive to be like. This doesn’t necessarily mean the most successfully written character or the most attractive, but maybe one that is in tune with their emotions. One that embraces their individuality and is unapologetically themselves. This will help deepen the connection you have with yourself as you realize your experiences are universal.


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By Jacqueline Rappa

Jacqueline Rappa is a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Advertising and Marketing Communications with a minor in English. You can find her aimlessly walking around New York City while drinking an iced coffee and listening to her favorite albums on repeat.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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The Art of Storytelling

Friday, June 17th, 2022

At the beginning of my college career, I was struggling to take interest in something that I felt passionate about. I was not sure what direction I wanted to go in and didn’t feel connected to anything I thought was meaningful. This time was also the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, so just like everyone else, I found myself at home with not much to do. Surprisingly, doing “nothing” was exactly what I needed. While the world was paused, I was lucky enough to have found myself reconnecting with parts of myself I had forgotten about. I had more time to watch movies, read books, and actually enjoy these things without the pressure of feeling like I needed to do more. I realized these were all things I loved, but never found time to really embrace.

The highlight of this time for me was when Taylor Swift released her eighth studio album folklore. I was immediately captivated by the detailed imagery and poetic lyrics. The songs on this album make me long for experiences I’ve never even had and let me reminisce about how I’ve felt at different times in my life. “I can change everything about me to fit in” and “When you are young, they assume you know nothing” are lyrics featured on folklore that made me realize I am not alone in feeling a little lost sometimes. Swift’s words are powerful and validate the different emotions I face. I aspire for my work to have that same impact, even if I don’t have as big an audience as the eleven-time Grammy award-winning artist. Even if it’s just for myself.

My folklore vinyl.

Listening to folklore encouraged me to start journaling because Taylor Swift continues to demonstrate the significance that every moment, no matter how big or small, can hold. Writing allows me to remember all these moments and keep them close to me. This was a big step for me, especially at a time when I wasn’t feeling motivated by anything. I began appreciating and romanticizing instances in my life that I might have taken for granted, whether it meant days at home, the laughter that fills the air when I’m with people I love, or the peace I feel when I’m in the comfort of my room. The job of all writers is to pay attention to what is going on in the world, even if it’s the world you’re experiencing through your own eyes. It’s important to take inspiration from what’s around you.

Taylor Swift’s folklore consists of multiple stories based on fictional characters that narrate her own personal thoughts and experiences. I decided to create my own story and begin the life I always dreamed of in New York City. I transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology because I knew I wanted to be in an environment surrounded by creative and influential individuals. While being here, I’ve had access to opportunities that allowed me to discover more of what I’m passionate about. By writing for multiple school publications and immersing myself in my English and journalism classes, I realized I love being able to convey my ideas through my words.

I am forever grateful that Taylor Swift sparked a light in me that no one else was quite able to do. Her dedication and the way she can bring her own unique perspective to all situations encourages me to do the same in my everyday life. Swift can share her own personal thoughts and moments to millions of people around the world and make us feel like we are right there with her. Her emotions are her work and she continues to show how special written words are.



By Jacqueline Rappa

Jacqueline Rappa is a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Advertising and Marketing Communications with a minor in English. You can find her aimlessly walking around New York City while drinking an iced coffee and listening to her favorite albums on repeat.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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