For the past three years, Scooter Braun and Taylor Swift have been embroiled in a long-running feud over the record executive’s decision to buy Swift’s music catalog in 2019. Now, after selling Swift’s Masters in 2020 , Braun revealed his only regret about the deal.
While chatting on NPR The limit podcast earlier this week, Braun explained that he incorrectly assumed that every artist involved in Ithaca Holdings’ acquisition of Big Machine Records and its assets, including Swift, would be just as enthusiastic as him.
“The regret I have there is that I assumed that everyone, once the deal was done, was going to have a conversation with me, see my intent, see my character and say, ‘Great , let’s do business together”. ” he said. “I made this assumption with people I didn’t know.”
Looking back, Braun called this an “important lesson” that he continues to bear in mind going forward, adding, “I can’t put myself in a position of arrogance thinking someone would be just willing to have a conversation and be happy to work with me.”
Although Braun did not directly identify Swift throughout the conversation, he noted that the situation was further aggravated by an NDA which prevented him from informing artists of the deal before it was announced. .
“I was under a very strict NDA with the gentleman who owned it and I couldn’t tell any artist. I had no right to do that,” he said. “What I said to him was, ‘Hey, if any of the artists want to come back and join this, you gotta let me know. And he shared with me a letter that was publicly released in which the artist you’re referring to said, ‘I don’t want to participate in my masters.'”
Following the deal announcement, Swift posted on Tumblr that she had “advocated for a chance to own my work” for years before the sale, calling the move “my worst-case scenario.”
However, while on the podcast, Braun maintained that “a lot got lost in translation” about the whole situation. “I think in any conflict you can say, ‘I didn’t do anything. It’s their fault. And you might be right. You might be justified. And you might say, “It’s unfair, I’m being treated unfairly,” he said. “Or you can say, ‘Okay, I’m being treated unfairly. I don’t like how I feel. I can’t fix this, so how am I going to watch it and learn from it?'”
John Salangsang/Variety/REX/Shutterstock; Kevin Mazur/WireImage Scooter Braun and Taylor Swift
“I didn’t like how it all happened. I thought it was unfair,” he said. “But I also understand, on the other side, that they probably thought it was unfair too.”
When Braun later sold master rights to Swift’s work to Shamrock Holdings in 2020, Swift wrote that she tried to negotiate a deal for her first six albums, but was met with an “ironclad NDA stating that I would never say another word about Scooter Braun again unless it was positive.” Since then, the singer has embarked on re-recording her entire catalog, re-releasing updated versions of two of her albums, Fearless (Taylor version) and Red (Taylor’s version), in 2021.
Looking ahead, Braun said he has nothing but positive feelings for everyone involved. “I chose to look at it as a lesson in learning, a lesson in growth, and I wish everyone involved the best of luck,” he said. “I’m rooting for everyone to win because I don’t believe in rooting for people to lose.”