Fans guessed it, but now it’s confirmed: Taylor Swift’s mystery collaborator on folklore was none other than her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.
The singer confirmed in her new Disney+ concert film out today, folklore: the long pond studio sessions, that “William Bowery” — listed as a co-writer on the songs “exile” and “betty” — is a pseudonym for Joe.
“So, William Bowery is Joe, as we know,” Taylor says. “And Joe plays piano beautifully, and he’s just always playing and making things up and kind of creating things.”
She continues, “‘Exile’ was crazy because Joe had written that entire piano part and was singing the Bon Iver part. He was just singing it, the way that the whole first verse is. So I was entranced and asked if we could keep writing that one. It was pretty obvious that it should be a duet because he’s got such a low voice and it sounded really good sung down there in that register.”
Taylor also detailed his contributions to the song “betty.”
“I just heard Joe singing the entire fully formed chorus of ‘betty’ from another room and it was just like, ‘Hello’. It was a step that we would have never taken because why would we have ever written a song together?” she said.
“So this was the first time we had a conversation where I came in and was like ‘Hey, this could be really weird and we could hate this, so because we’re in quarantine and there’s nothing else going on, could we just try and see what it’s like if we write this song together?’”
Turns out it was a success. Less of a success was keeping his identity a secret — fans pretty much figured out the pseudonym right away.
By Andrea Tuccillo
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