Joe Alwyn Reflects On Writing With Taylor Swift


Taylor Swift’s boyfriend Joe Alwyn says becoming a songwriter on her albums folklore and evermore was by accident.

In an interview with Vulture, the 31-year-old actor recalled he was “messing around” on the piano and singing the first verse of what became “Exile” when Swift took notice.

“It was completely off the cuff, an accident,” he said. “She said, ‘Can we try and sit down and get to the end together?’ And so we did. It was as basic as some people made sourdough.”

Alwyn is credited on the folklore song as well as “Betty,” which he said was inspired by listening to The National. “I’d probably had a drink and was just stumbling around the house,” he recalled. “We couldn’t decide on a film to watch that night, and she was like, ‘Do you want to try and finish writing that song you were singing earlier?’ And so we got a guitar and did that.”

In 2020, Swift spoke about how her beau ended up writing “Exile” with her. “Joe plays piano beautifully, and he’s just always playing and making things up and kind of creating things,” she said in her streaming special. “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.”

Swift also revealed how “Betty” came to be. “I just heard Joe singing the entire fully formed chorus of ‘Betty’ from another room and it was just like, ‘Hello.’ 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?’”

Alwyn also co-wrote the evermore title track as well as “Champagne Problems” and “Coney Island.”

He said he chose to be credited as William Bowery to avoid distracting people from listening to the music. He told GQ he has no plans to write more music. "It was fun to do it together, and I was proud of it," he said. "It was nice getting such a positive reception."

Elsewhere in the interview, Alwyn addressed speculation that he is engaged to Swift. “The truth is, if I had a pound coin for every time someone told me I’ve been engaged or I’m getting engaged, I would have a lot of pound coins,” he said.

“If the answer was yes, I wouldn’t say. If the answer is no, I wouldn’t say.”

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