From Lorde’s Melodrama to Lana Del Rey’s Norman F—ing Rockwell, both of which earned album of the year Grammy nominations, Jack Antonoff’s impact as one of pop music’s most prolific and acclaimed producers in undeniable. On Thursday (Aug. 17), Antonoff discussed the arc of his career, and Taylor Swift’s impact on it, during a conversation on Time‘s Person of the Week podcast.
“She’s the first person who recognized me as a producer. A lot of people are afraid to sign off on something that isn’t done by a proven person. I had written lots of songs and produced them, but they would always sort of go somewhere else,” he said of Swift’s support of his work on 1989‘s “Out of the Woods.” “So the label or whoever could say, oh, we had this person produce it. And, you know, I put my heart and soul into that song and she said, ‘I love it.’”
Swift and Antonoff first collaborated in 2013 on the Golden Globe-nominated song “Sweeter Than Fiction” from the film One Chance. They have since evolved into one of pop music’s most powerful producer-artist duos, working together on the Billboard 200-topping records 1989 (2014), Reputation (2017), Lover (2019), Folklore (2020), Evermore (2020), Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (2021), Red (Taylor’s Version) (2021), Midnights (2022) and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) (2023).
Antonoff’s work with Swift as well as St. Vincent, Fun., Lorde, Lana Del Rey, The Chicks, Diana Ross, Florence + the Machine and more has earned him eight Grammys, including two consecutive triumphs in the producer of the year, non-classical category. Last year, “Anti-Hero,” which he crafted alongside Swift, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“I had played her that track, and I remember, we were at my apartment in New York. And sometimes she gets this look in her eye where she’s like, ‘Oh, I’m going in,’” he recounted. “You know, she goes in in many different ways and is just the greatest writer and vocalist ever. But on that one, I just remember watching her and being like, ‘Uh-oh. We’ve got a live one.’” Given that “Anti-Hero” eventually became Swift’s longest-running Hot 100 No. 1 (eight weeks), they certainly did have a “live one.”
With Bleachers, Jack Antonoff has earned three entries on the Billboard 200, reaching as high as No. 11 with 2014’s Strange Desire. On Hot Rock & Alternative Songs, he has charted seven entries, including his sole top 10 hit “I Wanna Get Better” (No. 10).