Aside from being a successful solo artist, Taylor Swift has made a pretty big name for herself writing songs for other major stars. As it turns out, she doesn’t actually write the songs under her own name. For years, Swifties have been convinced that the songstress used the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg to write music. Now, during a November 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, she officially confirmed the fake name and explained the reason why she chose it.
“I think when a pseudonym comes in is when you still have a love for making the work, and you don’t want the work to become overshadowed by this thing that’s been built around you, based on what people know about you,” she explained. “And that’s when it’s really fun to create fake names and write under them.”
The Lover songstress continued, “I wrote under the name Nils Sjöberg because those are two of the most popular names of Swedish males. I wrote this song called ‘This Is What You Came For’ that Rihanna ended up singing. And nobody knew for a while.”
Aside from cowriting “This Is What You Came For,” Taylor also produced a stripped-down version of her own song “Look What You Made Me Do” under Nils’ name for the TV series Killing Eve. The version was recorded by a band called Jack Leopards & The Dolphin Club, and a few eagle-eyed fans have speculated that her brother Austin Swift and Taylor’s frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff are behind the vocals.
As it turns out, Taylor also recruited her boyfriend Joe Alwyn to help her write some songs under a fake name, too. When her album Folklore was released in July 2020 fans noted that the name William Bowery was credited on two songs. Swifties did some digging online and started to speculate that William was actually Joe since the British actor is related to composer William Alwyn and one of the couple’s first public outings was at the Bowery Hotel in New York City. Months later, during her concert film Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, Taylor confirmed that Joe and William were in fact the same person.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity, because … it’s not a real person. So, William Bowery is Joe … as we know,” she admitted. “Joe plays piano beautifully and he’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things.”
In fact, he even cowrote three songs on her December 2020 record Evermore. According to the writing credits, William was listed on “Champagne Problems,” “Coney Island” and “Evermore.” Due to his assistance with her music, Taylor gave Joe a massive shout out during her Grammys acceptance speech in March 2021. “I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine,” the songstress gushed.
Joe has helped Taylor write her songs, but as it turns out, there are actually a bunch of other well-known tunes that the blonde beauty has helped cowrite over the years! Scroll through our gallery to see them all.
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