Taylor Swift’s Former Manager Dishes on Her Success
In an interview with Pollstar, Taylor Swift's former manager, Rick Barker, opened up about the 'Blank Space' singer's success and what it is about her that's made her one of the most successful acts on the planet right now.
Rick cites Taylor's insanely strong work ethic, her devotion to her fans and her sheer drive as being the main forces behind her success, and he refuses to take credit for any of it. When he first sat down with Pollstar in 2007 he said: "One of the things that Taylor is insistent upon is that [the fans are] not rushed. You know, they obviously can't spend five or ten minutes individually but she never wants to make them feel like it's a cattle call." And considering the things Taylor has done for her fans over the years (including her most recent Christmas video), it's not a shocking thing to learn.
When you think about just how quickly word gets out about fan-artist interactions these days, Taylor's attitude on the whole thing makes sense. Rick said: "Basically they leave there with that picture, that autograph, that memory and they share it with everybody that they know. If they have a bad experience with it, they share the same thing."
Rick also says that Taylor's ability to embrace social media not as a selling platform but as a way to truly connect with her fans on a more personal basis has helped catapult her even further to stardom. He maintains that her willingness to really get to know her fans on a deeper level than most stars has helped her immensely, and that she is completely genuine in her desire to uphold those relationships: "Look at the biggest star in the frigging world right now and what does she continue to do? She uses her social media as a way to engage her fans and maintain the truth and friendship she has kept over the years."
So, why doesn't he attribute any of Taylor's immense success to himself? He says that despite the fact that he was present for her early success, in the end Taylor really owes it all to herself: "In reality Taylor has always been her own manager, and as I had the 'title' of manager, I was blessed to be a part of a great team."
Rick and Taylor eventually wound up parting ways, as Rick had two young children at the time and felt he couldn't devote enough time to them while maintaining the hectic lifestyle that comes with being a superstar's manager. But he has nothing but complimentary things to say about Taylor, like: "I'm so proud of her for staying true to who she is and staying true to her plan."
You can check out the full interview over at Pollstar!
See Photos of Taylor Swift Through the Years!