Reporting Kris Valentine
You may have heard, I took a trip down to Nashville last week to help Taylor Swift celebrate the release of her new album “Red”, and got the opportunity to sit down and talk with her for a few minutes. We spoke about her new album, how cute little kids can be, as well as Halloween Costumes and candy.
So I arrived in Nashville Thursday afternoon and was basically told NOT to disclose the secret location we’d be broadcasting from primarily due to Taylor’s safety I assume. We arrived at the “secret location” which happened to be the Pinnacle in downtown Nashville, where we were immediately escorted up to the 21st floor which was all decked out in “red”.
I was then shown my broadcast area which would also be the area I’d be speaking to Taylor at the following day.
That evening we were treated to an in depth look at Taylor and her career, including the premiere of her new video for “Begin Again” which was just shot in Paris.
Once that concluded we were escorted down a few floors and treated to a nice catered dinner and a quick photo and chat with Taylor. (Pictured below: My boss, Taylor and myself)
You may have heard that Papa John’s Pizza played a big part in the release of Taylor’s new album. They’ve partnered with Taylor to give you a special deal on a pizza and a copy of Taylor’s album “Red”. Ironically I ran into the man himself, Papa John Schnatter. On a side note, I asked him how often he eats his pizza, he responded with, “at least 4 days a week at the office with the team.” I then asked, well then how do you keep in shape and look the way you do? His answer, “I only eat one slice at a time.” (I didn’t actually know that was possible?!?!)
Later that evening Taylor was presented with a few awards from her record label, one being an award for her new album “Red” ALREADY going double platinum for the sale of over 2 million copies. (In its first week!)
Taylor also made a quick speech and thanked all of us in country radio for our support, which of course I recorded immediately on my iPhone.
That evening we were taken on a personal tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame, primarily to see the new Taylor Swift Educational Wing. You also may have heard that Taylor recently donated over 4 million dollars to the Hall of Fame, so we got to see some of the ways that money was used. As you can see I was in awe of the plaques featuring George and Reba!
The next day we were again shuttled to our super secret broadcast location, where I did my show along with a series of interviews with those involved in this event. Taylor finally made it to my area, she singed our guitar (which we gave away on-air last week) and sat down to chat.
You may have heard that Taylor and Connor Kennedy recently broke up, this happened the day before this interview. I was told by her people 30 seconds prior to her arriving that I could NOT asked her any questions regarding that or any past relationships. Basically in a nut shell they said don’t ask anything personal…why do “her people” always have to ruin it! So as you can imagine when you’re interviewing a big star face to face, on camera, there’s a little more pressure than doing it over the phone or in your studio. I’ll post the video of this interview in the upcoming days, so you can see my blushing face and giddiness first hand. Taylor was super nice and very genuine before, during and after the interview. Believe it or not she acted the same way as she did when I first met her back in 2008 when she was first starting out.
Friday night I had the chance to head downtown with a few friends and take in the Nashville scene. I hit up a few of the legendary hot spots like Tootsie’s and Legend’s. Nashville is just one of those places that make you feel alive inside, cause you never know what you’re going to see or who you’re going to run into. While in Legend’s, this guy walked in with I think the BEST Halloween costume EVER! (See below) He even had the “veg” hair cut to go along with the uniform! Man I love that movie!
All in all it was a quick fun trip to Nashville! The one cool piece of info I got was from Taylor Swift’s dad (ironically) during the evening party. I asked him what one of his fondest memories was with Taylor growing up, he said, “I remember Taylor singing nursery rhymes when she was probably 3 years old, changing the lyrics of the songs to what she wanted.” We laughed as I said, I guess some things will never change.