The Truth About Taylor Swift And Jack Antonoff's Friendship

Taylor Swift has had numerous iconic friendships over the years with everyone from Selena Gomez to Gigi Hadid. Though each friendship is meaningful for its own reason, the relationships that Swift forms through her musical collaborations are mutually beneficial for both parties. Case in point, Swift's friendship with singer/songwriter/producer Jack Antonoff. Antonoff and Swift celebrated a win at 2021 Grammys in the Best Album category for Swift's captivating "Folklore" album, which further proves the notion that Swift's musical friendships typically result in magic.

This magic is something Antonoff gratefully acknowledges, as he credits Swift's early trust in his producing skills as the foundation for this endeavor. Antonoff was already an established musician, but he wanted to break out his producing skills and received little interest during his initial efforts. Swift, however, changed everything for him. Antonoff took to Instagram following their Grammy win and detailed exactly how this happened. "You are the one who let me produce records first," he wrote in part. "Before you i just 'wasn't a producer' according to the herbs. i just wasnt let in that room. then i met you, we made out of the woods and you said, 'that's the version' and that changed my life right there."

So, how did Antonoff and Swift become friends in the first place?

Taylor and Jack became friends back in 2013

Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff have collaborated on some of the singer's biggest hits, including "Getaway Car," "Look What You Made Me Do," and numerous songs on both the "Folklore" and "Evermore" albums (via Secondhand Songs). According to Cosmopolitan, musical collaboration doubled as their meet-cute, as the two were initially introduced back in 2013 to work on the song "Sweeter Than Fiction" together. The song was featured on the soundtrack for the film "One Chance," starring James Corden.

Apparently, the two got along so well during their time penning that song that they decided to keep working on music together. Per Variety, Antonoff collaborated with Swift on her 2014 album "1989," which the musician has credited as a game-changing moment in his career. 

Swift told The New York Times about Antonoff via email in 2017, "Sometimes he sits at the piano and we both just start ad-libbing and the song seems to create itself." She gushed, "His excitement and exuberance about writing songs is contagious. He's an absolute joy. That's why everyone loves him. I personally wouldn't trust someone who didn't."

Taylor Swift is the reason he became a working producer

Jack Antonoff told The New Yorker in 2022 about his journey from being in bands — including FUN and Bleachers — to becoming a respected music producer. "I'd been trying to produce for a while," he shared. "But there was always some industry herb going, 'That's cute, but that's not your lane.'" Taylor Swift, however, gave Antonoff's sound a chance, and their work on "1989" made all the difference for the aspiring producer. 

"Taylor was the first person with the stature to go, 'I like the way this sounds, I'm putting it on my album,'" Antonoff clarified. "And then, suddenly, I was allowed to be a producer."

The Bleachers singer also told Rolling Stone about the moment that Swift gave his production choices the green light. "We made 'Out of the Woods.' I f***ing put my heart and soul into that thing," he told the outlet in 2021. "Right at the moment when I was expecting some heavy was going to come in and do the production, she was like, 'Can't wait for this to come out!' And I was like, 'That's it?' She was like, 'Yes, perfect.'"

Antonoff went on to co-produce Lorde's 2014 album "Melodrama," telling Rolling Stone, "It was the first time I did an album with someone ... where it was mine. And it's what I'm best at." And it certainly wasn't the last time he showed off his skills while collaborating with a global superstar-turned-friend.

Jack Antonoff's friendships have been misinterpreted

Jack Antonoff gives his talented friends credit for allowing him to step into his new niche as a producer. "There's a whole recent history of people allowing me to be my best self," he told Rolling Stone. "Whether it's Taylor or Ella," referencing Lorde's real name, "it's a type of person who took a leap of faith, because there wasn't a proven track record."

Despite the clear context of Antonoff's powerful musical friendships, however, tabloids have tried to uncover romantic links with his frequent collaborators. Notably, the public began speculating about the musician's close friendship with singer-songwriter Lorde, with whom he'd worked on the albums "Melodrama" and "Solar Power." This rumor gained more traction in the wake of Antonoff's 2018 breakup from his partner since 2012, writer and actress Lena Dunham. 

Antonoff addressed the gossip in a now-deleted Tweet available via Spin. He wrote, "Normally I would never address rumors, but I resent having the most important friendships and working relationships in my life reduced to dumb hetero normative gossip. Those relationships are deeply important and sacred. With that said, I'm not seeing anyone. lol."

The musician has remained close friends with collaborators including Lorde, Lana Del Ray, and, of course, Taylor Swift, per Nylon. Swift is no stranger to famous friendships, and she has also remained friends with Antonoff's ex, Dunham, at least according to Dunham's adoring 2019 Instagram post in honor of Swift's song "Me!"

Taylor Swift was inspired by his relationship with Lena Dunham

Besides drawing from her own romantic experiences to write her music, Taylor Swift has also gained inspiration from Jack Antonoff's relationship with his former partner, Lena Dunham, according to Swift's 2015 interview with Tavi Gevinson for Elle. The songwriter shared that the song, "You Are In Love," was actually based on Dunham calling her then-boyfriend Antonoff her "best friend," which Swift couldn't relate to at the time. "I've never had that, so I wrote that song about things that Lena [Dunham] has told me about her and Jack [Antonoff]," Swift explained. "That's just basically stuff she's told me."

Sadly, the love story Swift admired between Antonoff and Dunham came to an end in 2018, though they've both since found love elsewhere: Antonoff with his fiancée, actress Margaret Qualley, and Dunham with Luis Felber, whom she married in 2021, per Instagram

However, even in 2015, Swift may have foreseen that Antonoff and Dunham's relationship wasn't meant to last. She told Elle, "I think that that kind of relationship — God, it sounds like it would just be so beautiful — would also be hard. It would also be mundane at times."

Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift wrote the bridge for Getaway Car in less than a minute

Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift's artistic chemistry is so electric that they were able to write the bridge for Swift's song "Getaway Car" in a record 30 seconds.

Antonoff spoke about their insane connection, and speedy songwriting, for Rolling Stone during a June 2021 interview. He shared, "It's the only time in my life that a lightning-in-a-bottle moment, a pure moment of crazy writing, was caught on film. It's rare that you just, like, blurt out a whole song. But there's pieces, like that bridge, where we're just going back and forth and yelling things. It's sort of like, 'Whoa! Oh, my God, what happened? It can happen like that?' That's when it feels like a movie." He has also spoken to the New Yorker about the moment, which was featured in Swift's 2020 documentary, "Miss Americana." 

This kind of magic wasn't a one-off occurrence, however. On "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon," Antonoff shared details about the songwriting process for "New Year's Day," a number off of Swift's album "Lover" that was later sampled in an Olivia Rodrigo song. "We wrote that song in a second," he told the host. "We didn't plan to write it. I think if you plan to write a ballad, you always get less than you hope for." 

Maybe this means that other songs the duo didn't plan to write will show up on Swift's upcoming album, "Midnights."

Fans can't wait for their next collab on Midnights

During Taylor Swift's 2022 VMA acceptance speech for video of the year, the singer-songwriter announced that her next album would drop on October 21. After breaking the news, Swift took to Instagram to share the album's name, "Midnights," and its concept — "the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life." 

The singer also released a statement available via her Instagram story highlights. "This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams," she began. "For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching — hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve ... we'll meet ourselves."

When Swift posted a making-of "Midnights" video to Instagram, it featured none other than her friend and frequent collaborator, Jack Antonoff. Could this mean there are more behind-the-scenes videos of the pair writing music together on the horizon?

His appearance lead outlets like Variety to believe that he may be the main, or only, co-producer with Swift on the new album. He had previously co-produced with Aaron Dessner on Swift's albums "Folklore" and "Evermore." 

So far, Swift has only given her fans "Midnights" track names and vinyl images, which can be mounted on the wall and turned into a clock, per Swift's Instagram. But Antonoff and Swift are sure to have yet another hit album on their hands come October 21.