All writers want to be rock stars and all rock stars want to be writers. It seems that goes for rappers and pop divas, too.
Pop juggernaut Taylor Swift is following in the footsteps of hip-hop recording artist and producer Frank Ocean by publishing her own magazine, or actually two magazines, in conjunction with her forthcoming album "Reputation," set to debut on November 10.
The album will be packaged in CD form with two limited-edition collectible magazines for retail distribution through an exclusive partnership with Target.
The two 72-page magazines, titled Volume 1 and Volume 2, include original poetry, photography and artwork created by Swift. Fans who buy the album in stores will also get a poster of Swift, handwritten lyrics and a behind-the-scenes look at the music video for Swift’s first single from the album, “Look What You Made Me Do,” which hit the internet last week.
Naturally, Swift appears on both covers, channeling fashion magazine models with a certain knowing poutiness.
The decision to pair print with music is well executed. The design of the album has a distinct textual sensibility, with the title (and a host of other words) spelled out in elaborate gothic typeface. It resembles many newspaper mastheads and columns of text spelling out the name of the much-discussed pop star.
Although the album won’t be available in stores for several months, Target is already taking pre-orders for both magazines, with a cover price of $19.99 per issue.
As noted, Swift isn’t the first mega-star to venture into custom publishing. Last August, hip-hop impresario Frank Ocean released two back-to-back albums, “Endless” and “Blond,” which were packaged with a special popup magazine called Boys Don’t Cry.
The publication was a premium “bookazine,” printed on glossy, heavy stock paper with a CD of the album mounted in the centerfold. It contained a variety of photographic and text contributions by peers and album collaborators. They included Kanye West, who wrote a poem about McDonald’s; German fine-art photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, who also contributed a techno track to the album; and Ocean himself, who wrote a meditative essay about images and travel.