Nearly five years after ending his brief relationship with Taylor Swift, John Mayer has finally opened up about his ex-girlfriend, saying he has nothing but respect for her. The “Bigger Than My Body” crooner recently sat down with MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow as part of the “7 Days of Genius” special. During the interview, Mayer shared his thoughts on Swift’s stand against Spotify and discussed his controversial song "Paper Doll," among several subjects.
The 37-year-old told Farrow he thought it was “really cool” that Swift, 25, recently took on the music-streaming giant Spotify. Swift removed her music from the service after she and her record label’s president, Scott Borchetta, reportedly decided it was “completely disrespectful” to dedicated fans to make her albums available for free.
“We never wanted to embarrass a fan,” Borchetta said during a radio interview with Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx. “If this fan went and purchased the record, CD, iTunes, wherever, and then their friends go, ‘Why did you pay for it? It’s free on Spotify,’ we’re being completely disrespectful to that superfan.”
Mayer said he felt it was important that an artist with a huge following was the one to make the move, adding, “Artists need the person with the loudest voice to speak for them.”
On a related point, the soulful singer revealed he’s no longer concerned about being one of the few influential artists in the business, saying he would rather focus on doing what he loves. However, he did share that he thinks it’s time for the industry to come together to make a major impact rather than depending on a few influential artists to do all the work.
“Nothing bothers me anymore,” Mayer revealed. “There are going to be times when I make music as popular or as empirically valuable as that in terms of making pop music that won’t sell as many copies. I’m fine with that. You get to an age where you say, ‘Look, if I save a baby from a burning building and Kanye saves a baby from a burning building, there’s more Google news hits on Kanye. I’m fine with it.’ Now, together – and this is what I’m trying to tell you – we’re unstoppable.”
In the same interview, Mayer acknowledged that throughout his lengthy career, his professional accolades have frequently fallen by the wayside in favor of headlines regarding his reputation for breaking the hearts of well-known songstresses, as well as other aspects of his personal life.
“I put out a song called ‘Paper Doll.’ The song never got listened to as a song. It became a news story because of the lyrics,” he explained.
Released in 2013, “Paper Doll” was widely believed to be a retort to Swift’s hit single “Dear John.” However, Mayer has never directly stated that the song was about the pair’s short-lived romance and still to this day doesn't want to discuss the song's subject matter.
“I’m not in the business of telling people what the song is about. I never said anything about it. And now I just go, ‘Look, I can say the name ‘Taylor Swift.’ She’s an artist. I’m an artist," he added. "Let’s just, everybody stop. Nobody’s got an incurable cancer. We’re rich people who get to live out our dreams. Let’s just stop it. I’m a musician who’s bigger than one song or one record. It’s really about the longevity of all the work that goes together, and I’m just not interested in things that won’t last forever.”
Now, after a long withdrawal from the spotlight, Mayer is back and ready to focus on what’s really important – his music. He is currently working on what Farrow says will be a “deeply personal” new album. There is no known title or release date at this time.