“It’s not a plan of mine, no,” the Favourite star, 31, told Elle magazine on Tuesday, April 19, when asked if he has any interest in writing more songs in the future.
The British actor and his girlfriend, 32, worked together on the songs “Exile” and “Betty” from Folklore as well as “Champagne Problems,” “Coney Island” and the title track from Evermore, which arrived in December 2020. On all of the tracks, Alwyn used the pen name William Bowery.
Fans immediately began speculating that “William” was really Swift’s beau when Folklore debuted in July 2020, but the Grammy winner didn’t confirm the news until she released the documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions in November of that year.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity, because … it’s not a real person,” the “Lover” songstress said during the Disney+ film. “So, William Bowery is Joe.”
The Pennsylvania native went on to note that Alwyn is actually a talented musician, and his improvisation inspired “Exile,” which became a duet. “Joe plays piano beautifully and he’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things,” Swift explained. “And ‘Exile’ was crazy because Joe had written that entire piano part.”
When the couple were playing around with the track at home, the Mary Queen of Scots actor sang the part that eventually was performed by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on the final album version. “He was just singing it the way that the whole first verse is,” the Valentine’s Day actress recalled. “I was entrenched and asked if we could keep writing that one.”
Despite the fact that Alwyn’s songwriting was a hit with Swift and her fans, the Harriet star is sticking to acting for now. In a separate interview with Elle UK, Alwyn hinted that he’s still not totally comfortable with all the attention that comes with dating a mega-famous pop star.
“We live in a culture that is so increasingly intrusive,” Alwyn told the outlet earlier this month. “The more you give — and frankly, even if you don’t give it — something will be taken.”
The pair, who have been dating since 2016, have kept their romance private over the years. In November 2020, Swift explained that she likes to keep the relationship under wraps because it gives her a sense of comfort.
“I, oftentimes, in my anxieties, can control how I am as a person and how normal I act and rationalize things, but I cannot control if there are 20 photographers outside in the bushes and what they do and if they follow our car and if they interrupt our lives,” she told Rolling Stone at the time. “I can’t control if there’s going to be a fake weird headline about us in the news tomorrow.”
Alwyn, she explained, helps her find “bits of normalcy” in her otherwise stressful life. “That’s what that song ‘Peace’ is talking about,” she added of one of the tracks on Folklore. “Like, would it be enough if I could never fully achieve the normalcy that we both crave?”
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