In the summer of 2019, Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine Label Group, marking a deal that also included the masters to Taylor Swift’s first six albums.
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” Swift said in a Tumblr post at the time. “Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.”
In a new interview with Variety’s Shirley Halperin, Braun looked back on the deal, more specifically Swift’s reaction to it.
“I regret and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal. … All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual,” he said. “I don’t know what story she was told. I asked for her to sit down with me several times, but she refused. I offered to sell her the catalog back and went under NDA, but her team refused. It all seems very unfortunate.”
Braun added that, in his opinion, “open communication” can lead to understanding. He also said he and Swift only met “briefly three or four times” in person, noting that he considers her to be “an incredibly talented artist” for whom he wishes “nothing but the best.”
Continuing, Braun was asked about this facet of business feeling “personal in tone,” at which point the Ithaca founder—whose management roster includes Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and more—took issue with being described as a bully by Swift and fans.
“I’m firmly against anyone ever being bullied,” Scooter said. “I always try to lead with appreciation and understanding. The one thing I’m proudest of in that moment was that my artists and team stood by me.”