Jack Antonoff has fielded the same question for most of his career as a producer and songwriter for some of pop’s biggest stars: “Why do women like working with you so much?” He couldn’t come up with a calculated answer if he tried because there’s nothing predictable about it. It always just sort of happens — just like the bridge in “Getaway Car” just sort of happened to him and Taylor Swift in the studio one night.
“That was the only time in my life — million hours I’ve spent in studios — that a camera was ever on when magic actually happened. She just had her iPhone on for whatever reason,” Antonoff told NBC News’ Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist, referring to the viral clip of himself and Swift brainstorming through the Reputation deep cut. “I think that’s why that video became so popular, because it was real.”
In the video, which began circulating online over five years ago, the pair of collaborators fall into perfect sync and, in less than 30 seconds, solidify one of the best bridges in Swift’s entire catalogue: “I’m in a getaway car/I left you in a motel bar/Put the money in a bag and I stole the keys/That was the last time you ever saw me.”
Antonoff explained: “That was the only time in my life when I’ve had all these experiences where this crazy kinetic energy is happening, you’re writing on the fly, and you’re getting it — it was just a real moment. And I don’t know why her phone was on, but thank God it was. I’ve never had anything like that.”
But he’s had plenty of moments like that, particularly with Swift, when the cameras weren’t rolling. “She vacationed on the Jersey Shore, I think when she was a kid,” the Jersey native joked when asked about the effortless collaborative partnership he has with one of pop’s greatest songwriters.
“I don’t know. I could quantify our relationship in very reductive ways about the things we agree on, the sounds we like,” Antonoff says, getting serious. “But the truth is, we’ve just grown together. She put an amazing amount of belief in me. And it’s powerful. It’s powerful for someone to — just like the way we met, where I was working and I was loving what I was doing but the industry was kind of like, ‘You can’t produce it.’ She’s like, ‘No, you produce this.’ And you know, that relationship has gone on and on and on.”
The full interview airs this Sunday, October 15 on NBC News’ Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist.