It’s Time To Rethink The Britney Spears Narrative We’re Used To

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
Singing, writing, painting — what can't Britney Spears do? That's why songwriter Justin Tranter thinks it's time for us to give the pop star her due. Tranter, who has worked with artists like Gwen Stefani, Cardi B, and Justin Bieber, spoke to Beats 1 on Apple Music about his career, and addressed the way Spears is portrayed in the media compared to how powerful it is to actually work with her.
"You know, the first time we worked with her, she was just cutting a song, and just hearing her vocal tone in real life," he told host Zane Lowe. "It’s so ... that magical sound just comes out of her face ... And then she giggles and tells a joke on the mic, and then your whole body gets chills and I literally fell to the ground ... there's something about her that's not of this world."
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The next time they collaborated (Tranter and Julia Michaels worked with Spears on five tracks for Glory), it was as co-writers, which changed his whole perception of the artist.
"You know, the world has painted her as just like you know the Princess of Pop and everything's perfect and blah blah blah...so you're just not expecting that she's going to write her ass off," he said. "Then all of a sudden she suggests this concept we have a song called 'Just Like Me' on Glory, which is about her walking in on someone cheating on her with someone who looks just like her. I'm like, 'That's what you want to write today?' And she didn't go into whether it was a true story or not, but that was just the idea that she brought to us. Wow. And we were like, 'Oh my god, Britney Spears is coming in here swinging. For the rafters.' You know, we would have never suggested something that dark, because the world has told us who Britney is, which is not true. Britney is a three dimensional amazing complex woman. And so then as a writer she blew our minds."
It's true how often we overlook Spears' pure musical abilities, especially given her charisma as a personality and entertainer – not to mention the headlines her personal life has generated, particularly in her first decade of fame. But, as Tranter put it, "You can't have this whole insane career on accident."
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