Goodbye, William Bowery. Taylor Swift hired her boyfriend Joe Alvin to help her with some tracks on her 2020 albums, but their collaboration was apparently a one-off.
“That’s not my plan, no,” the 31—year-old favorite told Elle magazine on Tuesday, April 19, when asked if he was interested in writing new songs in the future.
The British actor and his 32-year-old girlfriend worked together on the songs Exile and Betty from Folklore, as well as on Champagne Problems, Coney Island and the title track Evermore, which were released in December 2020. Of the tracks, Alvin used the pseudonym William Bowery.
Fans immediately began to assume that “William” was indeed Swift’s beau when Folklore debuted in July 2020, but the Grammy winner did not confirm this news until she released the documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions in November of the same year.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his personality because… he’s not a real person,” the “Lover” singer said during the Disney+ movie. “So William Bowery is Joe.”
Further, the Pennsylvania native noted that Alvin is actually a talented musician, and his improvisation inspired the creation of “Exile”, which became a duet. “Joe plays the piano beautifully, and he’s always just playing, coming up with something and creating something,” Swift explained. “And ‘Exile’ was crazy because Joe wrote this whole piano part.”
When the couple played the track at home, actor Mary Queen of Scots sang the part that was eventually performed by Justin Vernon from Bon Iver in the final version of the album. “He just sang like the whole first verse,” the Valentine’s Day actress recalled. “I was rooted and asked if we could keep writing this.”
Despite the fact that Alvin’s songwriting has become a hit among Swift and her fans, Harriet’s star currently adheres to acting. In a separate interview with Elle UK, Alvin hinted that he is still not entirely comfortable with all the attention that comes from a relationship with a mega-famous pop star.
“We live in a culture that is becoming increasingly intrusive,” Alvin said earlier this month. “The more you give—and frankly, even if you don’t give it—something will be taken.”
The couple, who have been dating since 2016, have been hiding their romance for many years. In November 2020, Swift explained that she likes to keep the relationship a secret because it gives her a sense of comfort.
“Often in my worries I can control what kind of person I am and how normally I act and rationalize things, but I can’t 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 that time. “I can’t control whether there will be a fake weird headline about us in the news tomorrow.”
Alvin, she explained, helps her find “bits of normality” in her busy life. “That’s what this song ‘Peace’ is about,” she added about one of the tracks on Folklore. “Maybe it would be enough if I could never fully achieve the normal life we both crave?”