Taylor Swift Confirms Her Boyfriend Joe Alwyn Was a Co-Writer on Folklore

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The identity of William Bowery, the mysterious co-writer on Taylor Swift‘s latest album folkore, has finally been revealed and it’s exactly who fans thought it was all along.

In her new Disney+ concert film, folklore: the long pond studio sessions, the pop star confesses during a conversation about her collaborators on the record—Jack Antonoff and The National’s Aaron Dessner—that “There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity, because…it’s not a real person. So, William Bowery is Joe [Alwyn]…as we know.”

Swift goes on to praise her boyfriend’s musical prowess, saying, “Joe plays piano beautifully and he’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things. And ‘exile’ was crazy because Joe had written that entire piano part.” It turns out the actor isn’t just a gifted pianist, but also a vocalist, as he originally sang Bon Iver‘s part on that Grammy-nominated song. “He was just singing it the way that the whole first verse is,” Swift says. “I was entrenched and asked if we could keep writing that one,” adding that it was “pretty obvious” it should be a duet.

She went on to explain that she and Alwyn started their musical collaboration after she heard him sing the chorus of her song “betty,” prompting her to ask him about writing a song together. The special circumstances of quarantine seem to have benefited them: “It was a step that we would have never have taken because why would we have ever written a song together,” she said.

When the album was first released, Swift gave a shoutout to her folklore collaborators on Instagram. Ever the super-sleuths, her followers quickly realized that William Bowery was the only one not tagged, leading them to speculate that he isn’t a real person. Given that Swift—or Nils Lorens Sjöberg as she’s sometimes known—is a big fan of pseudonyms, fans began to wonder who Bowery might be, prompting guesses that ranged from Harry Styles to Joni Mitchell. But by far the most popular theory was Alwyn, as William is the name of his great-grandfather who was a composer, conductor, and music teacher, and the Bowery Hotel is where the couple first met.

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