Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, is finally dishing deets on why he chose to use a pseudonym for his collaboration on her GRAMMY-winning album, Folklore, and the meaning behind said pseudonym.
During an appearance on Thursday’s “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” the 31-year-old actor said the pseudonym was more about keeping the focus on the track and less about sending Swifties on an Easter egg hunt.
“We chose to do it so the people, first and foremost, would listen to the music first before dissecting the fact that we did it together,” he explained. “We did it under the name William Bowery, very fancy. It sounds like a kind of Agatha Christie character that should be wearing a monocle with a big mustache.”
Alwyn, who’s been dating Swift since 2016, co-wrote two songs, “Exile” and “Betty,” on Folklore. The actor also co-produced those songs, as well as “My Tears Ricochet,” “August,” “This Is Me Trying” and “Illicit Affairs.” He’d go on to win a GRAMMY in 2021 for his contributions.
When Swift took home the award for Album of the Year, she mentioned Alwyn in her acceptance speech, stating that he’s the “first person that I play every single song that I write.”
“I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine,” she said of her beau.
Fans suspected his involvement in the project when they recalled pics of Alwyn and Swift at New York’s Bowery Hotel, and discovered that the actor is a descendent of an English composer and musician named William Alwyn. The British actor confirmed those suspicions.
“It was a combination of William, my great-grandfather — who I actually never met — [who] was a composer,” he explained. “He wrote a lot of classical music and he wrote a lot of film scores. And then Bowery is the area in New York that I spent a lot of time in when I first went over there. So, stick ’em together.”
Fans also discovered Alwyn’s massive win when they noticed his name had been added to the GRAMMY Awards website. Alwyn won the gramophone trophy as part of Swift’s Album of the Year victory, which was also shared with producers Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, as well as several engineers and mixers.
The “Conversation With Friends” star told GQ earlier this month that the collaboration happened organically.
“It was really the most accidental thing to happen in lockdown,” he said. “It wasn’t like, ‘It’s three o’clock, it’s time to write a song!’ It was just messing around on a piano and singing badly and being overheard and then thinking, ‘You know, what if we tried to get to the end of it together?'”