"Her style of songwriting is very, very honest," he adds. "She's just a really old soul."
Heartbreak is again the muse for many of her songs. During the making of "Red" she had a well-publicized (but brief) romance with actor Jake Gyllenhaal that ended in heartbreak — according to those pesky tabloids.
"My mind frame during this recording process and the writing process was the ups and downs of a few really tumultuous relationships that had, you know, various amounts of damage and impact and things that were really tough for me to get through," Swift explains. "And that's typically when I turn to songwriting, when I don't quite understand how to say what I feel because it's all so much."
While she admits that her songs are autobiographical, she sticks to her rule of not disclosing whom they are about: "I just like that I like the way my personal life sounds in songs so much better than I do in quotes and interviews." She declines to talk about her current romance, and even though John Mayer outed himself as the subject of 2010's scathing "Dear John," she refuses to confirm it, calling him "presumptuous."
Still, that hasn't stopped plenty of people from writing about the supposed intimate details of her life. Dating a Kennedy who's four years her junior (and happens to be a senior in high school) only added to the media swirl.
Swift isn't oblivious to the attention, but she tries her best to protect herself from it: She refuses to read articles about herself or combat what's being said about her, good or bad.
"Everybody's got their way of dealing with it. And for me, sometimes it's surrounding myself with my friends and venting, sometimes it's staying up at the piano until four o'clock in the morning, sometimes it's watching TV and forgetting about all of it, sometimes it's calling my mother up and crying," she admits. "Sometimes you have a really bad day."
She's developed empathy toward other celebrities: "I understand why people sometimes get so caught up with this because it's a lot of pressure. And when you see someone going through a scandal in the news, I don't sit there and see it as entertainment anymore."
But she knows this is what she bargained for — and she's still happy the way it all turned out.
"Sometimes my mom and I just sit there and think, 'Remember when nobody believed this could happen for us, and we didn't even believe it?' " she says. "It's crazy to look back at that and think, 'How did that ever work?' How did it happen?' I mean, we actually got further than we actually ever imagined. . . . I wouldn't change anything."