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WHS’s very own Taylor Swift

A student songwriter makes her name known

Addison Miller

Staff Writer

November 9, 2022

“Betty” - Senior Spenser Johns plays Taylor Swift’s music on her guitar, which is her preferred instrument to record and write her music on.

Taylor Swift-inspired senior Spenser Johns, writes, records, and performs her own original music, propelling her dream music career.

Johns spends her free time writing an array of different songs and producing them with professionals. Along with writing songs, Johns is also in a couple of bands and performs for many productions and organizations locally. Two of Johns’s songs are available to listen on all music streaming services, “six minutes in georgia” and “burden,” with more currently in production. Johns said her music genre varies because she wants to be able to appeal to anybody.

“I don’t try to put myself in one box, especially with my writing,” Johns said. “I like to be very experimental and just write what I like because I’m a teenager, and I’m constantly changing my style in all sorts of aspects in my life, and that includes music.”

Johns said that writing a song is always a different process because she takes inspiration from different aspects in her life. She said she can take inspiration from many different situations.

“There’s no one way to do it,” Johns said. “Either something will pop into your head and you’ll naturally write the song or you’ll have to sit down and just write a song. Like you have no ideas prior.”

Johns produced her two songs, “six minutes in georgia” and “burden” upon meeting producers in Nashville, Tennessee when she went to visit in 2021. After hearing her music, they invited her down to record in one day. Now she’s working with a manager who helps her set up gigs and write music. They are also working on a music video.

“I get a lot of creative liberty, but he also pushes me and makes me think of new things to add into the songs to improve them,” Johns said.

Along with writing her own music, Johns is also a current member of three different bands: Divots; in the Road, Peach Basket, and J.O.E. Divots; in the Road was formed for Battle of the Bands and stayed together for American Pie, and they played for The Last Bash. J.O.E. is the band at her music school and joined last summer. Peach Basket was formed for the WHS rock concert American Pie. Senior Gabrielle Wheeler is the bassist in Peach Basket and works alongside Johns.

“Working with Spenser is very fascinating because she has a lot of knowledge on the ins and outs of songwriting, instruments, and music production, and she provides a very unique, artistic perspective on making music,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler also commented on Johns’s voice, saying it’s very versatile.

“I’ve heard her sing music from nearly every genre,” Wheeler said. “What’s most recognizable is her incredible, soulful voice which has a very unique edge to it.”

Wheeler said she sees Johns in a very successful place in the coming years. According to Wheeler, she has several other unreleased songs as well, which Wheeler has had the pleasure of seeing her perform live. Wheeler said a few of her favorites are “Second Chances” and “p-o-i-s-o-n.”

“She’s already doing so many big things with her music, whether that’s releasing songs, recording music videos or performing gigs nearly every week,” Wheeler said. “I’m so excited to see what she learns studying music these next few years, and I can’t wait to see her music gain some popularity!”

Currently, Johns is working on a new song called “scratch gravel road.” It’s inspired by her grandparents who are from a tiny town called Liberty, Indiana. They passed away in 2010 when she was five.

“I wrote a song about not remembering them well, not remembering the town, and losing all of my memories,” Johns said.

Johns is set up for a future career. By writing, singing, producing, and performing a variety of songs both original and covers, Spenser Johns’s dreams are becoming a reality.

“I want to make a career out of this because music is what truly fulfills me, and that’s my passion,” Johns said.

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