Taylor Swift is the queen of dropping hints, and no it is not an accident. Not even a little bit. The musician painstakingly plans out every single Easter egg that appears in her work — from lyrical references to numerology to, yes, even manicures. And while there are many Easter eggs that she’ll stay mum on forever (fans have to do some of the work, after all), Swift is celebrating her landmark Entertainment Weekly cover by letting us in on her (very intricate) process.
“I love to communicate through Easter eggs,” says Swift. “I think the best messages are cryptic ones.”
The singer’s favorite Easter egg mediums include clothing (like her butterfly stilettos at the iHeartRadio Awards), fingernails (in the Spotify vertical video for “Delicate,” she painted her nails in the exact color tone of “ME!”), set design (the electronic scrolls on the bank in the “Look What You Made Me Do” video — or, actually, every moment of the “Look What You Made Me Do” video).
Swift even drops Easter eggs into interviews (what she calls “hints in print”). She mentioned Brendan Urie in an Elle interview back in February, writing “When I hear ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ by Panic! at the Disco, I’m transported back to being 16 and driving down the streets of Hendersonville, Tennessee with my best friend Abigail, euphorically screaming the lyrics.” That was two months before “ME!” hit the airwaves.
Watch the full video for the full scoop above, and then hunt for today’s hints in print in our cover story.
For more on Taylor Swift, pick up Entertainment Weekly’s special double music issue on stands Friday, or buy it here now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.