Matthew Schwab Colorist | Taylor Swift’s Spotify Wrapped

Matt Schwab

Go behind the scenes of the award-winning colorist ‘mastermind’ behind the 2024 Grammy-winning “Album of the Year” artist’s musical tribute

Karma is a good colorist! Matthew Schwab, a distinguished colorist known for his precision and artistry, played a pivotal role in bringing Spotify’s Wrapped campaign for Taylor Swift to life. The work, which is gaining attention again following Swift’s historic win for Album of the Year at the 66th Grammy Awards and the 2024 kick-off of the international leg of her Eras Tour, saw Schwab’s expertise in color grading enhancing the visual experience for millions of Swifties worldwide.

Spotify’s Wrapped initiative not only celebrated and continues to honor the top-streamed artists, albums, songs, and podcasts of the year but also provided users with personalized statistics, offering a unique reflection of their year in music. At the forefront of this global phenomenon was Taylor Swift, hailed as Spotify’s most-streamed global artist.

To commemorate Swift’s monumental achievement, Spotify deployed a captivating marketing campaign featuring 21 puzzle pieces displayed on billboards across major cities, including São Paulo and Jakarta. These tantalizing teasers culminated in a mesmerizing video paying homage to Swift’s iconic imagery, complete with references to her distinct aesthetic elements such as dice and her trademark red lips.

A standout feature of the strikingly colorful work directed by Believe Media’s Floria Sigismondi set to sound design and mixing by Swell, was the dynamic integration of Swift’s music into the Spotify platform, where the progress bar transformed to match the color palette of each respective era, accompanied by a sparkling progress button. Additionally, select fans were treated to personalized messages of gratitude from Swift herself, along with exclusive shareable content.

Behind the scenes colorist Matthew Schwab, alongside Flawless Post, played a crucial role in ensuring the visual cohesion and impact of the campaign. Schwab’s mastery in color grading brought vibrancy and depth to the visuals, elevating the overall viewing experience and immersing audiences in Swift’s world. Enormous practical sets were meticulously built to match CG backgrounds at Flawless, requiring seamless incorporation through color grading and VFX compositing. Schwab’s proficiency in color grading not only brought richness and dimension to the visuals but also ensured the practical sets swiftly integrated with the 2D/3D design. Drawing inspiration from artists such as Hieronymus Bosch, Andrew Wyeth, and Chinese scrolls like Zhang Deduan’s “Along the River During the Qingming Festival,” Schwab employed his expertise to give the color a painterly textural feeling, reminiscent of his own experience with oil and watercolor painting. Leveraging tools like Blackmagic Davinci Resolve, Schwab meticulously compared shots as layers on the fly, ensuring consistency with the desired lookset throughout the production process.

“DaVinci Resolve 18.6 was a perfect tool for this project,” Schwab explains. “For the practical video, I used a combination of layers in the edit tab, importing mattes, creating garbage mattes with alpha outputs, and the new Magic Mask tool. For comparison to the digital art, I could grab value tones and color HEX codes to match grade. This versatility made sure the final look was consistent with the many practical and CG layers.”

Schwab’s set-up included a Mac Studio M1 running Ventura, and a Sony BVM-HX310 monitor.

Reflecting on his involvement in the project, Schwab expressed his enthusiasm for collaborating on such a revered campaign: “Working on Spotify’s Wrapped for Taylor Swift was an exhilarating experience. Being able to contribute to the visual storytelling of an artist of Taylor’s caliber was truly inspiring. I’m immensely proud of the final result and grateful for the opportunity to play a part in such an iconic campaign.”

As Taylor Swift’s triumphant journey continues to captivate audiences worldwide, Schwab’s exceptional talent as a colorist shines brightly, leaving an indelible mark on the intersection of music and visual storytelling. Other artists he has created work for include Beyonce, Katy Perry, Blake Shelton, and Pharrell Williams.


Production: Believe Media
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Producer: Oualid Mouaness
Post Production: Flawless Post
Colorist: Matthew Schwab, graded at Flawless Post
Creative Director: Howard Shur
EP: Rik Michul
Sound Design and Mix: Swell



From the creator:

Taylor Swift, Spotify, Bead Mountain
Believe Media
Flawless Post
Matthew Schwab Colorist