Gracie Abrams Explains How Exactly Taylor Swift’s Kitchen Fire Broke Out

Gracie Abrams and Taylor Swift made fire when they teamed up for their new collaboration, “Us” — literally.

Abrams sat down with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe to discuss how the songwriting session for her The Secret of Us track led to Swift putting out a fire in her apartment after an all-nighter. “It’s dramatic. We almost burned her house down. Literally. […] We went to dinner and we drank a lot of alcohol and we were talking about our lives, and then we were talking about our albums, and she was in the middle of Tortured Poets and I was in the middle of [The Secret of Us],” the 24-year-old singer recalled. “We were just getting so excited talking about all of it. And she was like, we have to go back to the house and I want to play you the songs and blah, blah, blah. So we went back to her house and we opened a bottle of wine and we went song for song in the kitchen, and we were being like theatre kids, standing and running around the center island. It was so funny. The whole time I was like, ‘This is ridiculous. This is crazy.’”

She continued, “At this point, it’s like two in the morning and we, off the back of playing song for song for song for song, for I don’t know how long, we were listening through sketches that Aaron [Desnner] had sent us and the guitar part for “Us” came on, and immediately we ran to the piano, and we had no plan to make any [song], but it felt just like a Nashville writing session. We sat at the piano, just found the key, and then wrote the whole song from two to six AM. We filmed the whole thing, not because we were like, ‘We need to film this,’ but we just needed to get it all down, whatever. It was so full body, it was dramatic but it was so much fun.”

Of the fire, Abrams recalled that she heard a “crack” from the other room, which Swift thought was her cat. “We finished the bridge and we went into the kitchen to get probably wine, and there was a bonfire on her center island. Truly a huge ball of flame. There had been a candle that we had lit when we got home, and it was so hot that it burst. And the base of the candle was this wooden, like a tree trunk kind of a thing,” she shared. “I don’t know how she knew where this was, but she runs and grabs a fire extinguisher and for minutes is trying to get it to work and it won’t work. And I was just like, I’m crying, but I had had a similar problem earlier. I had weirdly had a candle burst and I learned that if you put water on it because wax, oil and water…. Anyways, eventually she put it out. Extinguished it.”

She continued, “We both had crazy chest coughs for weeks after because the whole kitchen was covered in smoke. ‘Us’ came from that night. That was a really good night. No one got hurt. We actually both got burned from the wax and all that stuff. It was gnarly, but it was funny.”

Last week, Abrams took to Instagram to share a video of the duo playfully creating the song, calling the evening “some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.” She also included a video of Swift extinguishing an apartment fire. “Now we know how to use a fire extinguisher. I love you,” Abrams wrote.

The 24-year-old Abrams spent the summer opening for Swift’s The Eras Tour, a role she’ll reprise on select dates in North America later this fall. She’ll head out on her very own headlining tour of theater-sized venues across the United States, starting Sept. 5 in Portland.

The Secret of Us features the previously-released tracks “Risk” and “Close to You,” which debuted at No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it’s the followup to Abrams’ debut record Good Riddance, which arrived February 2023, peaking at No. 52 on the Billboard 200.

Watch the full interview below.