It’s fair to say that Olivia Rodrigo’s rise to stardom has been meteoric. After the success of her debut single, “drivers license,” the 18-year-old chose to forego her plans of making an EP and instead released her debut album, Sour, to the world. Since then, Rodrigo has scored her second No. 1 hit with “good 4 u” and her album has also nabbed the number 1 spot. Even more impressive is that all 11 of Rodrigo’s songs from Sour have charted in the top 30.
Of course, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star has more than proven her success beyond “drivers license.” However, the song put Rodrigo on the map as a talented singer and songwriter. Funnily enough, the Disney star had no idea that the song was going to be so impactful when she wrote it. The song was written while she was in quarantine and it wasn’t until she sent it to her record label, that she got her first glimpse of how people would respond to it. In a conversation with Interview Magazine, Rodrigo got candid about the initial reaction to one of her most well-known songs.
Olivia Rodrigo gets candid about making ‘drivers license’
“I made it with Dan Nigro, who is one of my favorite people to make music with,” Rodrigo shared about her debut song. “We kind of messed around with the production for three days or so. The first people we sent it to were my manager and our guys at Interscope. I’d never sent them a song and had them respond so positively. They’re very constructive and they’re never like, ‘This is incredible, stop now.’ But that was the first song where they’re like, ‘It doesn’t need anything. Let’s submit it now. This is incredible.’ I remember my A&R, Matt Morris, who signed me, was in the desert at the time. And he said that the second that the bridge hit, he pulled up to a red light in the middle of the desert and got full body chills because of where he was and how beautiful the bridge was.”
Of course, Morris would hardly be the last person to have a visceral reaction to Rodrigo’s songs. Fans are enamored with the songwriter’s ability to capture such intense feelings within her music. Thanks to her Disney Channel upbringing, Rodrigo was used to people complimenting her work. However, it felt different to her when people of all ages were connecting to her music. In fact, even Rodrigo’s therapist was moved to tears by “drivers license.”
The ‘Sour’ artist made her therapist cry with one of her hit songs
“Recently people have started coming up to me and being like, ‘I really love your song. It helped me get through a really hard time,’” Rodrigo recalled. “That’s just such a big honor. I feel like they can see me for who I really am, not this character that I’m playing or this script that I’m reading. And yeah, like you said, it’s being received really well by adults, too, which is crazy. When it first came out, my therapist called me and she was like, ‘Girl, I’ve been married for 10 years, I’m 40, but this song makes me cry.’”
Clearly, Rodrigo has found a way to really connect with people through her songs. It’ll be interesting to see what she chooses to do next. Considering the success that Sour is having, we imagine that the sky is the limit for Rodrigo.
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