If you've been on the Internet in the past few days, then you'll likely have heard the name Olivia Rodrigo. The 17-year-old actress/singer has just released her debut single, Drivers License, and it's a masterclass in songwriting that'll tug on your heartstrings.
The song is looking like it'll debut at #1 on the US Billboard Charts - a feat only achieved by Lauryn Hill, Zayn Malik and a handful of American Idol contestants - aka, it's a big deal.
Here's what you need to know about Olivia, and how she came to write what many are already calling song of the year.
Who is she?
Olivia Rodrigo has been making a name for herself over the past five years through appearing in a couple of Disney series. She got her start on Bizardvark, before being cast as the lead in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, a wildly popular Disney+ exclusive.
Throughout the series, she showed her songwriting ability, contributing tracks to the soundtrack alongside her co-star Joshua Bassett (more about him later).
Before releasing her debut track, she's been teasing her post-HSMTMTS music career on TikTok, where the track really started heating up. That energy from TikTok spread to the wider music community, and the momentum doesn't look like slowing down any time soon.
What did Olivia say about the track?
When the track released, Olivia sent out an email to her subscribers letting them know just how excited she was about the track - and fans have reciprocated that energy.
Olivia wrote, “I cant wait to start this new chapter of my life and Im endlessly grateful for everyone’s support & love,” she continued. “Literally pinching myself im so excited!!! hope you have a fantastic new year and I hope you like the song! out friday! eek!!!!” You can sign up for her mailing list and check out her website here.
What makes the song so great?
It's reminiscent of music you'd hear from Lorde and Taylor Swift, with the latter heaping praise onto her. Taylor posted on one of Olivia's Instagram posts, “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud.”
It's genuinely good songwriting, with the song starting off low-key, before Olivia's vocals start swirling with pain. It feels like there's a story unfolding before both your very eyes and ears, and it's easy to shut yourself off from the world and be immersed in the world that Olivia is writing about.
Who and what is it about?
That's where it gets tricky. There's rumours going around that it's about the aforementioned co-star Joshua Bassett. That hasn't been confirmed yet, but if you look on social media, some determined fans are digging into every theory possible about the track's true story.
The story of the track sees Olivia getting her license, which was meant to be a celebration. However, her ex has moved on with an older blonde who is "everything [Olivia is] insecure about". Her ex has her doubting herself, and she reveals during the bridge that she's still in love with him, despite everything that's happened. It's a love triangle gone wrong, and it's proving all-too-relatable for a lot of listeners.
Olivia is set to release her first EP later this year, which she wrote during quarantine. Keep an eye out for her next move, because she's got all the makings of a musical superstar.