Olivia Rodrigo on Overnight Fame, FreeBritney, and Depressing Song Therapy

Before the “driver’s license” made her a phenomenon, kids too young to drive or hang out with them already knew Rodrigo from his work on Disney shows. Bizaardvark and Lycée Musical: The Musical: The Series. She wrote and performed original songs on the latter, eventually signing with Geffen Records and hooking up with producer Daniel Nigro, formerly of emo group As Tall as Lions. (This musical background could be part of the reason why Acid buried in the brains of the 30 and 40 year old in the same way that certain frequencies are only heard by dogs.) e-mail. “Most of the singers who come in these days want to do three or four takes and then have the attitude of ‘oh, you can fix that later, can’t you?’ “But Rodrigo is a completist, someone who will try all iterations he can do dozens of times. “We’re both so hyper-critical,” says Nigro, “on the vocal performances and go over every detail and every inflection. “

Rodrigo may have taken a spin on the Disney-to-pop-star express, but she is bursting amid the #FreeBritney era and the accompanying cultural calculation around how young female artists are treated. Perhaps as a result, she is both self-assured and self-protective. When speculation about the inspiration behind the “driver’s license” began, she chose to stay out of TikTok for six months. She deflects certain subjects with the ease of Neo dodging bullets in The matrix– if he had been doing this since he was 12. This includes the plagiarism charges brought against her by Courtney Love (“To be honest, I’m just flattered that Courtney Love knows that I exist,” she said with a smile) as well as a question about her. HSMTMTS co-star Joshua Bassett, whose album was supposed to be about. I ask him if the two had any conversations about Bassett’s exit in an interview with this post in June. “I don’t know and it’s not for me to talk about it,” she said.

Otherwise, Rodrigo is bursting with serious and quick energy. Between bites of avocado toast with poached eggs, she asks me more questions than any other subject I’ve come across and can’t wait to discuss creating images as a pop star and why she stays out of social media. Because her meteoric rise came amid the pandemic, it also turned out to be one of her first in-person magazine interviews.


GQ: Was it surreal to become world famous when everyone was locked up?
Olivia rodrigo: Oh my God. Totally. I think it was actually great, because there was this lack of pressure. If there had been a concert and I could see that “Drivers License” was sung by thousands of people, I feel like I would have put more into my head than I did.

What was your first exposure to stardom after things started to reopen?
Someone came to me the other day and said, “Sorry if it’s weird, but I had sex on your entire album.” And I was like, “What the hell is this?” It’s crazy. “It was the strangest experience I have ever had. I was flattered, of course.

Definitely an interesting choice!
I appreciate that she had the audacity to come up to me and tell me that too. I was like, “Do you wanna have sex with the breakup songs?” It’s really cool to go out and have people say, “I really like your music, it got me through a tough time in my life. People would come up to me and say, “Oh, I like the character. they do the show,”And it’s so awesome. But it’s a whole different experience when someone says, “Oh, that’s a vulnerable part of your heart.”

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