Olivia Rodrigo - a new phenomenon

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

Olivia Isabel Rodrigo (born February 20, 2003) is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She starred in Bizaardvark, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Her debut single “Driver License” in January 2021, which reached number one in multiple countries, including the US. She just released her debut album “Sour” on May 21, 2021. This album is excellent as it portraits the raw emotions of an 18 years old girl. The whole album is on top 50 USA Spotify most played tracks.


Photo Credit: The New York Times


Her first debut and hit “Drivers License”

The song tells the story of a high school romance gone bad. A love that Olivia built hopes and dreams on gone only to find herself left behind. All of us teenage girls probably have gone through this phase. This song turned into a bigger one as there is a mysterious backstory behind it. Many fans believe Olivia was in a relationship with her coworker “Joshua Bassette”. Beyond the gossip, this song quickly became a viral TikTok trend despite Olivia not having any expectations for it. The young singer said the song captures the emotions of heartbreak - all the angst, sadness, and insecurity she knows her audience would go through.


Her new album “Sour”

Her debut album “Sour”, released May 21, offers a nimble and lightly chaotic collection of breakup tunes filled with melancholy and mischief. The tracklist in itself is a ride of emotions. Here is the tracklist of the album:

  1. Brutal

  2. Traitor

  3. Driver license

  4. 1 step forward, 3 steps back

  5. Deja vu

  6. Good 4 u

  7. Enough for you

  8. Happier

  9. Jealousy, jealousy

  10. Favorite crime

  11. Hope ur ok

“Sour” is an evolution of Olvia’s emotions. It shows all her vulnerability and the stages she went through after a breakup. She nailed her songwriting skills and took inspiration from her idol - Taylor Swift. Not only is she a woman who turns vulnerabilities into lyrical minefields, putting her deepest wounds on display but also using music for emotional release. This is a big step for Olivia apart from her Disney television life.


So why are people obsessed with Olivia?

Her music is very clearly pulling inspiration from the angsty, rage-y, young-sad-cool-girl vibes. Olivia sings about wearing makeup to impress her crush/boyfriend and not being able to parallel park, experiences that happened to a lot of us teenagers but weren’t covered by our favorite artists before. Olivia makes us feel nostalgia for music that didn’t exist when we needed it most. Additionally, Olivia speaks to young people about their moods and situations. We all just want to feel understood whether we’re young or old. Finally, she also has a smart promotional strategy with a teen-friendly aesthetic and music that continues to be witty, catchy, and relatable all at once. Who can resist Olivia?


Links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3nzgCWgFNM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgZgJU27tXE&ab_channel=TikTokParadiseTikTokParadise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKqMdC2-TEc&ab_channel=iAmJordiiAmJordi


Sources:

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/05/10496217/why-old-millennials-love-olivia-rodrigo-memes

https://www.wmagazine.com/story/who-is-olivia-rodrigo

https://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/olivia-rodrigo-interview

https://time.com/6050587/olivia-rodrigo-sour/

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/arts/music/olivia-rodrigo-drivers-license.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/21/arts/music/olivia-rodrigo-sour-review.html

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/olivia-rodrigo-sour/

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/olivia-rodrigo-sour-album-tracklist-peak-storytelling