It’s only been a few months since Olivia Rodrigo took the world by storm with her smash-hit debut single “Drivers License.” In the short time since the song’s release, the 18-year-old has already performed at a major award show and is currently gearing up for her SNL debut. But that doesn’t mean her success has come easily. Like most women in the music industry, Rodrigo says she’s had to deal with her fair share of misogyny, especially as a young artist.
Rodrigo recently sat down with NME for a conversation about her breakout moment and her impending debut album Sour. The singer explained the frustration of being pulled into a love triangle with her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series costar Joshua Bassett and his new love interest Sabrina Carpenter, who listeners suspected was the subject of “Drivers License.” “To be completely honest, it was really hard,” she said of the online speculation. “And, yeah, sometimes it wasn’t always the kindest or the most respectful. But I understand why people are curious and I’ve been curious about who my favorite songwriters wrote their songs about, so I completely understand.”
Further addressing the prejudice she’s faced in the industry, Rodrigo said:
“It would be a bald-faced lie if I say that I didn’t face any misogyny in the music industry – especially being a young girl. It’s a weird place to be. But I feel like I’m surrounded by people who really respect me and treat me with kindness. I’m really lucky in that regard and I hope that my generation of artists can really forge a path for younger artists.”
But despite the drama, Rodrigo says she’s not going to sacrifice the honesty she puts into her music. “I’m not going to sacrifice me being vulnerable and writing songs that I feel like are true to what I feel… I’m just always gonna write about what I feel the most intensely because that’s the best sort of songwriting.”
Sour is out 5/21 via Geffen Records. Pre-order it here.