Fans Think Olivia Rodrigo Was Clever With Honoring Taylor Swift On ‘Sour’ Without Paying Scooter Braun

Ahead of the release of Olivia Rodrigo’s new album Sour, one of the biggest stories about it was Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff receiving a writing credit on “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back.” While it may seem like Rodrigo sampled Swift’s “New Year’s Day” on the track, that has turned out to not be the case, and some fans think Rodrigo had a specific reason for not sampling Swift.

Uproxx previously confirmed that Rodrigo does not sample Swift’s studio recording of “New Year’s Day” on the song. Rather, she interpolated it, meaning she (or a collaborator) freshly recorded the notes that Swift and Jack Antonoff wrote. If Rodrigo had sampled the song, the owners of the master recording (Scooter Braun and Big Machine Records) would have profited via royalty payments. Since Swift is famously not on good terms with Braun and her former label, some fans see this move as Rodrigo supporting Swift and intentionally making sure those parties do not make any money off her work.

One fan summed up the situation well: “a sample is a song that has been copied and pasted into a new song. an interpolation means you recreate the song with your own musicians. so Olivia interpolating the song means Taylor and jack gave her permission to reproduce the notes that they wrote. this means [scooter] GETS NO MONEY. in other words: hiring someone to record the piano line from new year’s day: some number of dollars idk how much session musicians make. cutting [scooter] and whoever else out of the loop: PRICELESS. (if it were a sample they would have to pay whoever owned the masters).”

Fans of both Rodrigo and Swift (a Venn diagram that seems to be essentially just a circle) were excited to make this discovery, so check out some reactions below.

Sour is out now via Geffen Records. Get it here.