Olivia Rodrigo has herself the first surprise hit of the year with “Drivers License,” which has drawn the attention of Taylor Swift and broken the Spotify record for most daily streams of a non-holiday song. Her success has been unprecedented, especially for somebody who wasn’t already a music megastar (the teenager is mostly known as an actress), and Spotify agrees.
Spotify’s Global Hits lead Becky Bass spoke about Rodrigo and “Drivers License” with Billboard, saying that she and her team have “never seen anything like this”:
“There’s truly no direct comparison here. You do have songs like BTS and ‘Dynamite’ or Ariana Grande and ‘7 Rings’ that come out with just massive first-day numbers. And then you have newer artists like Tones And I with ‘Dance Monkey’ or Lil Nas X and ‘Old Town Road,’ which took a little bit longer to grow into chart-toppers. But in my experience — and as a team, we were just discussing this earlier — we’ve never seen anything like this, where you do have a newer artist that just comes out of the gate in such a dominant way, and just continues to grow. I mean, we were like, ‘Whoa, these first day numbers are huge!’ And then they were bigger the second day, bigger the third day… so it really feels unprecedented, and likely is unprecedented.”
Rodrigo previously said of the song, “When I came up with ‘Drivers License,’ I was going through a heartbreak that was so confusing to me, so multifaceted. Putting all those feelings into a song made everything seem so much simpler and clearer — and at the end of the day, I think that’s really the whole purpose of songwriting. There’s nothing like sitting at the piano in my bedroom and writing a really sad song. It’s truly my favorite thing in the world.”
Read more of Bass’ Billboard interview here.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.