There are few better places to listen and sing along to music than in your car. Who hasn’t imagined that they’re filming a music video in there? The rain outside hits the windows and a sad song plays at full volume for the perfect mood. Many people must have already included this song in their car playlists, as it has become an instant hit both in the charts and in our hearts. So buckle up, start the engine, and let yourself feel every emotion while listening to “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo.
OLIVIA RODRIGO’S STARTING POINT
Olivia Rodrigo may be a relatively new name in the music industry, but it’s for certain here to stay. The California-born singer will only be turning 18 in a few days, but her success is already astounding. She started her career as an actress, most notably on Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark. And in 2019, she even landed the lead role in Disney +’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Through her work with Disney, Rodrigo started developing her musical abilities as well. She received praise for her acting, but also for her sweet singing voice in songs such as All I Want.
DRIVING THE ROAD OF EMOTIONS WITH DRIVERS LICENSE
It’s no surprise then that she’s now making the jump into the music industry with her single “Driver’s License”. It came out on January 8, 2021, and immediately rose to number 1 in the Spotify charts in multiple countries. A power ballad produced by Dan Nigro, it enchants with its minimalist piano verses and especially its intensely emotional bridge. Its genuine and heart-wrenching lyrics have quickly made it the talk of the entire internet, with people all over the world relating to Olivia’s vulnerable account. The cathartic quality of the song isn’t lost to the singer herself, who explained:
“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.”
The lyrics of the song referencing this previous relationship and a certain “blonde girl” who her ex is seeing now have obviously sparked a thirst for gossip and speculations from fans on the internet. All of the rumours that the song may cause, however, can’t erase any of its earnest feeling. If anything, they render the song more genuine and heartfelt as it comes from a place of emotional vulnerability. Not in vain has Rodrigo already been compared to huge names such as Taylor Swift, who also happens to be one of her musical inspirations.
DRIVERS LICENSE TO RIDE THE WAVE OF SUCCESS
And it does in fact seem like Rodrigo’s career could be as bright as that of her idol. “Driver’s License” debuted at number 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 and broke Spotify streaming records. It has also received critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone declaring it already a candidate for song of the year. Its music video, depicting the singer reminiscing on her lost love while driving through town, already counts more than 100 million views.
Olivia’s success has been sudden and impactful, and one cannot overlook the help of platforms like TikTok, where a new kind of audience – the same one that Olivia belongs to in her age group – is revolutionising the way new talents and songs are getting discovered.
In any case, it doesn’t seem too early to predict the rise of Olivia Rodrigo as a prominent figure in the future music scene. The appeal of her voice and the courage to lay her feelings bare combined with a little bit of gossip for the new generation should be more than enough. Natural talent doesn’t fail her either, as evidenced by her recent performance at the Jimmy Fallon show. Rodrigo manages to move millions with just a piano and her voice. We cannot wait to witness what revolutionary things she’s still able to achieve.
Text: Erola Puigsech Autonell
Pictures: © Universal Music