For her debut single, Olivia Rodrigo knocked it out of the park—or rather passed without hitting a traffic cone! (This analogy feels more appropriate.) The song starts with a car door slamming and the keys clicking. The underlying piano is gorgeous, and it sets the tone for the rest of the song. Her lyrics are straightforward, telling us a very distinct story, not using many metaphors, as many other artists do. The bridge has Taylor Swift energy (aka making you want to scream out the lyrics and break up with your partner just to experience that kind of pain). The song itself holds enough teen angst so that we all relate to it.
The new song took the internet by storm. Twitter and Tiktok instantly hooked onto it, boosting its popularity and using it in memes. Fans and celebs took to both apps to express their love for the song, and the intense emotions it made them feel - or rather long to experience. The social media storm was a huge factor in the song’s record-breaking popularity. In just the first day of its release, the song managed to break Spotify’s record for most streams in a single day and then proceeded to break the same record the next day. The song debuted at #1 on the UK Chart, and pass both of Taylor Swift’s new releases on the iTunes charts to hit #1. Taylor Swift even commented on Olivia’s success saying, “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud.”
Of course, no song release comes without a handful of drama. Even prior to the song's release, fans of the show High School Musical the Musical the Series suspected there was tension between her and her castmate, Joshua Bassett. If you haven’t watched the show yet (which you really should) the pair had tons of chemistry. When they first met, Olivia was dating Ethan Wacker, her co-star from another show. They broke up, and very soon after Joshua and Olivia were pictured together more often. He even taught her how to drive a car—hence the song’s title, “Driver’s License.” There is an almost 3 year age difference, so Joshua told her to wait until she turned 18. He wrote a song called “Anyone Else,” that Olivia makes reference to in the line of her song “You didn't mean what you wrote in that song about me.” His song is about how he loved her but couldn't have her. The music video starred him alongside Sabrina Carpenter (“And you’re probably with that blonde girl.”), another Disney star. Pretty soon, Joshua and Olivia were seen together less frequently, and he spent Halloween with Sabrina. Then, Olivia posted a photo to her Instagram wearing a shirt that said: “dump him.” Their co-star, Larry Saperstein, even liked a TikTok that talked about the drama. And he isn't the first of the cast to shade Joshua, with many no longer commenting on his music or interacting with his Instagram. After the song’s release, Joshua posted the song on his Instagram story, congratulating Olivia. Did he even listen to the song first? Was it PR? Can he read the room?
You probably have, but if you haven’t GO LISTEN TO DRIVERS LICENSE.
Sydney Levine is a BBG from Nassau Suffolk Region who loves Harry Styles.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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