A Star’s Debut
Acting, singing, and storytelling; Olivia Rodrigo’s “driver’s license” puts three of her greatest talents on display. Her debut single is a performance filled with melody, despair, and sincerity; everything that makes a pop song stick.
It’s youthful and naive, but still raw with true emotion. Anyone looking for a song to scream about their failed love stories along to will adore this song.
Olivia Rodrigo is a singer-songwriter who rose to stardom upon her gig on Disney+. Rodrigo plays Nini on Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Like her character, Olivia Rodrigo is a kind-hearted performer who falls into love triangles and what-if situations. Therefore, the writing and recording of her very own single, “driver’s license.”
“Driver’s license” debuted on January 8 and is already racing to the top of every chart. YouTube, Spotify, Billboard – not to mention social media’s reaction – has been immense, making Rodrigo’s success spread like wildfire.
Truly An Overnight Hit
Billboard broke down just how quick the 17-year-old’s success has been with her debut single. “Over its first three days of availability — from Friday the 8th to Sunday the 10th — the song has sold 16,000 copies and been streamed 21 million times in the U.S. […] For comparison’s sake, that’s already more streams in three days than “Mood,” the reigning No. 1 on Billboard‘s Streaming Songs listing. It’s also nearly 73% of the way to the sales total posted by Justin Bieber’s “Anyone” in that week (22,000), the top song on Billboard‘s Digital Song Sales chart.”
The debut single from an on-the-rise pop star is going toe-to-toe with Justin Bieber and an established No. 1 song. This is not an easy feat for any musician, let alone one with only a singular solo song out.
As well, Rodrigo’s last hit, “All I Want” for the HSMTMTS soundtrack, pales in comparison to “driver’s license.” Looking at the music videos alone, the difference is clear. “All I Want” sits on Disney’s YouTube with a comfortable 31 million views nine months after it’s release. “Driver’s license” has been available less than a week on her account and is racing toward 20 million views.
“Driver’s license,” a debut single, has been out less than a week, and already has a life of its own. With Rodrigo’s beautiful voice and supreme talent mixed in with expert songwriting, it’s no surprise.
Breaking Down Olivia Rodrigo’s “driver’s license”
Notably a massive Taylor Swift fan, Olivia Rodrigo’s songwriting ability and storytelling quality is similar to the powerhouse. Dousing her broken heart in fuel, Rodrigo lit her own musical fire and let the world feel its warmth.
She may have crafted a sad, angsty song about romance, but the love she put into it is fierce. This allows even the most unknowing listener to fall deep into the pits of speculated drama that inspired the track.
So, what is Olivia Rodrigo’s “driver’s license” about? On the surface, it is, in fact, about learning how to drive and getting your license. Diving deeper, it’s about the empty promises a potential lover made – and subsequently broke.
In Taylor Swift fashion, Rodrigo dropped enough hints in her lyrics to let fans run wild with theories. The clearest example? “You’re probably with that blonde girl, who always made me doubt. She’s so much older than me. She’s everything I’m insecure about.”
Olivia Rodrigo was linked to her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star, Joshua Bassett, for months. The pair play opposite one another as a couple with a lot of chemistry. Chemistry that bled into real life and off-screen.
Olivia Rodrigo’s “driver’s license” Lets The Rumors Swirl
Bassett, a singer-songwriter himself, wrote a song that is notably about Rodrigo titled “Anyone Else.” A love song from his perspective about never loving anyone else ever again.
Unfortunately, it seems like he did. The “blonde girl” that Rodrigo sings about is who Bassett has been recently linked to. The blonde and “older” Sabrina Carpenter has been seen cozying up to Rodrigo’s former connection. Joshua Bassett and Sabrina Carpenter also dressed up in a couple’s costume this Halloween as Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Last year, he did so with Olivia Rodrigo as John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Rodrigo sings, “Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me, because you said forever. Now I drive alone past your street.” Many see that as yet another nod to her co-star’s love for her that he, too, professed in song.
To say nothing of the fact that Bassett taught the star how to drive – and get her “driver’s license.” “I got my driver’s license last week, just like we always talked about. You were so excited for me to finally drive up to your house,” Rodrigo sings. Now, she is singing about the past. She won’t be driving to his house. She has her license, but she’s busy writing more songs about him.
Fans were stunned that Bassett and Rodrigo were suddenly not together in any way and that he moved on. (To another Disney star, at that!) She seemingly felt the same and wrote none other than “driver’s license” about it.
“Driver’s license,” Olivia Rodrigo’s wrathful romantic debut single, documents this saga without ever naming names. Not only does this further her lyrical expertise, but it showcases the future of her career as a pop star.