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Interpreting “deja vu” By Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo’s new song came out recently and it’s called “deja vu.” It landed itself in the Billboard Hot 100 charts just as “driver’s license” did. Well, are you surprised? She is the voice behind the said, and infamous, “driver’s license,” so what was stopping her next song from going viral? After she hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100, she proceeded to reign at the number one spot for eight straight weeks. 

Some might ask, “Well, what’s all the hype? What makes her music so unique?” 

Let me start by telling you a little bit about who Olivia Rodrigo is. Olivia Rodrigo is an 18-year-old who first began her journey in the music and acting industry in 2016 on a show called Bizaardvark. She then went on to land a role in a Disney+ exclusive, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. This is when Rodrigo began to sing and showcase her talents to the world. The most incredible part was Rodrigo wrote all the songs herself! Keep in mind she was just 16 when she wrote the songs that appeared in this series. She rose to fame with her debut song “driver’s license,” though, as a solo artist, and it’s all been uphill from there. 

With that brief background, let’s move on to talk about “deja vu.” What makes Olivia Rodrigo’s music so popular is her ability to paint images in people’s minds with her lyrics. Her music holds so many picturesque lyrics that it almost feels as if you are experiencing the situations described in her songs. The songs have so much emotion, and the lyrics are very personal to her life, making it that much easier to connect with. The first verse of the lyrics in “deja vu” begins with,

 “car rides in malibu,

strawberry ice cream one spoon for two 

and trading jackets

thinking about how small it looks on you.”

Wow, can’t you just imagine yourself gazing at the palm trees in Malibu, soaking up the sun with your windows down, and treating yourself to some yummy ice cream? That’s exactly how I felt when I first heard the lyrics. 

Then the pre-chorus:

“So when are you going to tell her that we did that, too?

 She thinks it’s unique, but it’s all reused” 

This lyric holds so much emotion and it shows that she is clearly angry and upset. Another one of Rodrigo’s strengths is clever wordplay and songwriting clearly expressed in the pre-chorus.

Throughout social media, especially TikTok, Rodrigo’s song has been used countless times in videos for individuals to express their anger for a significant other. It has also been used for women to hype themselves up after something happened between them and their significant other, whether it be cheaters, those who got left for the one they were told not to worry about, or anything else.

Now you might be wondering what I thought of this song. I certainly enjoyed the song, and it is still enjoyable to listen to.  As you already know, I think the lyrics are so unique to her story, as well as being super catchy. Do I think it is better than “Driver’s license”? No. That song was monumental, and I somehow found myself listening to it even when I was happy, but that doesn’t mean “deja vu” isn’t a great song. It’s just an entirely different vibe and beat, but still great! Give it a listen, especially if you need a little pick me up! I wonder what new records her new album Sour will break, but “deja vu” will suffice for now.

Anvi is a sophomore biology major who loves to write, paint, workout and obsesses over nutrition labels on food. You can catch her stressed out or drinking protein shakes :)
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