Earlier this week, Olivia Rodrigo released her new song, Drivers’ License, which broke multiple records. Not only was it Spotify’s most streamed song in a day, but it surpassed Ariana Grande’s hit, Thank U, Next.
The first time I heard of Rodrigo was after watching the new High School Musical, the series, on Disney+. When the new show came out, my roommate and I really got into it. I admired Rodrigo, but most importantly, I admired her talent, which exceeded the boundaries of Disney. I started following her and her co-star Joshua Bassett online. The two consistently post raw videos of themselves playing music and singing their own original songs. To me, I think it is really cool to see their artistry grow online. While Vanessa Hudgens released her albums, there weren’t personal videos of her or Zac Efron singing original songs in my childhood. So many people judged the new series because yes, it was going to be different from the original, but I think Disney picked its cast carefully. These were actors and singers with great ambitions to reach their dreams.
Although, since the release, there has been speculation about Rodrigo’s song and what it meant. Drivers’ License depicts Rodrigo getting her drivers’ license the other week, and she cannot celebrate the achievement with her old lover because they are no longer together. Fans have speculated the song is a portrayal of the HSM co-stars Rodrigo and Bassett.
But the truth is, if you have not heard of this in the media yet, you are living under a rock. The song blew up as an audio on Tik-Tok and is still going down currently on my for-you-page. I don’t even go on Tik-Tok too often anymore, but this gossip is all that I’ve seen. Frankly, there are so many people that have never heard of Rodrigo or Bassett until Drivers’ License came out.
Therefore, I think many people underestimate the influence of Tik-Tok. These videos are shared randomly by chance, and people either go viral, or receive five views. Some stars have risen because of Tik-Tok, like Charli D’amelio, and sometimes I wonder if these figures are only famous because of this one outlet. Hence, could it be possible Rodrigo’s song is number one because of the additional factor of the controversy and trends on Tik-Tok? Especially in the pandemic, Tik-Tok has been a source to watch for news. I got to see a lot of opinions in the Black Lives Matter movement and the upcoming Trump rallies no one encouraged going to or buying tickets but “getting sick.”
Unfortunately, while the speculation could be true, or is true, people are taking it beyond proportion. There were a lot of hate comments thrown in Sabrina Carpenter’s direction after the song’s release. One of the lyrics says, “And you're probably with that blonde girl” which is supposed to be representing Carpenter. While this mysterious girl is mentioned, Rodrigo never writes she did anything bad between the two. In fact, she wrote, “she’s everything I’m insecure about,” which suggests, if anything, Rodrigo was complimenting her. By this, I think Rodrigo is only voicing her emotions, not necessarily that Carpenter did something specific to the relationship. I think what’s funny, although, is to see how many people have become so invested in it. For example, here I am writing an article about it. I do not usually write about gossip, but this seemed worthy to write; to clear the air. Sometimes relationships just do not work out, or people fall out of love. This is what makes the song itself so powerful and emotional.
Besides that, I do love this hype for Rodrigo. She is very talented, and she’s going places. But, the main point of this article is to give people something to think about within the influence of the media. Some of my friends told me they cried hearing Rodrigo’s song for the first time. My best friend even reached out to me to tell me she knew I was going to love the song.
So, maybe it’s because of Tik-Tok, or the controversy, if you believe it. But my depiction of the situation ends with it is what it is. Sabrina Carpenter is just as beautiful and talented as Rodrigo.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am about to do hot girl shit, thus, crying and listening to Drivers’ License.