Olivia Rodrigo is firing back at criticism she received over some of the lyrics to her songs, and slams the unrealistic expectations some fans set upon her. Let’s break it down.
By now, we all know of Olivia Rodrigo and her smash-hit single “drivers license,” which broke Spotify and streaming records, and basically put her on the map as many have already dubbed her the ‘next Taylor Swift’ because HAVE YOU HEARD THESE LYRICS? Who am I kidding, we’ve all probably shed at least one tear while blasting this in the car at some point, but while the song continues to be praised by fans around the world, Olivia has already received her share of criticism over what many claim to be ‘sexist’ lyrics.
She recently caught up with The Guardian where she opened up about her songwriting inspiration, stating that the realness of Lorde’s Pure Heroine album was always similar to what she aspired to create.
Olivia said, “She talks about driving to the suburbs and going to school and all her friend-group drama. I remember feeling so seen: she’s taking this normal experience that we all go through and turning it into something really beautiful and artful.”
But after dropping her debut single and follow-up song “Deja Vu,” Olivia instantly began to notice the “sexist criticism of songwriters like me being told that they only write songs about boys,” which is similar to the backlash her idol, Taylor Swift, encountered throughout the majority of her career.
Olivia called this argument “BS in my mind,” adding, “I’m a teenage girl, I write about stuff that I feel really intensely – and I feel heartbreak and longing really intensely – and I think that’s authentic and natural.”
While admitting she tries to take the criticism with a grain of salt, Olivia popped back about the expectations people have on her songwriting content, saying, “I don’t really understand what people want me to write about; do you want me to write a song about income taxes? How am I going to write an emotional song about that?” In all honesty, I do get pretty emotional just thinking about income taxes, but that’s a whole other argument for a different day…
One thing Olivia prides herself on with her forthcoming album Sour set to release next week, is that the record addresses emotions that, in her words are “hard to talk about or aren’t really socially acceptable, especially for girls: anger, jealousy, spite, sadness — they’re all frowned upon as bitchy and moaning and complaining.” I’m sensing a fiery follow-up to Taylor’s hit “The Man” already hiding out in Olivia’s drafts… anyone else getting these vibes?
Anyway, the criticism won’t be steering Olivia away from writing what’s on her mind, as she also gushed about one of her songs off Sour called “Happier”, which she wrote in between takes for her show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Olivia labeled the track as a “sad-ass song” where she wishes her ex well and admires his new girlfriend.
She further details the heartbreaking beauty of these heightened emotions, adding, “It’s interesting, heartbreaks when you’re 16 or 17, because you don’t yet have that perspective of knowing that life goes on and you’re gonna meet other people; that it wasn’t the only happy experience you’ll ever have.” But it sure is something we all learn as life goes on, and just like Olivia said, these universal emotions we’ve all felt at one point or another deserve some recognition.
And for all the details on Olivia’s latest duet with ex-boyfriend Joshua Bassett, stick around for more thrilling news. Then be sure to let me know all your thoughts on Olivia’s response to the backlash over her lyrics right down here in the comments.