Olivia Rodrigo Opens Up About Navigating the Drama Around ‘driver’s license’: “I Feel a Responsibility”

Olivia Rodrigo opened up about the “weird media shit” she felt followed the release of her breakthrough single, “drivers license.”

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In a recent interview with Phoebe Bridgers for Interview Magazine, Bridgers prompted the conversation by asking the “Bad Idea Right?” singer, “Have you ever felt the responsibility to send the subject of a song before it comes out, especially now that you have such a giant platform?”

Rodrigo replied, “I feel like last time there was so much weird media shit and I had no idea how to deal with any of it.

[RELATED: Behind The Song: “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo, Dan Nigro]

“Literally, it was the first song out of the gate and all of that shit happened,” she continued. “I felt so ill-equipped.”

The release of “drivers license” was accompanied by a pervasive rumor mill. Many fans attributed the song to Rodrigo’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star Joshua Bassett. The pair were rumored to be dating after the show’s release, so it was only natural they would expect the painful breakup ballad to be about Bassett as well.

Following that controversial release, Rodrigo says she feels a responsibility to the subjects of her songs because of the potential reaction from her fans and the media alike.

“That was an overwhelming experience, but now I definitely feel a responsibility,” she added. “I just try not to think about it during the writing process.”

Moreover, she tried to alter her approach while writing her impending album, GUTS.

“When I first started writing this record, I would sit at the piano and pretend other people were hearing what I was writing, which is so awful and counterproductive to any creativity, so I had to just write what I wanted to write and think about the social implications after,” she told Bridgers. “It’s tricky. I don’t think anyone has it down to a science. I can’t even believe that people listen and talk about my music as it is, so it’s crazy to think about. I guess I’m still learning how to deal with all that stuff.”

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Music Group for Brands

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