The First Hit of 2021

YouTube; Olivia Rodrigo

Released on January 8, the latest song to go viral is the heartbreak anthem, Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo.

Olivia Rodrigo is a 17-year-old actress and singer. She’s known for her roles as Paige Olvera in Bizaardvark and Nini Salazar-Roberts in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

Rodrigo’s debut single, Driver’s License, almost instantly blew up on social media platforms and garnered much attention. This is rare for a new pop artist to have such instant success with a debut single, especially being a young teenager in the music industry.

The Backstory

Driver’s License tells the story of Rodrigo receiving her license after a breakup and reminisces about her relationship while driving through the suburbs.

Rumored to be in a previous relationship with co-star Joshua Bassett, fans were quick to figure out that the lyrics were towards Rodrigo’s ex who is in a new rumored relationship with pop singer, Sabrina Carpenter. The love triangle behind the song has become a hot topic on social media and led fans to speculate that Bassett was unfaithful to Rodrigo.

The lyrics that automatically signified that the song was about Bassett were: “I got my driver’s license last week. Just like we always talked about.” Rodrigo has stated that Bassett taught her how to drive in an In-N-Out parking lot. Along with that,”And you’re probably with that blonde girl… She’s so much older than me.” Sabrina Carpenter is indeed a blonde and four years older than Olivia Rodrigo.

Lastly, “Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me” is signaled towards Bassett as he released two singles the year before which were rumored to be about her.

The drama continued as Bassett announced his new single to be released called “Lies, Lies, Lies” which seemed to be a response to Rodrigo’s claims in her song. Despite that, the song has garnered attention from many celebrities, including Rodrigo’s idol, Taylor Swift.

Overall, the entire song’s meaning is based on rumors but doesn’t need confirmations to know what it’s about.

The Success

Shortly after its release, the song exploded on the popular video-sharing app, TikTok. Nowadays, TikTok has become a huge power in the music industry that can determine the success of a song. This app can be the start of a musician’s career, just as it was for Olivia Rodrigo.

TikTok videos using the song have doubled with each day and overall garnered over one billion views within 2 weeks of its release.

Driver’s License debuted #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with 76 million streams in the first week. The song reached #1 in 48 countries on Apple Music, it gained 8.1 million radio airplay, sold 38k units in the U.S., and much more. With each passing day, the track beat its own Spotify record.

The song has also broken the record for the most streams for a non-holiday song in a single day with over 15.17 million global streams. The music video currently has 91 million views on YouTube.

My Review

I believe what made this song a hit is the actual song itself plus the amount of attention it received. It’s a ballad that has a calming piano melody with strong and wispy vocals. Although the backstory behind the song did raise interest, Driver’s License is more than the drama. The song is simply good, despite if you have different music taste.

This concept of a post break-up song isn’t uncommon which is why it’s also a hit. The lyrics are generic but the effort put into singing each lyric with great emotion allows you to feel the pain that Olivia is going through.

To conclude, this song is here to stay for a long time so be prepared to hear it everywhere. This is also just the beginning for Olivia Rodrigo and this won’t be the last time you’ll hear her name.