There’s one name dominating the charts right now: 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo.
Though we might have heard her first from the overnight hit “Drivers License,” this up-and-coming artist is slowly building her name to becoming one of the most dynamic songwriters in the industry with her debut album SOUR.
With vulnerability and authenticity at her core, we take a look into the woman whose name we’ll all be hearing more of in the future.
Taylor Swift is her ultimate idol
Though an affinity for Taylor Swift is expected from someone as young as Olivia, the two have been in close contact since the hit of Drivers License.
Taylor often calls Olivia her “baby” through social media and even helped her out in SOUR with a writing credit in the heartstring-tugging song “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back.”
Despite being a fan for years, Olivia and Taylor only first met this May 11 during the 2021 BRIT Awards.
She made her industry debut through Disney
Yep, Olivia is a Disney baby! Just like her predecessors Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, Olivia first made a name through the High School Musical spin-off series High School Musical: The Musical.
This was also where she met co-star and rumored lover Joshua Bassett, who has been alleged as the main topic of most of Olivia’s songs.
Both remain friends and have even supported each other’s solo careers.
Her great-grandfather immigrated from the Philippines
Olivia was born in the US and eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting, but she’s always maintained that her and her family practice Filipino traditions.
In a 2017 Asian Pacific Heritage video for Disney, Olivia shared a few words about how she grew up.
“My heritage is a part of who I am. I’m part Filipina on my dad’s side of the family,” she said.
“My Filipino heritage comes from my great-grandfather. He came on a boat from the Philippines when he was just a teenager. Can you imagine moving to a whole new country all by yourself?”
She also shared that her great-grandfather was a great cook who would serve the family her favorite lumpia rolls.
She wrote Drivers License in the middle of a breakdown
As they say, some breakdowns bring a breakthrough. In Olivia’s case, it brought her to the international stage and solidified her name as an artist—even when it’s crying over a boy.
Speaking with People, the then-17-year-old shared that “I wrote the bulk of the song literally crying in my living room, and I think that it definitely has that feel to it.”
“So, I just sat down at my piano and plucked out some chords that I liked, and it kind of happened that way. But it was really, really natural and organic, very much me writing in the depth of my emotion.”
There are no red lights for her career
Her first album may be SOUR, but Olivia’s future is nothing but sweet.
“Every song is so personal and close to my heart,” she had shared on the album’s premise. “Getting to share them with people is the most special thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
With her first album debuting at #1 in the Billboard 100 charts and taking over Spotify’s entire Top 10 US tracks in its first week, it’s clear that with Olivia on the wheel, there’s nowhere to go but up.