Olivia Rodrigo took the world by storm last year with the resounding success of her debut album Acid. The Californian singer is 19 years old but her first record is dragging on a long ridein relation to figures such as Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and, at national level, Lali and lowercase. Her passion for music awakened as a child: at the age of five she began studying singing and at nine piano and writing songs. At ten o’clock came the leap that meant working Grace brings about success (2015), film released by Universal Studios. After showing her innate charisma in contests and commercials, Disney noticed her talent and put her on the TV sitcom. Bizarrovark (2016).
Three years later, Rodrigo starred in High School Musical: The Series (2019) and won the hearts of a colossal audience not only with her voice, but with the evolution of her acting prowess. With increasing popularity, the impression on the artist changed completely when he came to light “Anything I want“, the piece composed by herself for this web series adaptation of the famous musical trilogy directed by Kenny Ortega. Once out of the series, she went on to release songs that caught the attention of Dan Nigro, composer and producer of Lewis Capaldi, Conan Gray And Sky Ferreira– and called her to work together.
As soon as 2021 started, it premiered “Driving license”, Their official debut single and first cut from Acid. Success meant triple platinum status, millions of plays, and the highest position on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks.. The rest, as they say, is history.
As part of the premiere of his concert-documentary entitled Drive home 2 U -which is already available on Disney +– We talked to the great phenomenon of 2021 about his successes, joys and fears.
How was the experience of reaching an overwhelming level of fame so quickly? Were you ready or did it take you by surprise?
It was really crazy. My life has changed very quickly and very drastically since I presented my first song “Drivers Patent”. I am so grateful for all the opportunities it has brought me and I still can’t believe that so many people want to hear what I have to say. I feel very privileged. I am living a dream. However, at the end of the day I’m the same person, doing the same things everyday. The fame was certainly unexpected, but I think all the changes it brought about are external. My life has changed on the outside, on the inside I think I’m the same as always.
What was the experience of making a movie like? What was your favorite part and what cost you the most?
My favorite part was watching videos of me and my producer Dan while recording in the studio Acid, we are very good friends and we laugh a lot together. It’s been so long and at the same time it seems like it all happened yesterday. For example, there is a part where they see us writing “Brutal“, Which is one of my favorite songs on the album. This is very special. I really enjoyed being able to see the creation of the songs from the beginning and know what they have become today for people and in the charts. I think the hardest part about traveling is that I missed home. But I think it will be good training for the tour.
Your lyrics have great strength, which largely paid off Acid be a hit, many people might empathize with what you sang. What is your favorite letter you’ve written?
How difficult it is! There are some verses in “Enough for you”Que me encantan,“ One day I’ll be everything to someone else ”. It “I hope you are fine“There’s a line that says,” I hope you took her bad deal and made a royal flush. “I don’t know why, but as a writer I remember when I wrote that little bit and thought” wow, that’s fine. ” “You have not betrayed but you are still a traitor” in “Traitor“, I know this is a verse that is a favorite of my fans. I had a hard time conveying that feeling of betrayal that I felt in my everyday life and I think that song really captures it very well.
How different it was for you to present the songs Drive home 2 U in relation to when did you register them for the first time? Do you feel that you have connected differently to the songs now that the time has passed?
I think writing songs is a very, very intimate process. You are leaving your heart and soul in a very vulnerable way. And once you have delivered them, they are already part of the world, I allow others to see what I have felt and renew it with their feelings and experiences. It’s mine and it happened to me, but somehow it’s yours too. When I play the songs now, whether in the movie or in a show or on TV, I do it thinking that they are no longer mine. They have a new life with new people. It is a very beautiful and special feeling to visit them again with that in mind. Seeing them now also reminds me of how much I’ve grown and how lucky I am to be able to write songs. I am very, very grateful that people have resonated with Acid the way they did. It still feels like a dream.
It all seems to have happened very quickly. What would you say to Olivia from a year ago?
I would tell him that everything will be okay, that everything will work out, that he shouldn’t give up. Surround yourself with good people who will accompany you on this journey. And above all that he is making his dream of him come true and that he is doing all this because he loves music and writing songs. Is there anything more special than this?
After all this time, reviews, awards and even a movie to reflect the success of AcidDid he change your opinion of the album – or any of the songs – or is there something you wish you had done differently?
My opinion on songs has definitely changed over time and will definitely continue to change. There is a part of the film I’m talking about that I don’t want to put “Already seenOn the album, I didn’t think it was any good compared to the others and now it’s one of my favorite songs. I think when you’re close to an album, whether it’s as a singer, writer or producer, you will have feelings that you wouldn’t necessarily have if you could step back and look at the album with more criticism and objective eyes. My feelings were the engine of the songs of Acid and now that I am older there are many things that I see with different eyes and many others that I no longer hear, that I have left behind. But I don’t regret it because they are part of me, they reflect a moment in my life that was very important. I like being able to turn around and see it as a capsule of a chapter in my life.
In some shots of the film you say that you are afraid that nobody takes your songs seriously. How do you feel about it now? Has the success given you a new confidence that we will see reflected maybe in the next album?
It certainly gave me unexpected confidence to see so many people resonate with what I had to say. I am very grateful and still find it hard to believe it had the same success, sometimes it feels like an experience that happened to someone else and I see it as a movie. But the truth is that I myself am my biggest critic and will always be a little hard on myself, thinking that I can give more and that I could be better. I think it will never change regardless of success. I am working very, very slowly on new music, because I still have a lot to live with and have fun with Acid– and although there are fears and ghosts that are no longer there, the question is still there.
After all the success, how do you keep your feet on the ground without giving in to the fame and pressure of being on everyone’s lips at such a young age?
Speaking from my personal experience, I think the key is in my family. I have wonderful parents who have never put me under pressure with anything, least of all with the entire music industry and education. They love me unconditionally and I am so grateful for them. They have been a great pillar for me during all the madness that has been my life since the issue of the “Driver’s License”. I also have great friends who are super honest with me and keep me grounded. All these people are people who love me for who I am and I am so grateful to have such a good and safe inner circle for me.
Your tour is approaching. How do you prepare to go out into the world and show Acid?
It is strange to think that millions of people already know the songs and will now listen to them live. As I said before, I think writing a song is a very intimate experience and you put your heart into that work. But there comes a time when you have to part with the song and then it stops being an extension of your heart. It begins to be something for other people. It’s something I learned during the release of Acid. I am very impatient and excited to see people all over the world and to perform on stage. I think now they have all the prisms: the album with the finished songs, the film with a more intimate view of what it means to write and produce, and now they will soon be touring, with the magic of live music.
The tour starts in Europe and then continues around the world. What do you expect more from this future interaction with your fans?
I’m a little nervous because it’s a new experience and something I’ve never done before. But I am very happy and excited to meet my fans and dance to these songs live. Songs I’ve had with me for so long, now I can share them in a new way, a way the album didn’t give me. It’s very interesting because all my music came out in quarantine, so I couldn’t interact with people in a real way. I think it will be my favorite part of the tour, to be able to be with the people and hear the songs with them.
You have to know the large number of fans you have in Latin America. Do you want to visit Argentina?
Of course I know and I still can’t believe it, thinking that my music reaches every corner of the world is still something hard to believe but very beautiful. Without a doubt, crossing Latin America is one of the greatest dreams of any singer, even mine. I have friends in Latin America, I have other musician friends who have played there and they say there is nothing like it. There are many incredible sayings about the unprecedented passion of the Argentine public, so I can’t wait to go and experience it firsthand. I think we’ll see each other much sooner than you think!