• Simply GenZ

The Debut of Olivia Rodrigo

Who is Olivia Rodrigo?

Olivia Rodrigo is a young artist who rose to fame after many years of acting and releasing her debut single, Drivers License. Ever since, she has been one of the most well-known celebrities amongst Gen Z, having millions of followers on every social media platform.

Rodrigo’s acting career began when she was only twelve years old, in An American Girl: Grace Stirs up Success. After the movie, she went on to star in the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark, playing a character named Paige. After the show ended, Rodrigo continued to work with Disney and starred in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. She co-starred with Joshua Bassett, which made the cast a sensation with Gen Z.

How Did Rodrigo Become so Popular?

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, was released just a few short months before the pandemic shut down most places. This made the show binge-worthy throughout the beginning of quarantine. In fact, due to the High School Musical spin-off, Rodrigo’s music career kicked off with her original song “All I Want,” featured in season one of the series.

In 2020, she signed a record deal, leading to the debut single release of Driver's License in January 2021. The lyric: “You’re probably with the blonde girl, who always made me doubt” caused the song to instantly go viral, as rumors quickly began to spark about an alleged love triangle between Rodrigo, co-star Joshua Bassett, and Sabrina Carpenter.

The song gained recognition from other pop icons such as Taylor Swift and appeared in the Billboard Top 100.

Her Debut Album: Sour

In May 2021, Rodrigo released the album Sour. The no skip album has a mix of different sounds, creating an artistic statement and a blend of creativity from the 18-year-old. Throughout the album, Rodrigo draws inspiration from some of the biggest names in modern-day music. In “1 step forward, 3 steps back,” the melody from Taylor Swift’s “New Year’s Day.” Throughout the album she also uncovers her anger for modern-day society, her bare insecurities, and jealousies, drawing inspiration from pop-punk artists such as Paramore and Avril Lavigne. Adding to the blend, Rodrigo features tender ballads, such as “hope ur ok” and “enough for you” in which she turns vulnerability into a lyrical display.

However, many have speculated that songs such as “happier” and “traitor” are once again about her co-star, Joshua Bassett. Neither Rodrigo nor Basset have come forward addressing any rumors. Despite the controversy surrounding the album, Sour is raw and well written which caused teenagers, going through a heartbreak or insecurities to relate to how brutal it is out here.

Research Coordinator - Kelly Zarate

Editor - Vaishnavi Bhojane

Graphic Designer - Jhem Picache