In a little over a week, Olivia Rodrigo will release her anticipated debut album, Sour. Ahead of then, though, she has given fans a sneak peek at how making it went with her new album trailer.
The two-and-a-half-minute video starts with clips of Rodrigo and collaborator Dan Nigro working on the album in an intimate home studio. The two excitedly hug and share an emotional moment when Nigro reveals he has put the finishing touches on either a song or the album as a whole. There are also clips from the lead-up to the album, including Rodrigo on the sets of her videos for “Drivers License” and “Deja Vu,” and of her hearing “Drivers License” on the radio for the first time.
Perhaps most notably, the video ends with a sneak peek of Rodrigo’s upcoming single “Good 4 U,” which sounds like a more upbeat and rock-oriented song than her previous singles. There’s also some footage from the video shoot, which features Rodrigo among some major greenery and in a pool.
“Good 4 U” will be out soon, as Rodrigo is set to release the song this week, on May 14. The next day, she will perform the song on Saturday Night Live.
Singer and actress Olivia Rodrigo of Disney+'s "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" and "drivers license" fame joined us for a round of 17 Questions, and she gave us allll the tea. Watch as she reveals her favorite lyric from her upcoming album "Sour", her thoughts on long distance relationship, her McDonald's order, and more.
Speaking in a couple of recent interviews, the 18-year-old spilled some deets of what fans can expect on her first full-length project, revealing that "Drivers License" only offers a small glimpse of the tone for the rest of the album.
"I was really inspired by '90s alternative rock records with Sour, especially alternative rock girls," she told NME, noting Alanis Morissette as an influence. "I think the albums from that time were so brutally honest and angsty, and I wanted to make an angsty record about me growing up and going through heartbreak."
However, heartbreak was one thing Olivia was wary of when putting the album together, telling Billboard that she was initially concerned she would be "pigeonholed" as the "heartbreak girl," particularly after reports of a love triangle involving High School Musical costar Joshua Bassett and fellow Disney singer Sabrina Carpenter.
Although never confirmed, it was rumored that Olivia and Joshua had dated and then broken up, with further reports claiming he'd moved on with Sabrina. The drama, which all three parties have responded to with varying degrees of subtlety, was said to be the inspiration behind "Drivers License," as well as songs that were then released by Joshua and Sabrina.
But, after apparently trying to balance out the album with "sweeter-skewing love songs," Olivia reverted to what she knew best, explaining: "I'm a songwriter who writes from a place of authenticity and truth."
"Truthfully, love and happiness and everything weren't feelings that I was feeling at the time," she went on. "And what's the point of putting out a record if it isn't something that you feel is important to say to people?"
And it sounds like fans are in for a treat when Sour debuts next week. If the first three singles are anything to go by, there's going to be a little something for everybody.
Olivia Rodrigo received some valuable advice from Taylor Swift. The 18-year-old singer covers the latest issue of Billboard, and reveals some of the words of wisdom Swift, her songwriting idol, imparted on her in a handwritten note amid the success of her debut single, "Drivers License."
"I don’t want to divulge too much because it’s really sweet and personal, but she talks a lot about how, I think, you make your own luck in the world," Rodrigo, who recently met Swift in person for the first time, says. "And when you do kind things to others, good things come your way."
"I don’t know, she put it so eloquently," she adds. "When I say it now... it’s not as cool."
Before "Drivers License" became a hit that garnered the support of Swift and others, Rodrigo had faith that the song would be well-received thanks to her dad's response to it.
"I could just see the tears under his sunglasses," she says of when she played him the song for the first time. "I, like, never see my dad cry, ever. I was like, 'Oh, OK, maybe I did something here.'"
When her feeling was proven right, Rodrigo wasn't out celebrating, but rather under COVID-19 protocols while filming the second season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, which will premiere on Disney+ Friday.
"While everything was happening, I was literally doing the same thing [as always]," she says. "Going to set, doing my statistics homework and then going to sleep."
Admittedly, the homework aspect of her daily routine fell off a bit as love for "Drivers License" continued for her second release, "Deja Vu."
"I have like a month left of senior year, and I’ve sort of been neglecting that," she says. "Because I’ve been off making my album, I sort of forgot I was a high school student."
That album, Sour, is due out May 21. While the first two releases off of her debut sparked media speculation about her love life -- both are thought to be in reference to her co-star and rumored ex, Joshua Bassett, and his reported new girlfriend, Sabrina Carpenter -- Rodrigo says the tone of the songs came from a place of truth, not one of buzz potential.
"At first I was like, 'I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be pigeonholed,'" she says of releasing two love-life-focused tracks. "I’m a songwriter who writes from a place of authenticity and truth. And truthfully, love and happiness and everything weren’t feelings that I was feeling at the time."
"What’s the point of putting out a record if it isn’t something that you feel is important to say to people?" Rodrigo adds.
While Rodrigo is certainly enjoying her success, she says that her number one focus is songwriting, not performing or releasing music herself.
"The second the album cycle for this is over and I’m not traveling, that’s the one thing that I want to do so bad," she says of songwriting. "I always said that I wanted to do that: Maybe when I was, like, 30 or something and I had kids, I’d stop making music and just write for other people. Because I just love songwriting. I love songwriting more than putting out songs."
Even having said that, Rodrigo appreciates that having "really commercially successful music means that lots of people are really affected by" it.
"That’s awesome in and of itself. If my music becomes really commercially successful, that’s incredible, and that means I did a good job," she says. "But some of my favorite artists are not commercially successful, and that doesn’t mean that they’re any less amazing."
"I’m really just truly enjoying myself, and I love that I get to do this for a living," Rodrigo adds. "And it’s super cool that people want to listen."