why “driver’s license” by olivia rodrigo is the first big song of 2021

For me, it all started because of TikTok. I would constantly see videos being made using a short clip of this song that I have never heard of. It was calm and strong at the same time, and most of the videos were of people carefully listening, vibing with it, or making a cover to it. What caught my attention was that nobody was making fun of it. If you are a TikTok fan like I am, you know that creators on this app make most of their fame by making fun of something or anything (I guess like every other social media platform). So, definitely, my first reaction to it was that it must be good if absolutely nobody was tearing it apart.

It started by YouTube searching it and watching a video with lyrics/hearing the whole song for the first time, instead of just clips of it. I don’t know why but it normally takes me two or three times to hear a song to decide if I actually like it. I never listen to a song the first time and enjoy it. This, however, was not the case with this song, and that’s when I knew that this song was for me.

After googling this certain Olivia Rodrigo and stalking her social media like she was “that girl” you stalk because you either love or hate (we all have one, it’s fine), I started reading the background story, the song, and the meaning of it. I will not go into details because it is a long story that you could easily google yourself if invested. She is one of the actresses from the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+ and she had a romance going on with her co-star Joshua Bassett.

I spent hours (and I mean hours) googling and investigating what happened to them, and long story short, they broke up last year. He taught her how to drive (aka the title of the song “Driver’s License”), and now he is dating Sabrina Carpenter (aka the blonde girl she mentions in her song.)

Both Sabrina and Joshua released a song shortly after. It is no coincidence if you ask me. But it’s no good, so don’t bother listening to it. Going back to what is good:

Olivia is a 17-year-old who wrote a song about being heartbroken while having accomplished the freedom to drive around. Most would call it the American Dream. However, her voice is an old soul, and the song is a combination of old school and a little pop. For a person like me, who listens to DaBaby, you could say it is meaningful to listen to it on my way to the gym as a hype song. Maybe I just have problems, but that’s another story.

Don’t even get me started with the music video. I have watched that shit religiously every night before going to bed. It is a masterpiece, and I have no shame in saying that it is the only video I have ever liked on YouTube. It is simple, but, shit, simplicity sometimes works.

The fact that I and many other 20, and might I even say 30, year-olds were invested in the song and creeping on her relationship with her ex definitely means this song got to all of us. Whether in a relationship, heartbroken, or single for a while, this song is definitely worth hearing and feeling.

Now I am proud to say that I am obsessed with a 17- year-old girl. I have a new bedtime routine and somehow a subscription to Disney+.


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