Olivia Isabel Rodrigo (born February 20, 2003) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. As an actress, she is known for her roles on the Disney series Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, though she made her theatrical debut in the direct-to-video film An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success.
She released her first single, "drivers license", in January 2021, which smashed a slew of streaming records and got her a musical guest spot on Saturday Night Live the following month. A follow-up single "deja vu" was released in April 2021, and both songs featured on her debut album SOUR, which was released on May 21, 2021.
Rodrigo is primarily a Bedroom Pop vocalist who incorporates various other musical styles in her songs, many of which center around love and heartbreak.
- An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success (2015): Grace Thomas
- Bizaardvark (2016-2019): Paige Olvera
- New Girl: Terrinea (Season 6 episode 18: "Young Adult")
- High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (2019-present): Nini Salazar-Roberts
- High School Musical: The Musical: The Series soundtrack (2019)
- SOUR (2021)
Tropes in her music:
- all lowercase letters: The song titles on SOUR, such as "brutal" and "traitor", are all in lowercase letters.
- Always Someone Better: The "blonde girl" from "drivers license" made the narrator insecure, not just because of her relationship with the narrator's ex, but because she's older and more mature, and the narrator feels like she can't measure up.
- Bait-and-Switch: "brutal" starts with slow, soulful strings as though introducing a typical mellow Bedroom Pop ballad, only to be interrupted with a quote from Rodrigo in the studio shouting "I want it to be, like, messy!" and immediately jumping into raw Pop Punk guitars.
- Bittersweet 17: In "brutal" she mourns being seventeen and the expectations and teen angst that come with the age:"And I'm so sick of seventeen
Where's my fuckin' teenage dream?
If someone tells me one more time
"Enjoy your youth," I'm gonna cry"
- Break Up Song: Most of SOUR's tracks are about relationships that, well, went sour, notably "drivers license", "deja vu", and "good 4 u". Averted with the last track, "hope ur ok", a heartfelt ballad that tells the story of the friends that have come and gone over the years and how she hopes they're doing okay in the present, with all the struggles they've gone through in life.
- Genre Roulette: Her debut album utilizes pop, alternative pop, pop-punk, alternative rock, and bedroom pop with equal vigor, highlighting her emotional highs and lows when she was 17. In an interview with Nylon, Olivia states that this was intentional.I want [Sour] to be super versatile. My dream is to have it be an intersection between mainstream pop, folk music, and alternative rock. I love the songwriting and the lyricism and the melodies of folk music. I love the tonality of alt-rock. Obviously, I'm obsessed with pop and pop artists. So I'm going to try and take all of my sort of influences... and make something that I like.
- Friendship Song: "hope ur okay" is a bittersweet one. The narrator hasn't seen the friends she's singing to in a very long time, but still loves them and hopes their lives have gotten better.
- Hair-Contrast Duo: In "driver's license" the singer (who is presumably brunette like Olivia is, since the song draws on her own experiences) specifically describes the older romantic rival who is "everything I'm insecure about" as blonde.
- Hidden Depths: Olivia is knowledgeable on the ACLU, privacy issues and Internet censorship, despite being an influencer and celebrity. Ironically, she's on social media, which is itself not known for good privacy.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Downplayed in "happier." The narrator tries to do the right thing and wish her ex-boyfriend well and admits his new girlfriend seems great, but she can't help but hope he's never quite as happy as he was with her.
- Jump Scare: Olivia's ankle snapping open at the beginning of the "brutal" music video.
- Ode to Youth: Inverted by "brutal," which is told by someone who is thoroughly sick of being a teenager and can't wait for it to be over.
- Precision F-Strike:
- "brutal" uses the F-bomb to emphasize her angst over the expectations that come with the teenage experience.
- "drivers license" is a mostly tame song about an ex-boyfriend until the bridge, where she emotionally asserts that "I still fucking love you, babe". Some extra surprise came from this being her first single and being a well-known Disney star.
- "deja vu" has an utterance of "shit" in the bridge.
- The second verse of "good 4 u" has "Baby, what the fuck is up with that?" to emphasize her anger over the breakup.
- "happier" has "bullshit" in the second verse.
- Platonic Declaration of Love: "hope ur okay" ends with one to the narrator's old friends.I love you. And I hope that you're okay.
- Properly Paranoid: The narrator in "traitor" and "drivers license" mentions that her ex had a friendship with a girl that the narrator worried was more than that. Since he and the other girl got together almost as soon as the breakup happened, the narrator is heartbroken to realize her suspicions were completely justified.
- Rearrange the Song: The Disney+ movie driving home 2 u has at least two cases, with "good 4 u" getting a more sophisticated version backed by strings, which in turn leads to the fast rocker treatment going to "jealousy jealousy" (the latter has also been performed in concert).
- Replacement Goldfish: She accuses her ex-boyfriend in "deja vu" of moving onto a girl who is a lot like her and even reusing a lot of the same tricks and gestures."Do you get deja vu when she's with you?"
- Sampling: "1 step forward, 3 steps back" uses a piano riff from Taylor Swift's "New Year's Day."
- Self-Deprecation: "brutal" is full of it, with one verse being dedicated entirely to Olivia listing her insecurities, from doubting her skill as a songwriter to admitting she still doesn't know how to parallel park.
- The lyric "Where's my fucking teenage dream?" from "brutal" refers to Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream."
- The opening shot of Olivia in a car wearing a bandana wrapped around her head and sunglasses in "deja vu" looks almost identical to a scene in the "Wildest Dreams" music video (seen at 1:43 and 1:51).
- The "good 4 u" music video has stylistic homages to Audition and Jennifer's Body, and had Olivia in the same cheerleading outfit from The Princess Diaries.
- Woman Scorned: In the "good 4 u" music video, she is smiling as her ex's car goes up in flames, presumably because she set it on fire.