Single Review: Olivia Rodrigo – drivers license

Olivia Rodrigo breaks Spotify records with stunning debut single ‘drivers license’

2021 in pop music has started off with quite the surprise. 17 years old singer and actress Olivia Rodrigo, who gained fame through playing one of the main parts in High School Musical: The Musical – The Series, launched her debut solo single drivers license last week and it soon after started breaking multiple Spotify records. With incredible daily number of streams she managed to get total first week numbers of over 60 million, which is incredibly rare, especially for a debut. So what made drivers license the first song of 2021 that everybody is talking about?

Rodrigo co-wrote the song with Dan Nigro (Conan Gray, Finneas) about getting her drivers license to drive to the boy she loves who left her. The song is a proper heartbreak anthem in which she asks herself how he could be doing okay after their break up. The message is universal, probably especially relatable to teenage girls and it is absolutely well written. It also helps that the song is supposedly written about High School Musical co-star Joshua Bassett.

Take away the gossip around this tune and it is still an incredible debut single. drivers license has a moody and melancholic vibe running through its veins which climaxes with Rodrigo belting out in the chorus. Halfway through, the tune switches things up with a change of pace, turning into a slightly more upbeat vibe, reminiscent of Lorde’s sound. The desperation in her vocals underline the power of the lyrics and the production of the song fully supports the impeccable melody lines. The instant and massive success of drivers license might surprise some, but I think this will still be one of the defining songs of 2021 when we look back in December.

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