Olivia Rodrigo isn't old enough to buy a drink, but that doesn't mean she's too young to cringe at a few of the songs she wrote in the early days of her career.
"Some of them I don’t really love so much anymore," the 20-year-old told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published on Dec. 13. Music critic Mikael Wood wanted to know which songs Rodrigo dislikes, but the pop star hedged. "Oh, I don’t want to tell you that," she said. "People get so sad because it’ll be their favorite song. But I just feel like I’ve grown out of some of them."
Rodrigo did tell the reporter that her breakthrough 2020 hit "Drivers License" isn't one of those tracks. The song spent 28 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, including a full two months at No. 1.
"I remember putting the song out, still super-heartbroken, and people would come up to me and say, 'Wow, this takes me back to my first heartbreak,'" the pop star said. "Now, I listen to it and I totally get it. It actually does transport me back to when I thought I was never gonna love anyone else."
Rodrigo was just 17 at the time and fresh off her lead role in the Disney+ mockumentary program High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The coming of age track about a teenage romance gone awry has a deep adolescent energy that helped her build a young, rabid fanbase.
It may have also led some older listeners to infantilize Rodrigo. Those ranks include pop star Billie Eilish, who told the Los Angeles Times her track "Goldwind" was partly about wanting to protect Rodrigo, even though they were only born 14 months apart.
"I thought that was so sweet," Rodrigo said. "Billie is such a kind, wonderful girl, and I feel very lucky that it’s not about competition – that we’re just looking out for each other. I love that song."
But the "Vampire" singer isn't a little girl anymore, and her public image is starting to reflect that. Rodrigo performed the track "All-American B–ch" on this weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live. It was released on her most recent LP Guts, which has received six Grammy nominations including one for Album of the Year. Wood interpreted the track as a critique of the impossibly high expectations American society has for women, particularly those in the spotlight.
That message came through in the TV performance, which began with Rodrigo sitting calmly at a dinner table that appeared to be set up for a tea party. As the track picked up, she stood up on the furniture and began a destructive choreographed rampage. At one point, Rodrigo lifted up her dress to flash the audience and smeared herself with a cake she had just stomped on.
Rodrigo is currently preparing for a 2024 world tour that will hit the U.S., Canada and Europe. Tickets are available through her website.