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Behind The Song: Drivers License

A defining moment in so many musicians’ careers is creating that one song or one piece of music that speaks to so many people on such a personal level. How about doing just that at only 18 years old? Olivia Rodrigo released her song “Drivers License” on January 8th of this year, and it immediately took off. 

Olivia quickly became a household name starting with just small advertisements on Instagram and Tik Tok which then moved to mainstream media with news outlets like The New York Times, Billboard, People, Vanity Fair and much more. 

This helped make the song even more popular which even led Olivia on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where “Drivers License” had its TV debut. 

Everyone is praising and celebrating with Olivia on her insane new hit. Even with the Tik Tok trends and playful videos made with Olivia’s song, underneath that is a very beautiful piece of art. 

With that being said, there were still so many things that “Drivers License” led to, one being a Saturday Night Live Skit. The Skit from February 20th with guest star Rege- Jean Page, takes place in a bar with a group of guy friends playing pool. When Rege’s character goes to change the song, he starts playing “Drivers License”. This prompts a conversation of the men discussing the song and analyzing. Although being an SNL skit which usually picks and prods at certain topics, the skit made no negative comments about Olivia and her song. One interesting line was, “The versus are starting to say Taylor”(Taylor Swift) which Olivia has openly stated she idolizes and looks up to. Then another character replies, “I mean obviously it’s Taylor Swift, Taylor is the root but it is also pure Olivia”. 

Olivia is completely her own sound and this skit sheds light on that. Another extremely important line that was said is, “If Olivia’s taught us anything is that pain can be creatively generative”. Again, although the humorous format, this extremely popular platform is expressing that what Olivia created was extremely important for a lot of people and that even behind all of the drama that surrounds the song, art can be used as an outlet for pain which Olivia did Brilliantly.  

But in reality the catchy lyrics and relatable meaning isn’t the only reason why this song is going viral. 

This song has become so mainstream not only because of those catchy lyrics but also because of the drama that fans have uncovered. Olivia was a Nickelodeon actress, starring in High School Musical, The Series. In the show, she co-starred with Joshua Bassett, and the two were rumoured to be dating. 

Now this song driver’s license has so many little things hidden in the lyrics that fans have uncovered that allegedly shaded her rumoured ex Joshua and his rumoured girlfriend Sabrina Carpenter. 

For example when Olivia was first singing her song on an instagram video the lyrics said “and you probably with that brunette girl” but when the single came out the lyrics were changed to “and you’re probably with that blonde girl”. Fans suspected that this was changed because of Joshua’s involvement with Sabrina who is blonde. 

Now the main reason why fans believed that this song was written about Joshua Bassett is because of the whole drivers license aspect of it all. Olivia is very young and was in two major shows in her prime teenage years which delayed her process of getting her licence. While filming high school musicals the series, Olivia and Joshua made it public through their instagram accounts that Joshua was the one teaching Olivia how to drive. 

This song was able to touch so many people because of the words that were in the song and how they made people feel. They were so relatable and it truly felt as though it was just a teenage girl writing a song about her feelings about this person that she liked.

In the song it says “cause you said forever now I drive alone past your street”. All the lyrics about learning how to drive, and that we would drive together were all factors that led the fans to believe that this was in fact about Joshua. 

Then later on January 22 Sabrina Carpenter released her song “Skin”. It was not surprising that fans made a connection through the two songs. 

Since fans had already thought that Olivia’s song was about Joshua and Sabrina, when Sabrina released her song it seemed too perfect. However, Sabrina did not receive the warm welcome like Olivia did with her song. Quite honestly fans were not happy. 

In sabrinas song is says “You can try to get under my under under my skin, while he’s on my yeah all on my, all on my, all on my skin” 

Fans saw this as Sabrina attacking Olivia for just trying to get her feelings out. People did not think that Sabrina’s reaction song was justified and immediately took Olivia’s side. Sabrina still later came out saying that the song was not about Olivia, but no one was believing it.

So many young people were able to listen and relate to this song because of the feeling that Olivia put into it. Drivers License is that song that you put on full blast and scream to when you’re with your friends, or what you cry to when you are alone in your room. Fans were able to relate to her situation of her rumored ex with another girl.

Drivers License really pushed the envelope for Olivia’s career and name as an artist. The public adore her, and clearly are willing to have her back through all the drama.

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