On January 8th, 17-year-old Olivia Rodrigo released her emotionally charged debut single ‘Drivers License.’ Three days later the song had broken Spotify’s single-day streaming record for a non-holiday song, speeding to number one on both U.K. and U.S. charts in the process.
The song soon reached 100 millions streams on Spotify— becoming the fastest song in the platform’s history to do so, according to Vogue. Now, almost three weeks since its release, the single has accumulated over 224 million streams on Spotify, and has remained No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the past two weeks.
For Olivia Rodrigo, the sudden success of the song still feels surreal. The singer, best known for her starring role on the Disney+ High School Musical spin-off show, has now become the biggest pop star in the world—seemingly overnight. When interviewed by Vogue, the rising star described the experience as a ‘sort of paradox.’
“It’s quite strange because my entire life has changed in a week and also nothing has changed at all,” stated Rodrigo. “Every day I’m in my house, doing my homework, but people who I’ve looked up to since I was 10 are reaching out and saying they love my music. It’s a strange sort of paradox.”
The idols which she is referring to include Taylor Swift and Halsey, among many others. Seeing the support from Taylor Swift was particularly exciting for Rodrigo, who is a self-described ‘Swiftie’ and would love to collaborate with her someday.
Other artists that Olivia Rodrigo is interested in collaborating with include No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and the singer Lorde, who she describes as ‘The greatest lyricist of our generation.’ It is clear that Rodrigo drew on the work of her predecessors in producing her own hit single.
Drivers License, which some are already calling the song of the year, tells a story of heartbreak. The song feels both deeply personal and profoundly relatable. Its power comes from Rodrigo’s passionate voice and her honest lyrics—lyrics that tell an all too familiar story for many listeners.
While Olivia Rodrigo herself is unclear what comes next for her— fans have definitely not seen the last of her. If Rodrigo is already able to channel so much emotional depth so early into her career, it is clear that the road ahead is promising. Rodrigo has hinted at a project in the works that will be released some time later this year. For now though, the singer is just trying to ‘soak up all the craziness.’