Olivia Rodrigo Claps Back at People Discrediting "Any Young Woman's Work" Amid Songwriting Controversy

After other stars were credited on three of her hits, Olivia Rodrigo is here to remind listeners: "Nothing in music is ever new." Read on for the "drivers license" singer's side of the story.

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 05, 2021 6:07 PMTags
Watch: Necessary Realness: Is Olivia Rodrigo the New It-Girl?

In the face of critics trying to discredit her, Olivia Rodrigo is here to say she's no traitor to her work. 

In less than a year, the 18-year-old performer has experienced breakout stardom as a result of her hit debut album, Sour, and its viral single, "drivers license." In the midst of her rapid musical success, however, Rodrigo also made headlines when it was revealed that other stars, including Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams, had been given songwriting credits on Rodrigo's "good 4 u," "deja vu" and "1 step forward, 3 steps back" as a result of Rodrigo's interpolating their past songs. She's far from the first artist to interpolate—even Swift herself interpolated Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" for her 2017 hit, "Look What You Made Me Do."

During an interview with Teen Vogue, the teenager reflected on the situation and the larger conversation around it, telling the website, "It's tricky."

"Writing songs about how I feel has always been easy and fun for me, and I think the business side of music has been something I've had a harder time learning," she continued. "I've been sort of growing through that this year, but I've just been trying to remember that I write songs because I love them. I feel lucky I get to do that and be a songwriter and a performer for a living...At the end of the day, I feel it doesn't have too much to do with me."

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Olivia Rodrigo Through the Years

While she's finding her footing on the business end of things, it sounds like Rodrigo has a firm stance when it comes to her craft.  

"I think it's disappointing to see people take things out of context and discredit any young woman's work," she told Teen Vogue. "But at the end of the day I'm just really proud and happy to say that my job is being a songwriter…All music is inspired by each other. Obviously, I write all of my lyrics from my heart and my life first. I came up with the lyrics and the melody for 'good 4 u' one morning in the shower."

John Shearer/MTV VMAs 2021/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS

As for sharing credit with the musicians that have come before her, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actress noted there's an ongoing cycle of influence in music. 

"What's so beautiful about music is that it can be so inspired by music that's come out in the past," she said. "Every single artist is inspired by artists who have come before them. It's sort of a fun, beautiful sharing process. Nothing in music is ever new. There's four chords in every song. That's the fun part—trying to make that your own."

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