Why is Olivia Rodrigo one of my favorite rising Pop Stars?

September 20, 2021

olivia rodrigo white house

The rise of the next biggest pop star

At this point, if you still haven’t heard of Olivia Rodrigo, you’re either an aging millennial whose playlist consists of throwback 2000’s pop music that was famous during the time you were still actively clubbing, or a boomer who still listens to Fra Lippo Lippi (not that it’s bad).

She blew up everywhere with her hit, Driver’s License, thanks primarily to TikTok, the popular video streaming app where users created their own versions of the music video.

Determined to dispel the notion that she is a one-hit wonder, Rodrigo released her next singles, Déjà vu and Good 4 U, before coming out with a full album: Sour.

With all the pop stars coming out recently, what separates Olivia Rodrigo from the rest that made me a fan? Well, I think it must have been the way she writes songs like I have been there to experience it as well, like I was the person she wrote this song for.

Many in the world would agree. Why else would they create their own versions of music video for Driver’s License?

Her songs became a sort of catharsis for the current generation like Taylor Swift did for mine, and it isn’t surprising that she’s a huge inspiration for Olivia Rodrigo. You can really notice their similarities in the way they construct a scenario in your head through music.

I’ve never had a driver’s license, let alone a car, but when I first heard of the song, I instantly pictured myself going through a very emotional break-up while driving through the suburbs my ex lives in. Listening to Good 4 U, I can feel myself going through the second stage of grief with the break-up: the anger.

“Remember when you swore to God that I was the only person who got you? Well screw that and screw you.”

The contrast between the rhythm of this song and the context kept me wanting more from this promising new artist. Isn’t it a common feeling many of us go through? The feeling of being left alone by a former lover who promised you the world but is now totally happy with their new lover like your part of the story did not exist? Olivia banked on that feeling and made us feel the weight of a dumped toy exchanged for a shinier new one.

She reps her Asian American heritage

Born to an American mother and Filipino-American father, it seems like her Filipino roots is probably very diluted at this point. However, she has made many comments about how Filipino her upbringing is. As Filipino as an Asian-American girl from California can get, I know. But what very little representation of her Asian roots she has shown to media have become very relatable to many of her fans. It has been nice to look up to many American pop stars who shaped my teenage years but it is also a breath of fresh air to see someone who looks more like ME. Granted, she looks racially ambiguous and maybe I am looking too much into it but I will always welcome a pop star who may or may not have lived like me and I can relate to on a cultural level.

olivia rodrigo cartoon me

Her album is a universal experience

When I learned that she is from the younger generation speaking about an experience that we have all went through, a breakup, made me think we are all connected more than we realize. With all the recent debate in the internet, joke or not, about who is the better generation between the Boomers, Millennials and the Gen-Zs comes a pop star who we can all relate to. With the recent pandemic disconnecting many of us from our peers, here comes a girl who reconnected us with a common feeling of yearning and pining over an ex that we may or may not admit to ourselves. Olivia Rodrigo has only started but I am welcoming her to narrate my life experiences because at least she turns it into a good album.