How ‘driver’s license’ gave Olivia Rodrigo confidence in her songwriting ‘voice’

Red lights and stop signs can’t stop this award-winning performer. In 2021, Olivia Rodrigo released her first original single – “Drivers License”. Since then, Rodrigo has become a Grammy-nominated musician. She gained recognition for her album Acid and the “Good 4 U” music video.

Part of what gave Rodrigo confidence in her writing, she said in an interview, was the success of “Drivers License.”

Olivia Rodrigo debuted her song “Drivers License” before “Sour”

Winner Olivia Rodrigo accepts 2022 Woman of the Year award during Billboard Women in Music | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Billboard

First original songs on social media and the Disney + mockumentary High School Musical: The Musical: The SeriesRodrigo released his single “Drivers License” and its corresponding music video.

In a few weeks, the song has accumulated millions of plays on the Spotify music platform. As of March 2022, “Drivers License” had over 1.3 million Spotify plays. The music video also garnered an impressive number of views, earning thousands of likes.

On the first anniversary of this song, Rodrigo took to Instagram. She posted a live version of her chart-topping track, captioning the post, “Happy first birthday to the little song that changed my whole life.” Although it identified a specific emotion, this track became a favorite of many listeners. Even Rodrigo shared his appreciation for “Drivers License” and the impact it had on his writing.

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‘Drivers License’ helped Olivia Rodrigo learn what makes her writing special

As one of his first original songs, “Drivers License” showcased Rodrigo’s unique songwriting style. The thousands of streams and accolades informed Rodrigo’s music and gave him confidence in his writing.

“I thought, actually, when [Drivers License] came out and when he, you know, started getting really successful, I thought I was gonna get in my head about my writing and be like, ‘Oh, I’m never gonna write anything as good as ‘driver’s license’ and worry about everything,” Rodrigo said during an interview with MTV News.

“But I really think it gave me a lot of confidence in my voice and what makes my writing special, which I think is my vulnerability and my honesty,” she continued. “And so much to learn that’s what people resonated with, it kind of helps me write all my other music.”

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‘Sour’ and ‘Drivers License’ earned multiple Grammy nominations

Celebrities like Taylor Swift have shared their support for Rodrigo. US President Joe Biden invited Rodrigo to the White House to promote vaccine safety and effectiveness.

The most listened to album in 2021, according to the Spotify music platform, is that of Olivia Rodrigo Acid. Rodrigo also won several awards and nominations at the MTV Music Video Awards, before being recognized by the Grammy Awards.

Acid earned nominations in the Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year categories. Rodrigo received the Best New Artist nomination. “Drivers License” landed a few Grammy nominations. This includes nominations for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.

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Milton S. Rodgers