After a year that has left the world experiencing unexpected events, Olivia Rodrigo’s song “Drivers License” started off 2021 in a positive way. As a teenager who began her career starring in a Disney Channel show, her first single began breaking music records quickly after it was released. Her song touches on the emotions that are most relatable to teenagers. This song is exactly what teenagers needed to listen to in order to allow them to cope with their emotions, especially during this pandemic.
The week after its release on Jan. 8, its popularity dramatically increased and according to CNN entertainment, this song was streamed 65,873,080 times on Spotify, in only a single week. This song tells the story of getting a driver’s license and going through a rough breakup, ultimately leaving one feeling sad and empty inside. Through her powerful voice, Rodrigo’s emotions are felt through the screen.
By using her personal experiences, this helps enhance the trueness of the lyrics, which is another reason people became so attached to this song. Especially for Gen Z, they praised Rodrigo for singing about a song with such passion. Listening to this song, it is easy to get wrapped up in the lyrics and thinking about one’s own life.
Releasing this song as a seventeen year old, Rodrigo proves to her audience that age should not limit one’s ability to become a singer. She is inspiring Gen Z to write songs of their own, even if they think they might be too young to become successful. Due to her young age, this helped her connect with this song as well as the people who are streaming it. If anyone was unsure of who she was before the song was released, this quickly changed. According to Coscarelli, a culture reporter who focuses on pop music for The New York Times, he said, “It did align perfectly and quicker than anything we’ve ever seen; we’ve seen alignment like that but typically it’s spread over three to six months- this happened in a day and a half.” After such a short amount of time, Rodrigo became the artist that everyone was talking about.
“Drivers License” has broken many records so far because it highlights Olivia Rodrigo’s talent as a singer, as well as her ability to relate to her listeners. This song has been perfect for Gen Z, because it allows their feelings to be validated during these uncertain times.