Olivia Rodrigo is opening up about the complicated nature of growing up — and getting thrust into the spotlight at age 18.
In her October cover issue for Rolling Stone, Rodrigo, 20, got candid about the changes that have occurred throughout her life since her debut album, Sour, hit No. 1 on the charts in 2021 — including her alleged feud with Taylor Swift.
Rodrigo grew up as a self-proclaimed “diehard” fan of Swift, 33, and often referred to her as an inspiration. “I’m just so in awe of her constantly, and I truly would not be the songwriter I am today if I had not grown up being so inspired by everything she does,” she told Ryan Seacrest in March 2021.
While the twosome eventually met at the Brit Awards later that month — after exchanging handwritten letters and special heartfelt gifts — their budding friendship seemingly hit a snag when Rodrigo released her second single, “Deja Vu,” that April.
Swift — along with cowriters Jack Antonoff and St. Vincent — were retroactively credited on the track due to the similarities to Swift’s “Cruel Summer.” Swift was also credited for Rodrigo’s “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back,” which uses an interpolation of her song “New Year’s Day,” while Hayley Willams and former bandmate Josh Farro now receive royalties for “Good 4 U,” due to its likeness to Paramore’s “Misery Business.”
“It’s not something that I was super involved in,” she told Rolling Stone. “It was more team-on-team. So, I wouldn’t be the best person to ask.”
Another song off Sour that sparked controversy was her debut single, “Driver’s License.” The track contained lyrics that led fans to assume Rodrigo was singing about an alleged love triangle that occurred between herself, Joshua Bassett and Sabrina Carpenter.
“I was so overwhelmed by all of the social media s–t,” Rodrigo told Rolling Stone. “I truly deleted my social media for six months. Because it was zero to a hundred, baptism by fire. I deleted all of it for a long time, and I’m so happy that I did that at that moment. I have a better handle on it now, but then I was just so cold-turkey with it. I’m trying to figure out a happy medium.”
None of the three have publicly addressed what happened between them, with Bassett, 22, sharing a similar message at the time. He explained to GQ that it’s “a lost cause trying to” address rumors.
“I refuse to feed into any of the bulls—t, so I just don’t,” he said at the time. “[Everyone] is asking me about Sabrina and Olivia. Why don’t we focus on these women for who they are? Let’s focus on the art that they’re making and how great they are instead of their relationship to a boy.”
Keep scrolling for the biggest revelations from Rodrigo’s Rolling Stone interview:
On the Joshua Bassett and Sabrina Carpenter Drama
Rodrigo revealed that everything between herself, Bassett and Carpenter was a “tricky” topic but something the trio “handled privately.”
“Handled isn’t the right word, but it’s just not something I like talking about publicly. I take all that stuff seriously, but it happens in privacy,” she told the outlet. “I’m not going to put out a statement. That’s phony. We’re all just people at the end of the day. I deal with it on a person-to-person level that people on Twitter don’t see.”
When asked if she read Bassett’s March 2022 People article, in which he spoke about experiencing a major health crisis following the release of “Driver’s License,” Rodrigo replied, “I actually, genuinely did not read the article you’re talking about.”
On If ‘Vampire’ Is About Ex Zack Bia
When asked by Rolling Stone if ‘Vampire’ — which depicts a “soul sucker” ex who liked dating younger girls — is about Bia, whom she was linked to for six months in 2022, the outlet claimed Rodrigo exhaled and smiled before saying, “No comment.”
In regards to people sleuthing over the subjects of her songs via the internet, Rodrigo said she finds herself “caring less and less.”
“Behind the scenes, I do all of the things I am supposed to do and try to be as prepared as I can,” she explained. “People are going to say what they want. I feel like the more you try to control it, the more miserable you are, and the bigger it gets. I just write songs; it’s not my job to interpret them for other people.”
She later added: “I have a really big mouth, and that’s something that I’ve had to learn how to control in this profession. But that’s par for the course. I write diaristic songs, so of course everyone’s going to have their own interpretation of it.”
On Her Rumored Feud With Taylor Swift
Rodrigo told Rolling Stone she doesn’t have “beef with anyone” despite the rumors of bad blood between the two singers.
“I’m very chill. I keep to myself,” she said. “I have my four friends and my mom, and that’s really the only people I talk to, ever. There’s nothing to say. There’s so many Twitter conspiracy theories. I only look at alien-conspiracy theories.”
On Giving Up Royalties for Her Songs on ‘Sour’
“I was a little caught off guard,” she told the outlet of retroactively crediting Swift, along with Antonoff, St. Vincent, Williams and Farro for three separate songs off her self-titled debut album. “At the time it was very confusing, and I was green and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Is that the phrase?”
When it comes to whether she would ask for royalties if the roles were reversed, she said: “I don’t think I would ever personally do that. But who’s to say where I’ll be in 20, 30 years? All that I can do is write my songs and focus on what I can control.”