How Olivia Rodrigo Became Gen Z's New Princess of Pop
She's officially the coolest 18 year old in the world right now. Singer-songwriter, Olivia Rodrigo rose to super stardom at the beginning of the year when her debut solo 'Driver's License' topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a staggering eight-weeks. The debut ballad, which centres around a love-triangle and is dedicated to her own broken heart, also became popular on TikTok with many budding singers covering the song itself.
Since then, Rodrigo has not slowed down. 'Deja Vu' was released in April and although the subject matter of this song remained similar to that of 'Driver's License', she was still able to show off her versatility as an artist through the song's psychedelic pop sound. This ultimately allowed Rodrigo to take her place on the Billboard Hot 100 once more.
A month after this, the singer's third track 'Good 4 U' would not only see her achieve mega success but also comparisons to some of the biggest female artists in the pop punk genre, including Hayley Williams and Avril Lavigne. Through such comparisons, it is clear to see how the teenager has not just become popular with people her own age but also those born in the late 90s. Despite being new to the music scene, Rodrigo's songs already have that nostalgic feel.
On the 21st May the singer, both excited and emotional, posted to her instagram confirm that her debut album 'SOUR' was available for the world to hear. In its first few weeks, SOUR was one of the most hyped up albums and for good reason. It is just too relatable. In her short film for Vevo, the singer discusses how she wants to write about 'ugly emotions' meaning that of jealousy, bitterness but also sadness and longing. Everyone has experienced heart break at least once, and Olivia seems to capture this experience so perfectly in a couple of minutes. She also captures the feelings of feeling second best or not enough, not just in her mind but by society's standards, and these are both issues which many young females go through. It is very rare for a singer to pour their heart out in the way Olivia does. She is so real and so raw, and that's what makes her music that relatable. The whole album really does feel like Rodrigo had access to everyone's deepest thoughts which they only tell their diary.
What is also refreshing about Rodrigo is her half-American, half-Filippo background. She is not afraid to make references to this experience either, both filming in an Asian supermarket for her Vevo performance of 'Deja Vu'. It is so wonderful to see a mixed individual achieve everything she deserves and she's such a great role model for other mixed teenagers. As her career develops and her sound matures, it will be interesting to see how the themes in her music will also change.
In addition to this, she has also proved to be a natural born performer. Luckily, with the world slowly returning back to normal, Olivia has had the chance to perform for many events including SNL and 2021 Brit Awards. This is a big deal for any solo artist, especially one who has just turned 18 years old. This is not even taking into account that one of the most renowned fashion houses, Dior, wanted to style her for the British award show. Wearing a custom red sequinned two-piece and see-through mesh dress for her performance and an updated take on the classic Dior silhouette for her red carpet look,
Source: British Vogue
Even in the everyday, Olivia shows to her 12.8 million instagram followers that she is indeed a fashion girl with her aesthetic seemingly being influenced by her love for the pop punk scene. The teenager knows how to utilise her presence on the app in the best way, posting regular 'photo dumps' of her life and outfits, in order to engage with her audience. She is often seen wearing some of the most popular fashion brands of the now such as I.AM.GIA and UNIF but does not shy away from experimenting with her style, often opting for more simple, feminine looks by wearing brands such as Reformation and Realisation Par. It appears big players in the fashion industry at the moment are also keen to see the rising star wearing their brand. Marine Serre, the current leader of the tech-wear aesthetic, seems to be a brand which Olivia loves a lot, as she wore the brand's latest collection in her Vevo performance.
Source: Instagram @oliviarodrigo
Source: Paper Magazine (For her Vevo Performance). Wearing Marine Serre's 2021 Collection.
In just six short months, Olivia Rodrigo has not only secured her place in the industry but also made the world fall in love with her. Her charming personality and regular American high-school girl feel together makes her extremely likeable and genuine. It is not surprising therefore, that she is on her way to truly becoming the next true princess of pop.