Olivia Rodrigo Reveals What Taylor Swift's Handwritten Letter to Her Said

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Olivia Rodrigo received some valuable advice from Taylor Swift. The 18-year-old singer covers the latest issue of Billboard, and reveals some of the words of wisdom Swift, her songwriting idol, imparted on her in a handwritten note amid the success of her debut single, "Drivers License."

"I don’t want to divulge too much because it’s really sweet and personal, but she talks a lot about how, I think, you make your own luck in the world," Rodrigo, who recently met Swift in person for the first time, says. "And when you do kind things to others, good things come your way."

"I don’t know, she put it so eloquently," she adds. "When I say it now... it’s not as cool."

 

Before "Drivers License" became a hit that garnered the support of Swift and others, Rodrigo had faith that the song would be well-received thanks to her dad's response to it.

"I could just see the tears under his sunglasses," she says of when she played him the song for the first time. "I, like, never see my dad cry, ever. I was like, 'Oh, OK, maybe I did something here.'"

When her feeling was proven right, Rodrigo wasn't out celebrating, but rather under COVID-19 protocols while filming the second season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, which will premiere on Disney+ Friday.

"While everything was happening, I was literally doing the same thing [as always]," she says. "Going to set, doing my statistics homework and then going to sleep."

Admittedly, the homework aspect of her daily routine fell off a bit as love for "Drivers License" continued for her second release, "Deja Vu."

"I have like a month left of senior year, and I’ve sort of been neglecting that," she says. "Because I’ve been off making my album, I sort of forgot I was a high school student."

That album, Sour, is due out May 21. While the first two releases off of her debut sparked media speculation about her love life -- both are thought to be in reference to her co-star and rumored ex, Joshua Bassett, and his reported new girlfriend, Sabrina Carpenter -- Rodrigo says the tone of the songs came from a place of truth, not one of buzz potential.

"At first I was like, 'I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be pigeonholed,'" she says of releasing two love-life-focused tracks. "I’m a songwriter who writes from a place of authenticity and truth. And truthfully, love and happiness and everything weren’t feelings that I was feeling at the time."

"What’s the point of putting out a record if it isn’t something that you feel is important to say to people?" Rodrigo adds.

While Rodrigo is certainly enjoying her success, she says that her number one focus is songwriting, not performing or releasing music herself.

"The second the album cycle for this is over and I’m not traveling, that’s the one thing that I want to do so bad," she says of songwriting. "I always said that I wanted to do that: Maybe when I was, like, 30 or something and I had kids, I’d stop making music and just write for other people. Because I just love songwriting. I love songwriting more than putting out songs."

Even having said that, Rodrigo appreciates that having "really commercially successful music means that lots of people are really affected by" it.

"That’s awesome in and of itself. If my music becomes really commercially successful, that’s incredible, and that means I did a good job," she says. "But some of my favorite artists are not commercially successful, and that doesn’t mean that they’re any less amazing." 

"I’m really just truly enjoying myself, and I love that I get to do this for a living," Rodrigo adds. "And it’s super cool that people want to listen."

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