Olivia Rodrigo Says Every Artist Is 'Inspired' By Artists Who Came Before Them Amid Songwriting Controversy

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Olivia Rodrigo is not here for anyone trying to discredit her work or the work of any other young woman for that matter. In a new interview with Teen Vogue, the 18-year-old superstar discussed the difficulties of managing the business side of the music industry amid a controversy surrounding the songwriting credits on her debut album, Sour

Rodrigo made headlines when it was revealed that other stars, including Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams, had been given songwriting credits on the young songwriter's tracks, "good 4 u," "deja vu" and "1 step forward, 3 steps back" as a result of Rodrigo interpolating, their past songs, a process often confused with sampling, in which an artist records part of a song created by someone else and uses it in a new way.

"I think it's disappointing to see people take things out of context and discredit any young woman's work," Rodrigo told Teen Vogue. "But at the end of the day I'm just really proud and happy to say that my job is being a songwriter…All music is inspired by each other. Obviously, I write all of my lyrics from my heart and my life first. I came up with the lyrics and the melody for 'good 4 u' one morning in the shower."

"Writing songs about how I feel has always been easy and fun for me, and I think the business side of music has been something I've had a harder time learning," she continued.

"I've been sort of growing through that this year, but I've just been trying to remember that I write songs because I love them. I feel lucky I get to do that and be a songwriter and a performer for a living... At the end of the day, I feel it doesn't have too much to do with me," she said of the criticism.

Rodrigo went on to add that sharing credit with the artists that have come before her and served as her inspiration is all part of a "beautiful sharing process." 

"What's so beautiful about music is that it can be so inspired by music that's come out in the past," the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actress said. "Every single artist is inspired by artists who have come before them. It's sort of a fun, beautiful sharing process. Nothing in music is ever new. There's four chords in every song. That’s the fun part — trying to make that your own."

Rodrigo went on to speak on the world of social media and how that too serves as another way for women to be discredited, exploited and pitted against each other. The "Driver's License" singer referenced Britney Spears' ongoing conservatorship and her fight to free herself after 13 years under the control of others and the scrutiny of the media.

"I’m so excited to see her making leeway in her case," she said of Spears' highly-publicized legal battle. "I think it’s a step in the right direction. I’m so happy that Britney’s case is getting so much attention, and I just hope that she gets all the justice she deserves and lives the best life she possibly can."

She continued, "It’s one example of this culture that so often tears down women in the spotlight for sport. As a society we definitely have to reexamine the way we treat women in the entertainment industry, and not just for ourselves — it’s unhealthy for young girls to be looking at all that stuff in the media. It paints a bad picture."

Rodrigo went on to stress how "toxic" social media can be for young girls and how they are unfairly held to a "completely different standard" than other people.

"It’s so frustrating to see young girls held to a completely different standard than other people. Social media is making it even harder for young girls to grow up," she added on the subject. "I don’t even think it’s about me being like, ‘Oh, I’m hurt to see people say mean things about me or my friends.’ It’s really toxic for young girls to open their Snapchat app and see the articles about young women who are just sharing their art and existing in the world, and watching them being torn apart for doing absolutely nothing."

For more on Rodrigo, watch the video below.


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Watch Olivia Rodrigo Belt Out 'Good 4 U' During 2021 MTV VMAs

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