Do you get deja vu? Olivia Rodrigo addressed all the drama surrounding her debut single, “Drivers License,” more than a year after the song was released.
The songstress, 19, debuted her Driving Home 2 U film via Disney+ on Friday, March 25, where she chronicled the making of her first-ever record SOUR, from start to finish. Through behind-the-scenes clips, voiceovers and interviews, Olivia broke down each track, explaining how they came to be.
“The success of ‘Drivers License’ has changed everything,” the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star explained in the film. “I went from performing it alone in my bedroom or in the studio with [producer] Dan [Nigro] to performing it live in these super high-stakes environments for the first time. It was very intense.”
She released her debut single in January 2021 and her career blew up, literally, overnight. But when it was time to drop a follow-up single, Olivia was hesitant. Her second track was titled “Deja Vu,” and in her movie, the California native explained that she thought it was “bad” and didn’t want to release it after such a successful track.
“There was so much drama that was around ‘Drivers License’ and so much hate, I thought if I put out [‘Deja Vu’] that I was also playing into this drama, love triangle, let’s hate on other girls thing. I just did not want to do that. And that was, again, [I] never write any of my songs from that point of view ‘cause that’s not something that I feel.”
Following the release of the song, fans were convinced that Olivia was singing about a split with rumored boyfriend and HSMTMTS costar, Joshua Bassett. Others believed that he had moved on with fellow Disney Channel star Sabrina Carpenter after Olivia sang the line: “And you’re probably with that blonde girl.” Although none of the parties involved ever explicitly confirmed their relationship, they’ve all since addressed the drama.
“I totally understand people’s curiosity with the specifics of who the song’s about and what it’s about, but to me, that’s really the least important part of the song,” Olivia, for one, told Billboard after the song’s release. “It’s resonating with people because of how emotional it is, and I think everything else is not important.”
Joshua, for his part, told GQ in December 2021 that “it’s not as recent as it seems,” seemingly referring to what really went down. “[Rodrigo] hasn’t spoken to me since ‘Drivers License’ came out,” he claimed in the same magazine article.
Olivia has also noted that she had no idea what would come after “Drivers License” was released.
“I put it out not knowing that it would get that reaction, so it was really strange [when] it did. I just remember [everyone being] so weird and speculative about stuff they had no idea about,” she explained to Variety in August 2021. “I don’t really subscribe to hating other women because of boys. I think that’s so stupid, and I really resent that narrative that was being tossed around.”