It’s been a year since Olivia Rodrigo’s iconic debut album SOUR dropped, and life just keeps getting sweeter. At the beginning of 2021, the 19-year old singer-songwriter was starring as Nini Salazaar-Roberts in the Disney+ musical drama television series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series while writing sad love songs offscreen. She was known most exclusively to young viewers of the show, but by the end of the year, “Olivia Rodrigo” would be a household name.
Thanks to the massive success of her first single, “driver’s license” – as well as the highly publicized real-life breakup drama surrounding the song’s origin – Rodrigo became one of the hottest breakout stars of the year and continued her meteoric rise to fame with the release of SOUR in May 2021. Not only has SOUR been certified triple platinum in the United States, but it has contributed to Olivia’s seven nominations at the upcoming 64th Annual Grammy Awards.
Now, almost a year later, the 2022 Billboard Woman of the Year is sharing her most personal moments of her songwriting journey during SOUR’s creation. On Friday, March 25, Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2 u (a SOUR film) was released for streaming on Disney+. The documentary film invites fans on a road trip with the young star as she visits and performs at various scenic locations in Utah and California where the album was written.
Olivia Rodrigo is honest, optimistic, and humble as she reflects on what was undoubtedly the most transformative year of her life. Releasing her first single unexpectedly propelled her to worldwide fame during her senior year of high school. Through intimate interviews and previously unreleased studio footage featured in the documentary, Rodrigo attempts to comprehend all the drastic changes in her life since the success of “driver’s license.”
One of driving home 2 u’s biggest treats for fans is the new live arrangements of her songs, which she performs at gorgeous outdoor venues all over the west coast. Whether belting out the cynical lyrics to “good 4 u” accompanied by a full orchestra in the open valleys of California’s Red Rock Canyon State Park, or building the track to her heartbroken ballad “traitor” with a keyboard and drum machine in a gas station parking lot, Rodrigo brings her trendy teen-pop songs to new depths of emotional vulnerability. She also includes a long-awaited snippet of an unreleased song, “baby is you,” during the film’s credits.
For those who have yet to join the Olivia Rodrigo bandwagon, I will admit that I was not the biggest fan of hers when “driver’s license” came out – I tend to shy away from uber-trendy artists and current radio hits. My first impression of Olivia after listening to SOUR was that of a self-pitying, insecure teenage girl who only knew how to write about getting her heart broken. However, I could not have been more wrong. For only 19 years old, the young singer displays maturity and self-assuredness beyond her years as she describes her whirlwind of a journey in the music industry. She finds beauty in taking painful, angsty emotions and turning them into meaningful, authentic songs that have the power to reach all kinds of people worldwide. Not every songwriter possesses the gift of relatability, but Olivia’s music has truly become the soundtrack of a generation.
Life for Olivia Rodrigo is showing no signs of slowing down. Following her Grammy Awards debut performance on April 3, 2022, the singer will open her SOUR Tour on April 5 in Portland, Oregon and will visit fans throughout North America and Europe.
Listen to Olivia’s Grammy-nominated, record-breaking debut album SOUR below.