Streaming Olivia Rodgrio’s “1 step forward, 3 steps back” (image courtesy: Taylor Posik)

Rising artist Olivia Rodrigo asserted her influence in the music industry at the Billboard Music Awards on May 15, scoring a total of seven awards. The awards she received include Top New Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Billboard Global 200 Artist, and Top Billboard 200 Album.

Rodrigo gained popularity after releasing her single, “drivers license,” in January, 2021. Since her album “SOUR” (2021) came out, fans have been listening to tracks such as “happier,” “deja vu,” and “good 4 u,” on repeat. 

Inspiration from other artists is distinct in her music; in “1 step forward, 3 steps back,” she interpolated Taylor Swift’s “New Year’s Day” (2017). It’s known that Rodrigo is a big fan of Swift; however, there are other speculations on why she used the melody of Swift’s song. 

On the website, “Genius,” an article by writer Insanul Ahmed states, “One Taylor Swift fan account speculated that Rodrigo interpolated Swift’s song by recreating it rather than just sampling it is because they wanted to cut Scooter Braun and Big Machine Records (who own the song’s masters and are not on good terms with Swift) out of the process.” This means that Swift’s ex-record deal would not receive royalties. 

In 2021, Rodrigo live streamed a prom-themed concert, “SOUR Prom,” on YouTube, which features her songs from the album. In a social media post, Rodrigo wrote: “[S]ince I never got to go to prom, I wanted to throw a little prom party with my [favorite people].”

Rodrigo also starred in the film “Driving Home 2 U” (2022) on Disney Plus, which highlights her musical journey. Throughout the film, she establishes herself as not just a singer-songwriter, but a storyteller, and explains the raw, emotional process of writing each of her songs. 

As Rodrigo continues her SOUR Tour, the remaining question is, ‘what’s next?’ The young artist stated at the 2022 Met Gala that she has a new album in the works, which fans can look forward to. 

For now, her music can be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music, or downloaded on the iTunes store.