MANILA, Philippines — It hasn’t been long since Filipino-American singer Olivia Rodrigo made her mark in the music scene with her debut single Drivers License. Since its release, it skyrocketed to the top of the charts and eventually became a viral hit.
As a newcomer, it was unexpected that her second single Déjà vu, from her upcoming debut album Sour, would top charts once again just like how its predecessor did. Even on video-sharing platform TikTok, users couldn’t get enough of her heart-wrenching songs.
With her complex voice, it’s really no surprise that Olivia is actually of Filipino heritage. She was raised by a Filipino father and German-Irish mother.
Though she has never been to the country, she’s familiar with one artist who caught her eye since they really do look alike. Turns out, Olivia is a fan of Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray who is also a singer.
“She has such a beautiful voice and sometimes I listen to her songs and I think she’s obviously stunning and an incredible person,” said Olivia.
If you can’t wait to see Olivia live, she’s just as excited as you are! She gushed that she would want to visit when the pandemic is finally over.
“I really wanna go visit one day so I’m really hoping that I can come to the Philippines sooner rather than later. I hear it’s amazing and I can’t wait to meet all my Filipino fans,” she said.
So what exactly has Olivia touched her songs with that made them so irresistible to almost everyone? Perhaps, her honesty all throughout the process of making Sour.
In a recent Zoom interview with Southeast Asia’s press people, the 18-year-old shared that she wrote all 11 songs on the album as honestly as she could.
She said it was an era in her life where it didn’t feel right to put love songs or happy upbeat tunes to the record. This was how, she said, the record turned out to follow a common “vibe” that many will resonate with.
Even with the global success of Drivers License and Déjà vu, Olivia’s relationship with music has never been about making a hit.
Just like her idol Taylor Swift, Olivia treats her songs like a diary that’s out and open to the world.
“There’s nothing like taking confusing feelings in your head and making a song about them,” she said, adding that songwriting has empowered her even when she’s feeling down or insecure.
As an actress who played Nini in the Disney+ show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, being in control with all the details of her music was completely new to her. This time around, there was no director to call “cut” or “action” while creating Sour.
It became her conscious choice to write and perform all the songs on the album — no collaborations, just pure Olivia.
“I wanted my first album to be just me. I wanted it to be an introduction to the world,” she said.
Sour, Olivia’s debut album and introduction to the music scene, will be out on May 21.