From building her acting career as a teen Disney star to producing record-breaking songs that top Billboard charts, 18-Year old Olivia Rodrigo has had quite an experience. Barely six years after her career launch in entertainment and the release of her first single in January 2021, Olivia Rodrigo has risen to become one of the biggest teen icons in pop music.
With her debut single, “Driver’s License”, Olivia broke Spotify’s record of having the most streamed song in one week! This came in the same month of its release and the singer cum actress’s official music career launch in January. By May, her debut album, Sour made the record of hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart while all 11 tracks in the album also made it to the Top 30 Billboard 100s. With such a level of success recorded in only half a year, Olivia is on her way to becoming a global music sensation.
In only 7 months, Olivia Rodrigo has got Sour, her debut studio album, five singles, and ten promotional singles. Eleven of these are some of the world’s biggest hits in 2021 and Top Billboard songs. Here, we will be talking through an overview of the top 10 most popular songs of Olivia Rodrigo, as we await more top hits from her.
1. ‘Driver’s License’
Olivia’s debut single, and an all-timer, “Driver’s License” was released on January 8, 2021, produced by Geffen and Interscope records. The single went on to break multiple records which includes Spotify’s record of most-streamed songs in one day in the very week it was released. It comes as the lead single on the album, Sour.
Basically, the lyrics of the song give listeners the story and picture of teenage girl reminiscing moments about her former partner and moving on while still battling the heartbreaking experience that comes with being away from him. Naturally, the song comes off as one that would best fit a teenage love story and that the song could be Olivia’s personal love experience. They were quick to connect the song to Olivia’s Disney colleague, Joshua Bassett.
The singer, in her interview with British Vogue, tried to clarify the curious suggestions, “I completely understand why people are curious about the lyrics of the song, but to me, who and what the song is about us not important.” She believes people find it easy to resonate with the song because it is raw and emotional.
2. ‘Deja Vu’
Three months after her first single in January, Olivia released “Deja Vu” on April 1, 2021. This song comes second on Oliver’s popular debut album, Sour, and made No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the United States. After the album was released, the track went on to hit the top ten in multiple countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK, to mention a few.
Just like the lead single, “Deja Vu” has met with different views from listeners and most people agree that the song has a similar plot with “Driver’s license”. Literally, Deja Vu means something one has experienced before. However, the song tells the story of a lover who switched paths and went away with someone else and doing the very same things that he and the former lover did together with the new girl.
While many fans would love to regard “Deja Vu” as a continuation of a “Driver’s license”, Olivia has informed that the song is simply fictional. The Singer also explained in her interview with Variety mentioned that “The concept of “Deja Vu” has always fascinated me and I thought it would be good to use it in a song around the complex feelings after a relationship ends.” Olivia has also explained that she wanted the second song to come out different from the tone she had used for “Driver’s license” so that her listeners can know that she’s also good in other areas of writing and singing pop music.
3. ‘Good 4 U’
Olivia released her third single, “Good 4 U” on May 14, 2021, few days before she dropped her debut album, Sour on May 21, produced by Geffen Records.
From the lyrics of the song, Olivia appears to sing about a lover making sarcastic passes at her past-lover and wishing him with his newfound love. While the first two songs before “Good 4 U” had been full of heartfelt emotions, this new single paints an ‘I don’t care’ picture from the lover to her ex’s new relationship. It’s whole new energy.
Once again, fans think that the song might be about Olivia, in connection to Joshua Barrett, her Disney colleague. However, Olivia has not revealed the inspiration behind her writing this song. We can only guess that it’s just another twist of her imagination and art.
“Good 4 U” already sits pretty on the Billboard Charts, making the top number of the Streaming songs group. This was after the track made 43.2 million streams in the U.S in its first week.
4. ‘All I Want’
Written within three days and performed by Olivia’s character, ‘Nini’ in High School Musical: The Musical – The Series, “All I Want” was released way back in November 2019. The song was produced by Matthew Tishler through Walt Disney records and this was when Olivia was only popular for being a talented kid actress with a great voice in the television series. The song marked her first songwriting attempt and it turned out pretty good.
The promotional single made it to Billboard Hot 100 at No. 90. After the song was released in 2019 and was a success, although minimal, Olivia landed the contract with Interscope record and made her it big with her debut single, Driver’s License in 2021.
Its lyrics portray the desires of the imaginary character in the “All I want” song to get a love that lasts. However, the tone of the lyrics suggests that she understands that her expectations might not be met after all. According to Olivia, “it’s basically about Nini and kind of, her boy troubles, she just found out that E.J betrayed really betrayed her and did something really untrustworthy… I think it’s a very relatable concept, at least for me.” She mentioned this in an exclusive behind-the-scenes episode with TVLine in 2019.
Listed as the 8th of the 11 tracks on Olivia’s debut album, Sour, “Happier” was released on May 21, 2021, as a pop piano ballad. Just like “Good 4 U”, “Happier” is a song that was written before Rodrigo’s breakthrough on the music scene as a star. She composed it in June 2020 and had it produced by Dan Nigro.
The lyrics of the song are still centered around the singer’s live-themed songs and she gives a great perspective on the result of a breakup. In this, she wishes her ex ‘good luck in his new relationship and hopes that he gets more happiness but not more than he did with her. From the tone of the song, there’s a feeling of resignation towards the relationship as she accepts the reality that it’s over.
With a No. 15 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in the US, the song also answers Billboard’s call in other countries like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and others.
“Traitor” comes after “Good 4 U” to make one of the tracks on the album, Sour. It was produced and released as an album track on August 10, 2021, by Geffen Records and it was co-written by Dan Nigro and Olivia Rodrigo. Afterward, the song quickly became one of the most loved for fans as the song made it to top lists in about 21 countries outside the US. This includes a No.9 on the US Billboard Hot 100, Canadian Hot 100, and more.
As it is with other tracks of the same album, many fans think the “Traitor” is about Joshua Bassett, supposedly jilting Olivia for Sabrina Carpenter. This is as a result of their character in The High School Musical: The Musical – The Series. The song gives a picture of betrayal experienced by a young female lover who felt cheated for being played by her ex-boyfriend. This explains how he was able to quickly move on and get into another relationship in a short while after they broke up.
Although the possibility of Rodrigo making this song about Joshua Bassett is quite low, considering that they might not even have been together, a noticeable mark remains. This is the fact that Olivia must have had firsthand experience of some relationship wrecks to be able to write with such heart-felt emotions emanating from her songs.
“Brutal” is listed as the first track on the debut album Sour, and its lyrical meaning is one that still keeps listeners and critics in awe of Rodrigo’s person while writing her songs. Although the song is listed as the first as requested by Olivia herself, it was the last song written among others.
The lyrics of the song tries to picture the dilemma experienced by teens in their growing years. She particularly came out on insecurities she has to battle with as a teenager even though she might obviously be having life so sweet at the moment. However, in that song, Olivia sings out about how her experiences in her teenage period were not so rosy.
In her appearance on Zach Sang Show, Olivia regards “Brutal” as “One of my favorite songs on the record… – I think it really represents my teenage years very well.” She further explained that “It’s a song about when you’re in that pity party and you’re just like feeling sorry for yourself — it’s stuff that you would say when you’re in that.”
The song was released on September 3, 2021, and quickly made it to No. 12 on Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at No. 1 on US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs on the Billboard Charts.
8. ‘Favourite Crime’
Released as No. 10 among the tracks on the album, “Favourite Crime” was released on May 21, 2021, co-written by Olivia Rodrigo and her producer, Dan Nigro. The song is yet another love reminiscing song by the trending teen star.
With yet another heartbreak, Favourite Crime tells the story of a flawed relationship where she was walked out on, left heartbroken and in despair. Rodrigo explores her figurative use of words as the lyrics are seasoned with metaphoric expressions as she tries to convey her feelings to listeners. However, notwithstanding her experiences, she claims to keep loving the boy who had voluntarily walked out on her. She does this because he is what she calls her “Favourite Crime”, and even criticizes herself for being vulnerable enough to allow him to get to her that much.
In the first week of June, “Favourite Crime” made it to the 18th song on Billboard’s Hot 100 and went up to 16th the week after that.
9. ‘Hope Ur Ok’
At Zach Sang’s Show, Olivia opens up about her inspiration behind the lyrical body and theme of the , “Hope Ur Ok” which takes the last number on her debut album. She explains, “Sour is a very sad, angry, emotional record and I wanted to end it with a song that was like, you know, “We’re gonna be all right, We’re gonna get over it. Everything’s gonna be OK and we have each other.”
Basically, “Hope Ur Ok” is fond reminiscences of past friendships and the remembrance of ill-treatment experienced with a hopeful wish that everything will be fine. It was made specially to end the Sour album on a hopeful note to keep listeners motivated.
The song was released on May 21, 2021 and was produced by Geffen Records, with Olivia and Dan Nigro being co-writers of the song. With one week of its audio release on YouTube, the video had 2 million views and made it to No. 20 in Spotify’s UK Top 50.
10. ‘Jealousy, Jealousy’
Released in May, 2021, “Jealousy Jealousy” represents the insecurities, and unreal life expectations that most people commit to online. It is no secret that not all that glamours so much on the internet is actually as it is in reality. However, many have been subject to self criticism and decreased self esteem as a result of not meeting up to these expectations.
In the song, listed as track 9 among the 11 songs that make up Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album Sour, Olivia bears out her teenage frustration and unhealthy cravings for social media in her lyrics. In her interview with Nylon, she said, “I would look for things that would hurt my feelings all the time and compare myself to everyone.” She went on to say, “I felt like my life was only what I showed to others, I didn’t feel like my life was any deeper than my Instagram feed. That’s a really troubling mindset to be in as a teenager.”
For this song, Olivia painted the situation quite well and it is undeniable that the music applies not to teenagers alone. It also applies to most people battling with social media obsession and low self-esteem.
The song ranks No. 24 on Olivia’s Hot 100 Billboard hits.