It’s been a busy few days for Olivia Rodrigo. She took the Saturday Night Live stage as the musical guest this weekend, right off the release of her new music video, “good 4 u” on Friday. Season two of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series started on Friday as well. All of it is perfectly timed for the release of her debut album SOUR coming out this Friday:
As expected, her first SNL performance was “drivers license”, one of the biggest hits of the year, the song I’m sure you’ve all heard at least once on the radio or on multiple Spotify playlists – and even more heartfelt when sung live because Olivia has stage presence. She’s got a good voice, but she’s also an actor. So the facial expressions, the sad eyes, the full package is on display here, for a song about watching your lover move on to someone else …it was really effective, an impressive achievement for someone who’s pretty new on the scene in her most high profile appearance on American television.
Olivia is the next major superstar in the making. And she recently met her idol, a reigning global superstar:
It’s well-known to Olivia’s fans that she’s been obsessed with Taylor Swift since she was a kid (a younger kid) so this is a pretty sweet moment for them to finally connect in person after Taylor sent her new version of “You Belong With Me” to Olivia before it was released.
I’m sure that Taylor has given her some advice, and even though I’m confident in Olivia’s own talent, everyone knows the impact a good mentor can have on budding talent. I have commended Olivia for her impressive range and lyrics in the past, so who’s a better mentor than Taylor Swift, one of the most prolific songwriters of her generation?
Talking about range, let’s take a moment to appreciate the complete shift on the SNL night with her performance of “good 4 u”.
I’m digging this Avril Lavigne vibe. The jumping, hair shaking, heavy guitar/drum influence and talk-singing is taking me back to 2006, and I’m so here for it. The music video also has a retro camera filter over it, which reminds me of the MTV music videos I watched when I was younger. Again, the acting background really pays off here, because even though it feels like this is a genuine Olivia, it’s great to know that she can tap into different aspects of her personality. Being able to perform in different styles is also a smart way to expand your audience. With the three songs we’ve already heard, I’m assuming that her album is going to be about one thing: heartbreak. Usually, I’d be concerned about that for a new artist because it’s easy for some songs to sound repetitive. However, Olivia has already proven her ability to reinvent the topic in three different ways: “drivers license” was the sad phase, “deja vu” was the passive aggressive phase, and now, “good 4 u” is the angry (scary?) phase. I’m interested in seeing how the rest of the album will pan out and how it performs. For Olivia has captured the attention of the younger generation but will her appeal reach across demographics? Taylor Swift did it. So did Miley Cyrus. Is Olivia next?