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Olivia Rodrigo: ‘I think I listened to a lot of heavier stuff growing up and that’s what I’ve always been drawn to’

Mr. Nimbus | 07/01/2023

Grammy-winning artist Olivia Rodrigo joins Zane Lowe on New Music Daily on Apple Music 1 to discuss new single “vampire” and her highly anticipated sophomore album ‘GUTS’ due out this fall. She tells Apple Music about the origin of the track, how she’s feeling as she launches the next chapter in her career and why it’s “a natural step forward”, the meaning of the album title, how not worrying about what people would think jumpstarted the creative process this time around, rejecting a squeaky clean pop star persona, processing her life-changing rise to stardom, moving to New York City, and more.

Olivia Rodrigo Tells Apple Music About The Origin of “vampire”…

I wrote the song on the piano, super chill, in December of last year. And my producer Dan and I finished it in January and finished writing it. And I’ve just always been really obsessed with songs that are very dynamic. My favorite songs are high and low, and reel you in and spit you back out. And so we wanted to do a song where it just crescendoed the entire time and it reflects the pent-up anger that you have for a situation.

Olivia Rodrigo Tells Apple Music How She’s Feeling as She Returns with New Music…

I’m doing so many emotions. I’m nervous, excited, terrified, happy, everything. Definitely eagerly anticipating putting these songs out. I think I’ve lived with them for so long, I’m actually very excited to put them into someone else’s hands and not have ownership over them anymore.

Olivia Rodrigo Tells Apple Music About Entering a New Era with The Forthcoming Release of Her New Album ‘GUTS’ Is “A Natural Step Forward”…

I feel like musically, we worked really hard to make something that felt fresh and new and exciting to me without completely just diverging from everything that we did on the last album. And so to me, this new album GUTS and this new song Vampire feels like a natural progression, a natural step forward in my life and sound and music.

Olivia Rodrigo Tells Apple Music About The Meaning of The Album Title ‘GUTS’…

I had it for a long time. I had it actually when I was making SOUR. I’m like, “I want the next one to be GUTS.” I had it in my head. I’m like, “Four letters, all caps, just like SOUR.” I love it. I just think it’s an interesting word. People use it in so many interesting contexts, like spill your guts. Hate your guts, I think is a really interesting term. Means bravery, but it also means intuition, like listen to your gut. I just think it’s all of these things that coincidentally were things that I’ve really been thinking about in this chapter.

Olivia Rodrigo Tells Apple Music That Not Worrying About What Other People Would Think Shifted Her Confidence as an Artist and Jumpstarted The Creative Process…

Honestly, at first, when we first started writing this album a year or a year and a half ago, I remember I couldn’t sit at the piano without thinking about what other people were going to think about what I was playing. I would just sing anything and I’d just be like, “Oh, but will people say this and that, and will people speculate about whatever?” And that’s a terrible mindset, to be honest. I was in that mindset for a really long time. And it wasn’t until I switched my mindset into, “You know what? All I have to do is, I just have to make music that I would like to hear on the radio, that if I found I would add that to my playlist. That’s my sole job as an artist making music and everything else is out of my control.” And so once I started really believing that, things became a lot easier and creativity started flowing, more like a shift.

Olivia Rodrigo Tells Apple Music About Rejecting a Squeaky Clean Pop Star Persona…

I do like to f**k s**t up, but definitely that’s true. I don’t know. I think I listened to a lot of heavier stuff growing up and that’s what I’ve always been drawn to. But I think in my regular day-to-day life, I don’t get to express those feelings of rage and dirty s**t and messing s**t up. And I think in music, you have the freedom to express feelings that you don’t get to express in your everyday life. And so I think maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to this, because I don’t get to be messy every day in daily life and work.

Olivia Rodrigo Tells Apple Music About Processing Her Life Changing Rise to Superstardom…

I think that everything that happened was so quick and so life-changing, like you said, and so intense. And I think it wasn’t until after I got off of tour where I could sit still and chill out enough to actually process everything that happened. Like, “Wow, that was really insane. That doesn’t happen every day. That’s pretty amazing.” All the negative stuff too. And so I think it was nice to have some time to just process that for myself. And I talk about that a little bit in GUTS, the new album.

Olivia Rodrigo Shares The Studio Hack She Uses To Dial Up Her Emotional Delivery…

I’m very emotional, and I think my background in child acting helps me a little bit get really emotional. And me and Dan, my producer, we sometimes have a joke where if I’m not giving a performance that’s emotional enough on the microphone, he’ll literally film me, and I’ll do it better just because I’m being filmed. I got a hack. So next time you need an emotional performance, just film yourself.

Olivia Rodrigo Tells Apple Music About Moving to New York City and What She Loves About It…

…life’s good. I’m in my empty New York apartment right now. It’s totally empty, no furniture. But I just moved to New York, and so that’s a fun change. I’ve been enjoying it a lot. I’ve always loved it. Lots of my friends live here. And we actually made a lot of the album at Electric Lady in Greenwich Village over here. And it’s just so inspiring, and I just love the energy. I always rolled my eyes whenever people were like, “Yeah, I just write so much in New York. It’s so good. The vibes are so good.” I’m like, “Really?” And then I get here and I’m like, “Wow. It’s like, everything is true.” I love it so much. It really works for me. …you can blend in a little bit more than I feel like you can in LA. And you can just talk to anyone. There’s no holds barred, really. People are just so interesting. And I don’t know. I feel like you can have organic, spontaneous experiences more here. I feel like here walking around, you can be alone but not feel lonely, which is a really nice feeling.

Olivia Rodrigo on How Releasing Music This Time Is Different…

I think it’s totally different. I think the first time, I remember putting out “Driver’s License” two years ago, and obviously being nervous and scared, but I think it’s a different ballgame now. I’m lucky to be in a different position than I was then. So it’s all different.

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Written by Mr. Nimbus

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