Olivia Rodrigo, who said she used to live just a few blocks from the Grammy Museum’s location in downtown Los Angeles, sat down with them for a virtual interview about her breakout single “Drivers License.” The segment, which debuted on the museum’s online streaming service Collection:live on Saturday (Feb. 6), included a live performance of the song — one that was just Rodrigo, her keyboard and all her emotions.
“It’s absolutely beyond anything I ever could have dreamed up,” she said of the reaction to “Drivers License” toward the start of the question-and-answer session, which was taped three weeks ago, just as the hit was taking off.
Rodrigo talked to Scott Goldman, the museum’s moderator of public programs, about being “broken together” with the fans resonating with “Drivers License,” being “the hugest Swiftie in the world,” and challenging herself to write at least a verse and a chorus of a song every day while in quarantine and off the set of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. “It’s also a really strange time,” the singer and actress noted. “The song is like No. 1 in the world, but I haven’t left my house, so I have no actual context of the song being out in the world. I just see the numbers.”
“It was kind of a nice little challenge with myself,” she said of the songwriting activity that’s kept her busy during the pandemic. “I love songwriting and I’ve done it since, you know, ever since I could speak. I loved playing the piano and making stuff up. But before quarantine, it was always kind of a, ‘Oh, if I have a spark of inspiration, then I’ll write a song. I’ll just vomit all of my feelings onto my piano keyboard. But doing that challenge kind of really taught me how to have creativity as a tap and be able to work on something and kind of craft something from the ground up, even if you’re not feeling particularly inspired.”
Rodrigo had just made her late-night performance premiere on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with “Drivers License,” joined by musicians on strings, on Thursday (Feb. 4).
Watch her newly-released interview and live set on the Grammy Museum website, and preview the “Drivers License” performance she filmed for it in the video below.