Deanna Wright

Olivia Rodrigo is becoming the new Taylor Swift of the decade.

Rodrigo has been an actress since she started in theater productions during her elementary and middle school years. 

She starred in Disney Channel’s series “Bizaardvark” in 2016, where viewers could see her sing some throughout the series, as her character, Paige Olvera. Her cast member Frankie Wong, played by Madison Hu, and Olvera had their own vlog channel that had funny music videos. 

It wasn’t until her role as Nini Salazar-Roberts on Disney+ series, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” which premiered on Nov. 19, when fans and viewers really started to hear how talented Rodrigo is, not only as an actress but a singer as well. 

“I started singing before I started acting,” Rodrigo said in an interview with Genius. “Actually, the reason that I got into acting is because I was so expressive when I sang. So people told me, ‘Hey, maybe you should get into acting. Maybe this will be something that you’ll like,’ and I loved it, and here we are now.”

One of the top songs of the first season of the series, “All I Want,” Rodrigo wrote for the show for her character to sing as her character goes through boy troubles. She stated that she thinks the song is a very relatable concept. 

“I absolutely think her song from All I Want is a relatable concept and I think that partially comes from the fact she writes based [on] her own personal experiences,” junior Hope Cahusac said. “It deepens the connection between the lyrics and the listeners because it’s not just lyrics, but life.” 

Since “All I Want” was released during the first season of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” Rodrigo has released two other singles separately from the series. 

Her first official single, “Driver’s License,” was released on Jan. 8 and rose to the top of the Billboard chart within a week. 

“I think whenever there is drama there will always be more attention drawn to whatever is surrounding it,” Cahusac said. “But with that said, I also believe that with or without the drama her song would have been a hit because of the way she makes listeners feel so deeply, like it’s their own experience they are having.” 

Rodrigo is not the first artist to write from experiences that caused drama in the music industry. Her role model Taylor Swift is known to write from experiences, especially romantic ones, which is bringing fans and critics to believe Rodrigo could be the next Swift in the industry. 

According to an Esquire.com article on “Driver’s License,” they believe it is going to be the new Gen Z song, like “You Belong With Me” by Swift to millennials. 

“I think since Olivia and Taylor Swift do draw from very similar writing styles by using their experiences to drive their music, Olivia is definitely gearing up to be the next Taylor Swift for this generation,” Cahusac said. 

Many artists use experiences to create their content of music, and just like Swift is known for writing hits about her exes since her teenage years, Rodrigo is using inspiration from her to help write about her own romantic experiences.

 With Rodrigo releasing her very first album, “SOUR,” on May 21, fans and critics will have to wait and see if her album has more inspiration from Swift and if she will become the Swift for Gen Z in the next few years. 

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