Joshua Bassett Says He and Olivia Rodrigo Haven't Spoken Since 'Drivers License' Came Out

Joshua Bassett told GQ he does not want to "expose" anyone with the release of his three new deeply personal songs, but felt as though "it was eating me alive"

Joshua Bassett
Joshua Bassett. Photo: Luke Rogers/GQ

It's been a minute since since Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo last spoke.

Bassett, 20, revealed to GQ that he and his High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star, 18, haven't talked since she released her smash hit "drivers license" in January, which was rumored to be about him.

"[Rodrigo] hasn't spoken to me since 'drivers license' came out," Bassett said, noting that he has made attempts to speak with her.

Rodrigo has never confirmed the subject of her heartbreak ballad, though rumors have long persisted that it was written with Bassett in mind, as fans believe that the stars shared an off-screen romance — and when Bassett was seen hanging out with Sabrina Carpenter, many believed that Rodrigo's lyrics were referencing his apparent moving on.

Despite Rodrigo keeping her muse tight-lipped, Bassett told GQ that he was still on the receiving end of hate from her fans.

"I would see TikToks with like 50 million views and 10 million likes saying, 'If I ever see that kid on the street, I'm going to f—ing kill him,'" he said. "It's hard to see that and then be living in New York and walking down the street."

Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo. Image Group LA/Disney Channel via Getty

It's now Bassett's turn to tell his side of the story with a set of songs he released on Friday that features deeply personal lyrics that shed light on his inner turmoil.

The "Feel Something" singer said that while his record label wanted him to put out songs sooner in order to capitalize on the success of "drivers license," he was hesitant.

"It sort of felt like a losing battle… If I try and defend myself in any way, it just felt impossible," he told GQ.

Still, Bassett said that he has "a right to stand up for myself," and is "glad" that it took him this long to release the songs "Crisis," "Secret" and "Set Me Free," which were written six months ago.

"I finally found the courage to speak up for myself," he said. "I'm not here to expose people. It was eating me alive, and I couldn't keep it in anymore."

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While he remained coy about the songs' subjects, he did admit that "Crisis" is about "all the crazy PR over the year."

The track features lyrics like: "And honestly I didn't want to write this / Don't know if I can / Still holding back, still want to run / And if you get to tell your truth then so do I / And it's cool if you want me to play the bad guy / But don't you dare act like I didn't love you."

The day before he released the songs, Bassett did his best to get ahead of any potential ill will, asking fans via text message to keep things as kind and civil as possible.

"due to the nature of pop culture, and the current public perspective, [there] will be a lot of loud voices in this next chapter — positive, negative and everywhere in between," he wrote. "all i ask is you treat everyone with respect and love. anyone who sends hate on my 'behalf' is no fan of mine."

Bassett donated $1 for every new pre-save/pre-add of the songs to global mental health organizations Bring Change to Mind,, Beyond Blue and Mind UK. Proceeds from "Crisis" will also be donated.

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