"My mom is the first person I play every song for," Rodrigo told Zane Lowe during Apple Music's First Listen event Thursday night

By Tomás Mier
May 21, 2021 03:50 PM
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Fans have Olivia Rodrigo's mom to thank for some of Sour's punkier tracks!

Chatting with Zane Lowe for Apple Music's First Listen, the 18-year-old star spoke about her mom's impact on her music — and revealed that she wasn't a big fan (at first!) of the bridge on "Drivers License."

"I was thinking about it the other day, and it's so funny. When I played 'drivers license' for the first time for my mom, she goes, 'The bridge is really weird. It's too much; it doesn't fit with the rest of the song,'" Rodrigo said. "In hindsight, I'm glad I didn't take that to heart but, she's very honest. But, I mean, obviously, she's my mom and would support me in whatever I did, but I just thought that was a funny little anecdote."

Rodrigo's mom is typically the first person she plays her songs for and she always has the best advice. (She's also the reason for tracks like "brutal" and "good 4 u.")

Olivia rodrigo
Credit: Apple Music

"My mom is the first person I play every song for. And my mom is the best," Rodrigo said. "She is the sweetest woman. She's from Wisconsin, she's a third-grade teacher, and she's the sweetest, purest woman you will ever meet in your whole life."

"Her favorite music is punk music and metal music and really hard, gritty stuff, so she's always been the one that has instilled in me that, 'I don't care the technicalities if it makes you feel something, then its good music,'" she added. "If my mom doesn't like it, I know it's not music that makes you feel."

Rodrigo also expressed the surreal feeling of having her album finally being out to the world.

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"To be honest, it doesn't register as being real life yet, but I just feel so proud of the record, and whatever happens if people love it or if people hate it, I'm just so happy with the sort of slice of my life that I've really memorialized in music," she said. "I just had so much fun making it. At the end of the day, that's all I can ask for."

"It was a little sad. I was working on these songs for a year. It was basically a year of my teenage life, so it was more like an end of an era. I'm going to move on to another era in my life. I'm always writing, and the second we finished the first album, I was like, 'Okay, what's the second album going to be like? Let's start writing that,' she added, teasing her future music. "I feel really lucky that I get to create these sort of boundless opportunities and ideas. I try not to feel sad about that kind of thing. But, I also think that a debut album is really special."

During the interview, Rodrigo also spoke about her songwriting process.

"To put it bluntly, lots of times, I force myself to write even when I'm not feeling inspired. I think when I started forcing myself to write, even if I didn't have a lighting bolt idea or anything like that, that's when I started honing in on the craft of songwriting," she said. "I also think on the other side of the coin; I think rest is very important for creativity. There were definitely periods of the making of SOUR, where I was in the studio 7 days a week, 13-14 hours a day, and I couldn't make anything."

First Listen is Apple Music's occasional virtual listening party where hosts such as Lowe and Ebro Darden talk about new albums with the artists behind them. Fans are able to interact with stars, answer polls and quiz questions and even pose their own questions to their favorite artists.