“driver’s license” by Olivia Rodrigo, a 17-year-old Disney actor who recently starred in Music High School: The Musical: The Series, broke Spotify’s records for the most streamed song in a day.
The “driver’s license” climbed to No. 1 on Spotify’s charts in just one week of its release. On Tuesday, it was released over 17 million times, the most for a song in one day (17,010,000 streams, a Spotify spokesman confirmed to BuzzFeed News).
The song is a melodramatic pop ballad about being released from a driver’s license so that the protagonist can see his partner on his own terms ̵
In the face of a global pandemic and frightening threats before taking office, the song gives young people – and hey, even adults – permission to retire to worry only about teenage drama.
Now the song is one of the most popular sounds in TikTok, which also helps its popularity grow and grow. The more Rodrigo and others promoted the song on the app, the more it forced people to listen to the entire Spotify song. The more people listen, the more they keep posting about it on TikTok and other platforms like Twitter and Instagram. And more and more.
Currently, TikTok is full of jokes about both the gossip and the mania around the song. (Rumors that the song is about Rodrigo’s teenage love triangle with her ex add to the song’s popularity. High school musical costar.) People online comment on the enormity of the hit.
Even Taylor Swift, whom Olivia publicly idolized, greeted her in a comment on Instagram. As expected, Charlie D’Amelio gave her his most emotional choreography.
The Driver’s License cuts through the dirt of 2021 in a basic but simple way. This is because “Driver’s License”, the title of which is intentionally in small letters as an important stylistic detail, is a song of this particular moment. This is a moment that Swift helped carry in his own lowercase letters (forever,, folklore), which had a strong impact, despite how introverted they felt.
In quarantine, Swift creates inner music. The people who stayed at home longed for music that was heavy for the escapist storytelling and melodies that centered their emotions. Now Rodrigo really presented it in the most elementary way, and I mean that as a compliment.
For American teenagers, their most formative and experimental years were forcibly interrupted by the pandemic. They grew up knowing economic instability and their political consciousness was awakened by the Trump administration. They deserve an uncomplicated ballad that speaks of the smallness of their world – crushing, dreaming of the future and negotiating freedom with their parents.
Hell, I, almost 30 years old, have trouble fighting the madness of our democracy and a “driver’s license” gives me consolation. I immediately go back to high school, feel crushed, dream about my future in writing, and argue about curfew.
Besides, “driver’s license” is just a really good song.
It’s a sad song, but it’s an accessible type of sad.
Heartbreaking is one of the most common experiences of teenage grief, so it makes joking with the shared experience much easier on social media.