Music Business

Story Behind The Runaway Success Of ‘Driver’s License’

The massive success of “Driver’s License” – a song by hitherto little-known eighteen year old singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo – was no accident, and offers signs of hope to songwriters everywhere.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

Teenage star Olivia Rodrigo’s song “Driver’s License” is the biggest hit in the world right now, and its success points to a bright future for songwriters everywhere.

It seems like the news is happening too fast for anyone to follow in January 2021. Between the Capitol riots, vaccine distribution, and the presidential inauguration, life is moving fast. Nobody can blame you if music hasn’t been the first thing on your mind, but you really shouldn’t go much longer without experiencing Olivia Rodrigo’s new single, “Driver’s License.” Check it out:

“Driver’s License” is the biggest song in the world right now, and it is breaking new records with each passing day. The song recently set a single-day consumption record on Spotify with more than 17-million streams. It’s the most played track in dozens of countries, and its video has earned over 50-million views in less than two weeks. All this, for a singer-songwriter under the age of eighteen who until recently was relatively unknown to most of the world.

The success of “Driver’s License” is no fluke, but it results from several important factors coming together at the perfect moment in time. Rodrigo is a Gen Z star leading a Disney+ series with strong ties to social media, for starters. Her private life is well known to her young audience, and their belief in the starlet made the song a hit on TikTok as soon as its release. There is also a pop music drought resulting from the ongoing Pandemic, and that has left a wide-open field for new voices to gain attention.

But that’s not all. The forward momentum made possible by the factors above could only lift “Driver’s License” to the insane heights it is currently reaching if the song was good (and it is). The track taps into universal feelings of confusion, vulnerability, and heartache, anchored by a story revolving around a pivotal moment in human development that everyone recognizes. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling, and it defies the years of criticism pop music has received for being viewed as shallow or meaningless. “Driver’s License” has meaning, and it is resonating with listeners in a big way.

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