As she prepares to drop Guts, her second album (out on 8 September), Olivia Rodrigo has revealed the piece of advice given to her by Jack White, one of her musical heroes.
Rodrigo has had a lot to deal with since Drivers License, her debut single, caused her to go stratospheric in 2021, but White told her that all she really needed to do was stick to one specific task.
“He wrote me this letter the first time I met him that said, ‘Your only job is to write music that you would want to hear on the radio,’” Rodrigo told The New York Times. As she admits, though, this is easier said than done: “I mean, writing songs that you would like to hear on the radio is in fact very hard.”
Fortunately, working in collaboration with her producer/co-writer Dan Nigro, Rodrigo appears to have mastered the art pretty well. Both Vampire, Guts’ first single, and follow-up Bad Idea Right? are on heavy rotation, and confirm that Rodrigo is leaning in to her rock side on the new record. Indeed, The New York Times profile also reveals that some of the tracks were recorded live, with a full band.
Another star who’s been impressed by what she’s seen in Rodrigo is Annie Clark (St Vincent), who told The New York Times that “I’ve never met anyone so young and so effortlessly self-possessed,” adding that she “knows who she is and what she wants - and doesn’t seem to be in any way afraid of voicing that. And just a really lovely girl too. I’ve never heard her say a bad word about anyone.”