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Olivia Rodrigo Explains Why Writing ‘Can’t Catch Me Now’ for ‘Hunger Games’ Challenged Her As a Songwriter

Olivia Rodrigo is the Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes head songbird, but she says that writing “Can’t Catch Me Now” for the franchise’s new film wasn’t as easy as she made it look.

On the red carpet for the Hollywood premiere of the latest Hunger Games installment Monday (Nov. 13), Rodrigo revealed that penning the soundtrack centerpiece was actually more difficult than writing, say, the songs on her chart-topping albums Sour and Guts. “It was a really fun challenge for me as a songwriter, because lots of my songs are kind of about my personal life,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “[They are] very diaristic and confessional.”

“It was a wonderful experience to try to write something from the character of Lucy Gray,” continued the 20-year-old singer, referencing the film’s leading lady portrayed by Rachel Zegler. “[She] is a character that I feel very connected to.”

Rodrigo also said that the invitation to join the soundtrack was “such an honor,” noting that she’s “such a huge fan of The Hunger Games and such a huge fan of The Hunger Games soundtracks.” She added: “When they asked me to do this, I was so excited and so nervous.”

With “Can’t Catch Me Now,” Rodrigo follows in the footsteps of past Hunger Games soundtrack contributors such as Taylor Swift (“Safe & Sound,” “Eyes Open”) and Lorde (“Yellow Flicker Beat”). The haunting ballad entered the Billboard Hot 100 this week at No. 56, and on the day of Songbirds & Snakes‘ premiere, the “Drivers License” singer released an accompanying music video.

Rodrigo is nominated in the top female artist category at the upcoming 2023 Billboard Music Awards. You can watch the BBMAs here, via Billboard or the BBMA’s social media channels on Nov. 19.

Watch the “Can’t Catch Me Now” music video below:

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