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Olivia Rodrigo Says ‘Guts’ Has ‘Given Me a Lot of Confidence as a Songwriter’

Olivia Rodrigo has released her highly-anticipated sophomore album Guts, and the singer says the LP is is “about the confusion that comes with becoming a young adult.” In a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1’s New Music Daily, Rodrigo spoke in-depth about the process of making the album, the inspiration behind specific songs, and her friendship with Phoebe Bridgers.

“I think the first time around I was just filled with so much adrenaline, I was like, ‘Okay, wow, this is happening. I’ve never done this before,’” Rodrigo reflected on how Guts felt compared with her debut Sour. “This time it feels a little more real and it’s a scary thing to know that people are going to be curious and they’ll maybe have a lot of ears on it.”

She added, “I think that, in general, making this album has given me a lot of confidence as a songwriter. I think writing the first album, it just felt so spontaneous. I was 17 years old learning how to write songs for the first time and just pouring my heart out. I had so much to say. I think this time I was in a different place and I was having a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations placed on me and I think I really had to try to block out the noise and just focus on the craft of songwriting. I wasn’t going through my first 17 year old heartbreak and I think that it forced me to be maybe a little bit more creative in the way that I write.”

The singer also discussed the themes on Guts, which features 12 tracks, including “All-American Bitch” and Katy Perry-referencing “Teenage Dream.”

“I feel like when you’re making the album, you can’t really see the forest through the trees a little bit about what’s about or what you’re trying to get across,” Rodrigo told Lowe. “Sometimes you just wake up and go into the studio and see what comes out of you. In hindsight, I think that a lot of this album is about the confusion that comes with becoming a young adult and figuring out your place in this world and figuring out who you want to be and who you want to hang out with and all of that stuff. I think that that’s probably an experience that everyone has had in their life before, is just that rising from that disillusionment.”

Rodrigo said she recorded around 25 songs for Guts and confirmed that “some of them will definitely see the light of day.” She added that “Teenage Dream” was the first song they wrote that made it onto the LP.

“The last line is a line that I really love and it ends the album on a question mark,” she explained of the track. “The line is, ‘They all say that it gets better. It gets better the more you grow. They all say that it gets better. What if I don’t?’ I like that it is like an ending, but it’s also a question mark and it’s leaving it up in the air what this next chapter is going to be. It’s still sort of confused, but it feels like a final note to that confusion, a final question.”

Elsewhere in the nearly-10-minute interview, Rodrigo spoke about having a conversation with Bridgers for Interview magazine, noting that “she’s awesome.”


“It was so much fun talking to her,” Rodrigo enthused. “I think she’s so smart and obviously such a brilliant songwriter, but she’s just really, really gracious and really down to earth and it’s been really nice to have some interactions with her. I think she’s just great all around.”

Guts, produced by Dan Nigro, is out now. “I feel so immensely grateful for everyone who has so generously supported me over the past few years,” Rodrigo wrote on Instagram to celebrate the release. “Thank you to everyone who has listened and streamed and been so kind.”

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