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Olivia Rodrigo Says She Felt 'Ill-Equipped' for the Media Attention She Received After 'Drivers License'

Rodrigo is gearing up for the release of her sophomore album 'GUTS' on Friday

<p>Brianna Capozzi</p> Olivia Rodrigo

Brianna Capozzi

Olivia Rodrigo

After skyrocketing success with the release of her debut single "Drivers License," Olivia Rodrigo has learned how to trust her gut while she's writing new music.

In an Interview Magazine cover story on Tuesday, the rising pop star sat down with fellow singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers to discuss facing media attention.

When asked if she ever feels the responsibility "to send the subject of a song the song before it comes out," Rodrigo thought back to the release of her hit "Drivers License."

"I feel like last time there was so much weird media s--- and I had no idea how to deal with any of it," Rodrigo, 20, said. "Literally, it was the first song out of the gate and all of that s--- happened. I felt so ill-equipped."

<p>Brianna Capozzi</p>

Brianna Capozzi

Related: Olivia Rodrigo Addresses Speculation That 'Vampire' Is About Taylor Swift: 'I Was Very Surprised'

She continued, "That was an overwhelming experience, but now I definitely feel a responsibility. I just try not to think about it during the writing process."

Rodrigo released "Drivers License" in January 2021 and it was the top streamed song in the U.S. and worldwide that year. Four days after its release, Rodrigo set Spotify's record for most streams in a single day with 15.17 million global streams. The following day, she broke her own record with 17 million streams.

Elsewhere in the interview, the "Traitor" singer reflected on the writing process for GUTS, her sophomore album, which is due this Friday.

"When I first started writing this record, I would sit at the piano and pretend other people were hearing what I was writing, which is so awful and counterproductive to any creativity, so I had to just write what I wanted to write and think about the social implications after," she explained.

She added, "It’s tricky. I don’t think anyone has it down to a science. I can’t even believe that people listen and talk about my music as it is, so it’s crazy to think about. I guess I’m still learning how to deal with all that stuff."

<p>Brianna Capozzi</p> Olivia Rodrigo

Brianna Capozzi

Olivia Rodrigo

Bridgers, 29, responded, "It just means that the media attention and the scrutiny of your social life didn’t stop you from writing this cutting song, which f---ing rocks."

Last month, Rodrigo spoke to The New York Times about how the success of SOUR affected her decision making, including how she felt the need to grow up quickly.

“I had such a desire to live and experience things and make mistakes and grow after SOUR came out, I kind of felt this pressure to be this girl that I thought everyone expected me to be,” the pop-rock artist told the outlet. “And I think because of that pressure, maybe I did things that maybe I shouldn’t have — dated people that I shouldn’t have.”

She noted, “I’m very tame,” but explained how those relationships were learning experiences that inspired songs and themes on her new record, which sees her reuniting with producer Dan Nigro.

<p>Brianna Capozzi</p> Olivia Rodrigo

Brianna Capozzi

Olivia Rodrigo

Related: Olivia Rodrigo Contemplates a Late-Night Hookup with an Ex on New Single 'Bad Idea Right?'

Rodrigo dropped the lead single of GUTS, “Vampire,” in June, which details how an ex took advantage of her and exploited her celebrity.

She explained to The Times that she was uncertain if she should write the track about her fame at all, as she was worried it was “self-indulgent.”

“I’ve always tried to write about the emotions rather than this weird environment that I’m in,” the singer-songwriter said. Rodrigo eventually decided to write the vulnerable ballad, though, because she sees songwriting as a way “to distill all of your emotions into their simplest, purest, most effective form.”

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