"I write all of my lyrics from my heart and my life first."
Olivia Rodrigo stole fans’ hearts with the release of “drivers license” in January 2021, and she’s continued to do so with every song on her debut album, Sour. But her super successful career has had some hiccups. In fact, her May 2021 single “good 4 u” was shrouded in controversy after music fans raised suspicions of copyright infringement. ICYMI: Many listeners pointed out the striking similarities between “good 4 u” and Paramore’s 2007 song, “Misery Business.” Now, Olivia Rodrigo has addressed the "good 4 u” songwriting drama and her response was so honest.
Rodrigo graced the October cover of Teen Vogue and chatted all about what whirlwind success has been like. She also addressed the “good 4 u” drama for the very first time and called the situation “disappointing.”
“I think it’s disappointing to see people take things out of context and discredit any young woman’s work,” she said. “But at the end of the day I’m just really proud and happy to say that my job is being a songwriter … All music is inspired by each other. Obviously, I write all of my lyrics from my heart and my life first. I came up with the lyrics and the melody for ‘good 4 u’ one morning in the shower.”
Upon the initial release of “good 4 u,” the members of Paramore were not credited, but that soon changed. In August, Rodrigo’s label added Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Zac Farro as co-writers on her single, proving the song was indeed an interpolation of the 2007 hit. For the uninitiated, an interpolation is defined as a recording which is recreated note for note and reflects the underlying composition.
As Rodrigo told Teen Vogue, being inspired by previous generations of music is one of her favorite parts of the songwriting process. “What’s so beautiful about music is that it can be so inspired by music that’s come out in the past,” Rodrigo said. “Every single artist is inspired by artists who have come before them. It’s sort of a fun, beautiful sharing process. Nothing in music is ever new. There’s four chords in every song. That’s the fun part — trying to make that your own.”
Williams addressed the comparisons between “good 4 u” and “Misery Business,” but she didn’t exactly seem pleased by the similarities. In fact, on Aug. 25, she re-posted a graphic from her publishing company, Warner Chappell, which celebrated the retroactive credit. But fans interpreted her caption as subtle shade. “Our publisher is wildin rn,” Williams wrote. Ultimately, she and Farro received their writing credit, so hopfully the dust surrounding the Rodrigo drama will soon settle.