Why Driver’s License Is Such a Popular Song

Maya Messick

Driver’s License, a recently dropped single by Olivia Rodrigo, has topped the charts within the last month and broken multiple records. The song is all over social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram, the news, radio stations, and Spotify playlists. Have you ever wondered why this specific song blew up? 

 The song was targeted towards teenagers and young adults, who arguably have a large influence on today’s social media world. TikTok influencers quickly caught onto the song, and within hours, had created a new transition trend. Dance choreography, covers, mashups, and remixes emerged at a rapid rate. How did 17-year-old Rodrigo create such a popular song, and why did the audiences love it so much? 

 One reason may have to do with the genre. Researchers Jonah Berger and Grant Packard discovered that diversity and atypical music is something listeners love. Driver’s License is classified as pop, but it certainly bends the rules of the stereotypical pop genre you hear on the radio. Of course, the famous beat drop before the bridge (Red lights, stop signs / I still see your face in the white cars, front yards / Can’t drive past the places we used to go to) certainly helped its rise to the top of the charts. 

As much as Gen Z loves its upbeat dance music, sad songs seem to be taking off more than ever before. Whether one has been through a breakup or not, the mood Rodrigo’s single sets is simply easy to relate to. While soothing, classical music can be a good way to calm down, understandable lyrics and melodies lets you deal with emotions and feel less alone.  

 Teenagers in today’s world see so much of the outside world, including economic troubles, polarized political views, violence, and a pandemic. At the end of the day, younger generations sometimes need a simple sound that wraps up their small world of teen crushes and dreams about the future.