This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.
KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #150: Traitor by Olivia Rodrigo.
This is THE post that you can mine for all it is worth because I am about to place your fingers squarely on the pulse of what kids like, my Sophie, are listening to these days. In fact, it is not only the Sophies of the world who have been drawn to this young lady named, Olivia Rodrigo…..she has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards in the upcoming Grammys in the new year. So, if you want to score cool points with your grandkids, your own kids, the folks you share coffee with in the morning or even, your family, as you gather ’round the dinner table for the upcoming holidays, here is all that you need to know to accurately and confidently name-drop the hottest name in teen music…..Olivia Rodrigo.
***As is custom, every 25th post goes to one of my girls so, as much as you have me to thank for the information you are about to receive, it is really Sophie who is responsible for today’s post. All praise be to Sophie.
Olivia Rodrigo is no stranger to the spotlight. She has been involved in music and in television for most of her life. When she was twelve years old, Rodrigo was cast as one of the co-stars of a tv show developed by Disney called, “Bizaardvark”. This is a show that Leah and Sophie watched a lot for awhile when watching Disney shows was part of their after-school routine. As kids shows go, “Bizaardvark” had a bit of a forward-thinking premise….it was set in a building that served as a creative hub for YouTube-like content creators. Rodrigo and her on-show partner, Madison Hu, were the stars of their own comedy channel on the show and spent much of their time trying to develop wacky segments for their show. They also spent time in a lounge with other content creators who ran shows such as one that offered fashion and style advice and another, called “Dare me, Bro!”, that accepted dares as sent in from fans. The star of “Dare me, Bro!” was a guy called Jake Paul who, in real life, has become a sort of pseudo celebrity by challenging real MMA and professional boxers to matches in the ring. In any case, the show gave a good look into the world of content-creators who, in this day and age, are leading the way at diseminating information to today’s youth.
As Rodrigo grew up, she eventually out grew her role on “Bizaardvark” and transitioned over to a teen drama called “High School Musical: the Musical”, also produced by Disney. It was on this show that Rodrigo was able to explore more age-appropriate topics such as falling in love, dealing with emotional and mental health issues and, because it is a show about musicals, Rodrigo got to sing. As it turned out, the segments where she sang on the show proved to be a stepping stone for the next phase of her Disney-sponsored career which was, singing for real as a professional singer. Which brings us to where we need to be for today’s post.
Olivia Rodrigo has released her debut album which is called, “Sour”. The premise of the album is that the songs within it all focus on different aspects of her life; many of which centre on relationships. For being the product of the Disney entertainment factory, music critics have all agreed that her album is, surprisingly, mature and that her songs are well-structured, musically. When I asked Sophie what the big deal was about Olivia Rodrigo she replied that her songs were “emotional, without the drama” and that they had “a good beat”. So, whether we have the next Taylor Swift on our hands, remains to be seen but, so far at least, Olivia Rodrigo has gotten off to a good start to her professional singing career.
But, the other aspect of her career that bears notice is that she is a multi-platform artist. Not unlike her character on “Bizaardvark”, Rodrigo is well-placed to take advantage of all of the different ways available to artists today to get their work out into the hands of their audience. Olivia Rodrigo releases work on her own YouTube channel, through all of the various Disney channels available to her, through streaming services, via Instagram, by using a variety of file-sharing platforms and, of course, through traditional media platforms such as television, radio, print media and so on. She is as savvy a marketer, as she is talented a singer.
So, once the holidays come and go and we get closer to the actual Grammy Awards airing, you will begin to hear her name more frequently in the media, as she is considered one of the favourites to take home many of the major awards for which she is nominated. As her media campaign swings into high gear, you can drop in the trivia that you have gleaned from this post and sound all hip and cool, beyond your years. So, as this post draws to close, I will show the video for her song, “Traitor”, which is about a boyfriend with wandering eyes who didn’t cheat but may have wanted to, which qualifies him as being a “Traitor”. I will, also, post a clip from her show, “Bizaardvark” so you can see her character and how the show worked. As well, I will drop a short clip from “HighSchool Musical: the Musical”, too…you may as well get the full Olivia Rodrigo promo package. In any case, thanks to Sophie for riding the current wave of what passes for being cool these days. I appreciate her presence in my life for many reasons but, her help with understanding how the world of media and culture works today is much needed and highly valued by me.
Without further delay, here is the shiniest of today’s stars, Olivia Rodrigo, with her song, “Traitor” from her debut album, “Sour”. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo, can be found here.
The link to the video compilation from the TV show, “Bizaardvark”, can be found here.
The link to the video of Olivia Rodrigo from the TV show, “Highschool Musical: the Musical”, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Olivia Rodrigo, can be found here.