Olivia Rodrigo says writing ‘GUTS’ “tested her confidence”
The artist reflected on the lessons she learned while writing the album, which was released in September, in a new interview with Variety.
“The experience tested my confidence and patience,” she told the outlet. “It taught me some important lessons about songwriting in terms of focusing on your craft rather than just waiting for inspiration to strike. It taught me about the mindset that is most conducive to writing: You can never sit down at the piano and try to write something that everyone will like; that always results in a really bad song. It taught me that I write songs that I want to hear.”
Rodrigo added that she had been trying to write a song every day to help with her mental health.
“These days, I try to write one song every day,” she said. “I just feel like myself when I’m writing. If I don’t do it, I get depressed. I’m just writing songs to process what’s going on, whether in my personal life or in my perception of the world.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Rodrigo also expanded on the process of writing her recent single ‘Can’t Catch Me Now’ for the new The Hunger Games prequel film, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
“I watched the film first and then wrote the song,” she explained. “It was a really interesting challenge for me to write something from the perspective of a character in a movie because I feel like I’m very direct in my songwriting; I write about what’s going on in my life. Even though I tore through the books as a kid, I didn’t watch the films until this year.
“With the song, Lucy Gray became the muse. I grew up feeling inspired by people like Carole King, who wrote songs for other people to start her career, and I always thought, ‘What an admirable thing to do.’”
Back in September, the singer’s sophomore album scored a glowing five-star review from NME. “‘Guts’ doesn’t just feel transitional in a musical sense. It marks the end of Rodrigo’s teenage years, a moment that has gravity given that she recently said in a statement that she felt like she grew “10 years” between the ages of 18 and 20,” it read.
“Here, she offers blunt self-analysis while reflecting on wider cultural ideas of performance and swallowing anger in order to comply with the wants and needs of others. It works as a display of real power, range and versatility – all of which Rodrigo possesses in abundance.”