Olivia Rodrigo is opening up about the pressure she felt after dropping Sour in 2021, the debut album that brought her stardom as well as a license to “make mistakes,” which she says was evident in the people she chose to date.

In an interview with The New York Times, the 20-year-old singer shares how her approach to life changed after finding fame. Rodrigo essentially says she wanted to be just like every other young adult with newfound freedom — the freedom to find herself without the judgment.

“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,” she says. “And I think because of that pressure, maybe I did things that maybe I shouldn’t have — dated people I shouldn’t have.”

Rodrigo doesn’t name names in the interview, but her dating history’s been the topic of conversation in just a short amount of time since she became famous. Her most recent album, Guts, is rumored to be about her failed romance with High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star, Joshua Bassett. In 2021, she was said to be dating 26-year-old producer Adam Faze, but the two split in early 2022. She was later linked to 27-year-old DJ Zack Bia, though the rumored pair called it quits in August 2022.

Rodrigo tells The New York Times that Guts is “about reckoning with those feelings and coming out of that disillusionment and realizing the core of who I am and what I want to be doing and who I want to be spending my time with.”

Guts includes Rodrigo’s breakup anthem “Vampire,” in which she sings about an older man using her for fame and sucking the life out of her.

“I’ve made some real big mistakes/ You make the worst one look fine/ I should have known it was strange/ You only come out at night,” Rodrigo sings on the track. “I used to think I was smart/ But you made me look so naive/ The way you sold me for parts/ You sunk your teeth into me/ Blood sucker, fame f**ker/ Bleeding me dry like a god d**n vampire.”

That anyone’s at all interested in her dating life is something Rodrigo’s still getting used to. While covering Vogue‘s August issue, Rodrigo reflected on growing up in the spotlight and grappling with the public’s interest in her love life.

“It’s an interesting thing to think about,” she says. “I understand it. I could sit here and be like, ‘I don’t get why people do that,’ but I do it so often.”


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