Olivia Rodrigo revealed the important role Alanis Morissette played in her own songwriting as the two singer–songwriters take the cover of Rolling Stone’s Musician to Musician issue.
In a conversation between the 18-year-old Drivers License singer and the 47-year-old Canadian rocker that was released Wednesday, Olivia shared that an early experience with the Jagged Little Pill cut Perfect expanded her concept of what a song could be.
‘I remember having my mind blown when I was 13. I was in the car with my parents listening to Jagged Little Pill. I remember hearing Perfect, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God,’ she recounted.
Heart to heart: Olivia Rodrigo, 18, and Alanis Morissette, 47, chatted about their mutual inspirations and how they navigated early hits for Rolling Stone’s Musician to Musician issue
Olivia added that she marveled over the song to her music teacher.
‘I just looked at music and songwriting in a completely different way,’ she admitted.
Alanis’ song is narrated from the perspective of a parent relentlessly urging young boys and girls to ‘try a little harder’ in hopes of pleasing them, though it ultimately seems like a futile effort.
‘We’ll love you just the way you are / If you’re perfect,’ she sings in the ballad’s final lines.
‘I just think that’s something me and all of my friends had felt so acutely for so long, and I’d never heard somebody talk about it — even in general, in conversation, and definitely never in a song that’s so popular,’ Olivia said.
New possibilities: Olivia said she was inspired at 13 after hearing Alanis’ Jagged Little Pill cut Perfect. ‘I just looked at music and songwriting in a completely different way,’ she admitted
Writing for herself: Alanis said she wrote songs without focusing on the listener. ‘For me, when I first write it, it’s just for myself. It’s me alone in a room,’ she explained
The Disney Channel star was featured with her idol on the cover in a loosely knit lavender sweater cardigan that looked as if it was about to fall to pieces, along with black pants.
In another snap featured in the conversation, she covered her midriff with her arm while wearing a white crop top, baggy black slacks with a safety pin through one of the belt loops, and a red beret-like knit cap.
Alanis looked stylish in a black leather blazer with the sleeves partially rolled up and a white T-shirt underneath.
She had her long blond-dyed locks parted down the middle and resting across her shoulders in delicate waves.
New experiences: When Alanis shared that she was on tour at the moment, Olivia admitted that, despite having a platinum album and multiple hits on the charts, she hadn’t gone on a real tour
Elsewhere in their chat, Olivia marveled at how ‘vulnerable and intimate’ Alanis’ lyrics were after she saw the musical inspired by her album Jagged Little Pill shortly before the coronavirus pandemic started.
The hitmaker said she was able to delve deep within herself by not focusing on the listener when she started writing.
‘For me, when I first write it, it’s just for myself. It’s me alone in a room,’ she explained.
She said that after the song is released, ‘it’s no longer mine’ and people can give it their own interpretations.
Alanis and the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star seemed to be on the same page, as Olivia admitted she also tries to write daily for herself.
‘I think if I tried to sit down at the piano and be like, “I’m going to write a song that everyone likes and that resonates with people!” it’s never any good.’
When Alanis shared that she was on tour at the moment, Olivia admitted that, despite having a platinum album and multiple hits on the charts, she hadn’t gone on a real tour.
Saving it: ‘I’ve really never played a proper show before in my life, which is kind of strange, because I put out my record in quarantine,’ Olivia admitted
Catty behavior The two also had similar experiences with ‘mean girls’ popping out of the woodwork after their big successes
‘I’ve really never played a proper show before in my life, which is kind of strange, because I put out my record in quarantine,’ she said.
The TV star added that her commitment to not changing her songwriting process helped her to deal with Drivers License’s incredible success.
‘I think had I not just been doing the same thing that I had always been doing and writing songs in my bedroom, maybe I would have gotten a little more in my head about it than I did,’ Olivia shared.
The singers bonded over their overnight success, which Alanis called ‘impersonal.’
The two also had similar experiences with ‘mean girls’ popping out of the woodwork.
‘There was a lot of bullying and a lot of jealousy and a lot of people whom I’d adored my whole life being mean girls,’ Alanis said of her Jagged Little Pill success, to which Olivia recounted a ‘very similar experience.’
Back to the stage: Earlier this month, the Good 4 U singer got to geek out at Alanis’ performance at the Hollywood Bowl
Feeling it: She shared a clip of Alanis singing Hand In Pocket, before flipping the camera to her face as she joined her in singing from the crowd while scrunching up her face with pleasure
‘Putting out music in the age of social media can be really daunting, and I think people hold young women to an incredibly unrealistic standard. I’ve taken the same route as you have and just don’t look at it,’ she said.
They also bonded over thinking Instagram is ‘presentational’ and only shows one facet of a person’s life, though Olivia said she had a harder time disengaging from the social media platform since she was 12.
Another shared experience was their history with acting as children, as Olivia thought it helped her to better tap into her emotions.
In an Instagram post featuring the cover, she called the magazine cover with Alanis ‘an absolute honor.’
‘I have looked up to alanis’s honesty, vulnerability, and genius for years. meeting her and experiencing her grace and passion in person was an experience I’ll never forget,’ she wrote, while Alanis praised Olivia as an ‘intelligent and deeply kind and a brilliant soul’ in her own post.
Earlier this month, the Good 4 U singer got to geek out at Alanis’ performance at the Hollywood Bowl.
She shared a clip of Alanis prowling the stage while singing her classic track Hand In Pocket, before flipping the camera back to her face as she joined her in singing from the crowd while scrunching up her face with pleasure.
Star spotting: TV presenter Naz Perez ran into Olivia Rodrigo at the event