The Disney alum is back to making headlines as she approaches the release of her sophomore album, Guts, many of which are about the scathing lyrics of her lead single, "Vampire." The track sees Rodrigo calling out a "famef---er" who has no hesitations about "bleedin' me dry like a goddamn vampire." With the singer offering no specifics about the "bloodsucker" in question, fans have begun to speculate that the song refers to fellow pop sensation, Taylor Swift.
Prompted to address those theories during her recent profile with The Guardian, Rodrigo wondered aloud, "How do I answer this?"
Emma McIntyre/Getty, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift
Rodrigo eventually continued, "I never want to say who any of my songs are about. I've never done that before in my career and probably won't. I think it's better to not pigeonhole a song to being about this one thing."
After a nervous laugh, she did say this of the Swift theory: "I was very surprised when people thought that."
As for how the "bloodsucker" accusations could apply to the Karma singer, the internet theorists point to the copyright disputes that emerged after the release of Rodrigo's debut album, Sour. Early on, listeners noted similarities between Rodrigo's hit single "Deja Vu," and Swift's "Cruel Summer," which Rodrigo openly admitted was a favorite of hers and a source of inspiration in creating the song. Similar points were made about Rodrigo's "Good 4 U" and Paramore's "Misery Business." Rodrigo ended up crediting both artists and giving them 50% of the credits and royalties for the respective tracks.
Reflecting on this, Rodrigo added, "I was so green as to how the music industry worked, the litigious side. I feel like now I know so much more about the industry and I just feel… better equipped in that regard."
As for whether it impacted her approach to writing music for Guts, she said, "It wasn't something I thought about too much."Also fueling the rumors of a Rodrigo-Swift feud was the announcement that Swift would be joined on her Eras Tour by new opener Sabrina Carpenter, rumored to be the other party in Rodrigo's debut "Driver's License."
Publicly, Swift was an early champion of Rodrigo's career, cheering her on when "Drivers License" first charted alongside tracks from Evermore. The duo later connected and even snapped a photo at the 2021 BRIT awards, months after Swift mailed Rodrigo a package of hand-wrapped gifts, including a ring she wore when she wrote her album, Red.
Along with the song that Rodrigo later gave Swift credit for, she directly paid homage to her idol by using one of her songs in her debut album.
"We interpolated 'New Year's Day,' which is Taylor's song from Reputation," Rodrigo explained in 2021. "I came up with the '1 Step Forward' concept, and I sort of wrote a verse and a chorus… I was in the car on a road trip, and when I got home, I decided to sing it over the chords of 'New Year's Day.' I think they're really beautiful chords. I was lucky enough to get that approved, and it's on the record now."
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