“Oh, my gosh, that was the craziest time of my life,” the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star, 18, told Variety in an interview published on Wednesday, August 11. Olivia recalled the moment her song took over the No. 1 spot on Apple Music and explained, “That was the moment that I knew that it was going to be something bigger than I expected.”
Once the song blew up online, the story behind it took on a life of its own with HSMTMTS fans speculating that the lyrics referred to a past relationship between Olivia and her costar Joshua Bassett. While neither of them ever confirmed or denied their rumored romance, listeners were convinced the track threw shade at fellow Disney star Sabrina Carpenter with the “that blond girl” line. At the time, Joshua was rumored to have moved on with the Girl Meets World star.
“I put it out not knowing that it would get that reaction, so it was really strange [when] it did,” Olivia told Variety of the song. “I just remember [everyone being] so weird and speculative about stuff they had no idea about.”
While she didn’t mention Sabrina by name, Olivia added, “I don’t really subscribe to hating other women because of boys. I think that’s so stupid, and I really resent that narrative that was being tossed around.”
Following the release of “Drivers License,” and the drama that followed, Sabrina released her own single called “Skin,” which further pushed the feud narrative.
“I genuinely was coming from a place as a 21-year-old that is navigating her feelings and was going through a lot in my personal life,” the former Disney Channel star said during a February appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden. “People will make a narrative about something always. I think this was a really interesting song for people to kind of misinterpret and make it into something that it wasn’t really supposed to be in the first place.”
Both Joshua and Olivia have also addressed both songs in various interviews. The “Feel Something” crooner, for his part, made it clear that “there’s no response to be made” while chatting with ET Canada in March. “I hope people don’t forget the value that her and Sabrina bring to the world outside of the drama,” Joshua added. “And I hope people will look at the depth of who they are instead of just the surface-level gossip.”
“I totally understand people’s curiosity with the specifics of who the song’s about and what it’s about, but to me, that’s really the least important part of the song,” she said following the “Drivers License” release. “It’s resonating with people because of how emotional it is, and I think everything else is not important.”
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