Telling it like it is! Sabrina Carpenter didn’t hold back when discussing what it was like to release her song “Skin” amid the rumored “Drivers License” drama between herself, Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett earlier this year.
“That was a song which, unfortunately, was what I was going through, at a time in my life where I couldn’t ignore it,” the Girl Meets World alum, 22, told Billboard during an interview released on Thursday, October 14. “When I wrote the song, I don’t know if I anticipated it being heard — which is probably why it came from a much more truthful place.”
In January, Olivia, 18, dropped her debut single, “Drivers License,” which High School Musical: The Musical: The Series fans were quick to speculate was about a rumored relationship and subsequent breakup with costar Joshua, 20. One line in the song — “you’re probably with that blonde girl” — was perceived by listeners to be about Sabrina, who had been rumored to be dating Joshua at the time. Neither actress confirmed their relationship with the “Lie Lie Lie” singer, but all parties have since spoken out about the speculative drama.
Olivia, in part, has continued to star alongside Joshua in HSMTMTS even though their characters have broken up on the show. Following their rumored romance, eagle-eyed fans spotted Sabrina talking with Joshua at a Harry Styles concert in New York City earlier this month.
“So yeah, the Internet has definitely f–ked some s–t up,” Sabrina told Billboard, noting that she wasn’t going to explain the song’s meaning. “It’s such a waste of time, because you’ll never know the truth. That’s part of the fun of it, I guess. But at the same time, there are real people. I will say, that’s the hardest thing — trying to be truthful to yourself, make art that feels real and exciting, but then also knowing that [you’re writing] about humans going through what we’re all going through on a daily basis.”
While chatting with Variety in August, Olivia — who dropped her debut album SOUR in May — called the days following the release of “Drivers License” the “craziest time of my life.”
“I put it out not knowing that it would get that reaction, so it was really strange [when] it did,” she said of the song, which ended up hitting No. 1 on Apple Music. “I just remember [everyone being] so weird and speculative about stuff they had no idea about.”
Without naming Sabrina by name, Olivia concluded, “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.”
Joshua, for his part, told ET Canada in March that “there’s no response to be made” in terms of the songs.
“Whatever the song is to her is her thing to tell, so I’ll let her do that,” he said, referring to Olivia’s single. “But I would say I hope people don’t forget the value that her and Sabrina bring to the world outside of the drama. And I hope people will look at the depth of who they are instead of just the surface-level gossip.”
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