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Does Olivia Rodrigo Write Her Own Music?

Olivia Rodrigo catapulted herself into the music scene’s bright spotlight in January of 2021 with her debut single, “Drivers License.” This song caught our attention with its tale of broken hearts and bittersweet victories and went on to win seven major music awards. 

These include a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance and two MTV Music Awards. Plus, it became certified as quadruple-platinum.

She followed one of 2021’s biggest songs with a much-anticipated album called “SOUR.” However, in the aftermath of her raging success, many have come to ask, “Does Olivia Rodrigo write her own music?” Well, let’s find out…

Does Olivia Rodrigo Write Her Own Music


Singer, Guitarist, And Songwriter?

Yes, Olivia Rodrigo is a songwriter and singer. Olivia penned her first album in the sanctity that is her bedroom, a safe space away from the harshness of the outside world. Two of Olivia Rodrigo’s songs were written solely by her. They are “Enough For You” and “Happier.” 

Before she signed with Geffen and Interscope Records in 2020… 

Olivia had already written two songs. The first was a solo effort, “All I Want.” The second was a collaboration with HSMTMTS co-star Joshua Bassett “Just for a Moment.” Both feature in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Soundtrack, which was released in 2020. 

Her album is made up of eleven catchy tunes, all with different influences, themes, and sounds. As we just discovered, two of them were written solely by Olivia. But what about the other nine tracks?

Readers, it’s no secret. For the most part, Olivia Rodrigo writes her own lyrics. However, she is always open to a good collaboration.

Along Came Dan

The other nine songs from her debut album were co-written alongside her trusted producer, Dan Nigro. Unsurprisingly, the collaboration came about through a virtual connection via social media. 

Dan came across her Instagram page and was moved by her then-unreleased song “Happier (Original song snippet posted to her Instagram on 13th Jan 2020)”. Feeling connected to her style of songwriting as well as her voice, Dan slid into her DMs just as COVID stopped the world in its tracks. 

Olivia welcomed his interest and realized the two of them shared a similar vision for her music. Incredibly, during the 2020 pandemic, they got together and created what went on to be a musical success.

Who Is Dan Nigro?

Dan is a renowned musician in his own right. He fronted the Indy rock band As Tall As Lions and wrote most of their material for the better part of 13 years. Not familiar with them? Then check out their best album, You Can’t Take It With You

Eventually, the band split amicably. After which, Dan moved to California and pursued songwriting. He has had many collaborations over the years. And, oh boy, has he found great success in doing so. 

Dan Nigro has co-written hits for Kimbra, Kylie Minogue, Carly Rae Jepsen, Lewis Capaldi, and Conan Gray. Just to name but a few. 

Not Just Co-Writers

Olivia has said in many interviews that she and Dan Nigro have grown to be great friends. And not just collaborators. He is also her main and most trusted producer, and we hope to hear more music created by the duo in the future. 

So, the next time you hear someone ask, “Does Olivia Rodrigo write her own music?” you can answer, “Yes, and she gets some help, too, sometimes.”

Some of Olivia Rodrigo’s Solo Tracks

Solo Tracks

Enough For You

A track expressing frustration as Olivia writes about giving her all to a relationship. Only to have her partner not appreciate it or her as he leaves her heartbroken and quickly moves on to another girl. 

This song invokes thoughtfulness as she realizes that he wasn’t worth it. And that the right guy who loves her for her will come along soon.


Described as a cleverly written song with a real lyrical twist, Olivia delivered a Folk-Pop ballad with lyrics that cut deep. It received critical acclaim and was dubbed an album highlight as well as one of the best songs by Olivia Rodrigo.

It’s a song about a previous relationship that highlights how quickly her lover moved on after a breakup. Olivia expresses her wish for him to be happier in his new relationship. But, rather pettily, she also wishes that he is not as happy as when they were together. 

Some Olivia Rodrigo and Dan Nigro Collaborations 

Drivers License

Olivia’s debut single, digitally released on January 8th, 2021, tells a multifaceted, emotional tale of a broken heart. 

Created hand-in-hand with Dan Nigro, it’s a bittersweet song telling the tale of Olivia finally succeeding in obtaining her driving license. But the main theme is reminiscing about her past love as she drives through their neighborhood.

This song broke a multitude of records…

As of July 2023, it had 1.4 billion streams which saw “Drivers License” rank amongst the 100 most streamed songs ever. Plus, as it debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it broke a long-standing record and crowned her as the youngest artist in the history of the chart to achieve this.

Good 4 U 

Olivia delivers a killer song right here, co-written and produced by Dan Nigro. Credits also go to Hayley Williams and Josh Farro of Paramour as co-writers owing to the band’s 2007 song “Misery Business” being used in the song.

Plus, there’s an uncanny resemblance in the drumbeat to No Doubt’s “Sunday Morning” throughout the song. Olivia seamlessly blends bits and pieces of the music that inspired her growing up, yet maintains a unique sound of her own.

Want More Songs from Olivia Rodrigo and Other Great Female Musicians?

Well, take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Olivia Rodrigo Songs of All Time, the Best Jenni Rivera Songs of All Time, the Best Elle King Songs of All Time, the Best Rihanna Songs of All Time, as well as the Best Sia Songs of All Time for more great song selections.

And you’ll want to hear them. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones for Hip-Hop, the Best Headphones Under $200, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Bass Earbuds, and the Best iPhone Earbuds you can buy in 2023.

Does Olivia Rodrigo Write Her Own Music? – Conclusion

As with most artists these days, collaborations are a normal part of making great music. As the saying goes – two heads are better than one. Olivia proves true to this proverb as well as against it. That’s because both Olivia Rodrigo’s solo music and collabs are the stuff that hits are made of. 

After an explosive entrance into the crazy world of music, we can’t wait to see what Olivia throws at us next. Whether that be something that’s co-written or exclusively penned by Olivia herself, we will have to wait and see.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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