Olivia Rodrigo has heard how much Sour, her platinum-selling debut album, has resonated with her fans. But there’s still one song that’s caught her by surprise.
In her new Variety cover story, she opens up about how “Traitor,” which talks about feeling betrayed by an old beau, came to be a success.
“I wrote it on my bed while I was crying,” she recalls of the second track on her LP. “I never really thought that it was going to be a song that resonated with so many people. I thought that it was a very specific situation that I was going through, and it’s so funny that that’s the non-single song that’s the most successful. So many people have been like, ‘How did you know? This is exactly what happened to me!’”
Not only does “Traitor” score Rodrigo points for relatability, but it has rather large stats for an album cut. The indie-pop guitar-driven anthem debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming one of three top 10 hits in the week Sour debuted atop the Billboard 200, behind “Good 4 U” and “Deja Vu,” which both preceded the release of the album. Its top three rank onStreaming Songs earlier this summer made the young hitmaker the first artist to claim Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on the tally in consecutive weeks. And the top 40 debut of “Traitor” on the Pop Airplay chart at the end of July proved the non-single faired well in ranks of her other properly promoted singles.
Aside from her Hot 100 No. 1 hits “Drivers License” and “Good 4 U” as well as “Deja Vu,” “Traitor” currently has the fourth-most streams on Spotify out of the rest of the songs on Sour, clocking in at nearly 300 million.
“Traitor,” much like the rest of the album, touches on the different emotions affiliated with heartbreak, which the 18-year-old global sensation breaks down into “anger, spite, sadness, jealousy, longing.”
“I definitely saw Sour as a kind of slice of teenage life,” Rodrigo tells Variety. “I think a big part of growing up is going through your first love and first heartbreak, and that was definitely reflected in the album.”