In May 2021, Olivia Rodrigo connected with Taylor Swift during her first performance at the Brit awards. A few days later, she and Swift were both on set at Saturday Night Live. The pair seemed to have a budding friendship, but there was some conflict over Rodrigo’s hit “Deja Vu.” Rodrigo re-recorded the melody of Swift’s “Cruel Summer” rather than sampling it, and Rodrigo eventually gave Swift a co-writing credit and royalties for the new song.
Since then, their friendship appears to have cooled and some fans noted that Rodrigo did not attend any shows from Swift’s Eras Tour, though she has claimed to be a big fan of Swift in the past. During a new interview with The Guardian, Rodrigo was asked about the rumored feud and her song “Vampire,” and whether it was about Swift.
In the song, Rodrigo sings, “Bloodsucker, fame f-cker, bleedin’ me dry like a goddamn vampire!”
In response to a question about whether the lyrics were for Swift, Rodrigo replied, “How do I answer this? I mean, 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.”
She added, “I was very surprised when people thought that.”
In addition to the Swift business, Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U” and Paramore’s “Misery Business” also drew comparisons and the band received 50% of the credits and royalties, too. When she was accused of plagiarism, her response at the time was that it was “disappointing to see people take things out of context and discredit any young woman’s work.”
Of that altercation, Rodrigo said, “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. It wasn’t something I thought about too much.”