What were your expectations for Drivers License?
“I had no expectations. I’ve always loved the song, it really captures the emotions of heartbreak—all the angst, sadness, and insecurity that goes along with a breakup. I’ve always felt great about it, but I definitely didn’t expect it to chart like it has and break all of these records. It’s surreal.”
Does the fact we’re in challenging times add to the dreamlike feel of it?
“Oh, definitely. It feels like a glitch in the simulation that is life [laughs]. I see all these numbers and records [being broken], but I’m stuck in my house. I haven’t seen anyone or even played a show. I haven’t been able to see my producer [Daniel Nigro], so it feels like it’s happening in an insulated time, which is making it feel even crazier.”
Some people have been bemoaning the lack of an apostrophe, that it should be Driver’s License — thoughts?
“Oh, my gosh. I definitely got that wrong. I also put a double negative in the song when I say, ‘I’ve never felt this way for no one,’ which is completely grammatically incorrect. The song is all over the place [laughs].”
How did the song come about?
“I wrote it about six months ago. I was aimlessly driving around my neighborhood listening to sad music and bringing up these emotions I hadn’t felt in a while. I’d just got my license, so I was relishing my freedom. When I got home, I sat down at the piano—and I love songs that feel like a diary entry and are confessional—so I took some lyrics from my diary and went from there. I wrote the first two verses and the chorus, then my producer and I wrote the bridge together, which is my favorite part of the song. It was a painless process.”
You will have seen the rumors about who the song is about—what do you say to that?
“I completely understand why people are curious about the specifics of the song but, to me, who and what the song is about is not important. People are resonating with the song because it’s so honest, raw and emotional. I was talking to my therapist just before this interview and she said, ‘I listen to this song—I’m an adult woman and I’m your therapist, but I relate to everything you’re going through.’ It’s been insane to see people’s genuine reactions, no matter what situation they’re in.”