Olivia Rodrigo has full control of her masters because she paid attention to Taylor Swift's battle over her own music

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olivia rodrigo deja vu mtv push
Olivia Rodrigo performs "Deja Vu" as May's MTV Push artist. MTV/YouTube
  • Olivia Rodrigo recently told The Guardian that she has full control of her master recordings.

  • The teen was inspired by Taylor Swift, who's been vocal about her battle to regain that control.

  • Rodrigo signed with Interscope/Geffen in 2020 and will release her debut album this month.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

It's been much discussed that Olivia Rodrigo is following in the successful footsteps of Taylor Swift - but she's also learning from her idol's hardships.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, the "Deja Vu" singer revealed that she retained control of her master recordings when she signed a recording contract last year.

Interviewer Laura Snapes made a point to note that Rodrigo was "inspired by Swift's fight to own her music."

Snapes also wrote that Rodrigo chose Interscope/Geffen because "the CEO praised her songwriting, not her potential star quality."

"I want to be a songwriter," Rodrigo said. "I don't want to be the biggest pop star that ever lived."

The 18-year-old stepped into the spotlight in 2016 on Disney Channel's "Bizaardvark." She went on to land a starring role on the Disney Plus series "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series."

Rodrigo began planning a solo music career in early 2020 after "All I Want," a song she had written for her character to sing on the show, charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and caught the attention of label executives.

Her debut single, "Drivers License," became a surprise smash hit and reigned at No. 1 for eight straight weeks.

Much like Swift was more than a decade ago, Rodrigo is a teenager poised on the brink of superstardom. But Swift has been open about the disadvantages of launching a music career so young.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter signed her own contract with Big Machine Records at just 15 years old.

When it expired 13 years later, she left to sign a new deal with Republic/UMG, but was forced to leave behind the legal rights to her first six albums.

As explained by The Guardian's Eamonn Forde, "It is a story as old as the record business: an artist with zero clout signs away ownership of their master recordings to a label for a shot at superstardom. The act becomes bigger than the label and naturally asks for its masters back. The label then taps at the contractual clause that says it owns them in perpetuity."

Swift has since said she "pleaded for a chance to own my work."

"Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and 'earn' one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in," she wrote in a 2019 Tumblr post. "I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, [CEO] Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future."

"I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past," she continued. "Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums."

taylor swift
"Lover" was the first album Swift released that she owned completely. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Amazon

Scooter Braun had recently acquired ownership of Big Machine Label Group - and Swift's master recordings with it - which she called her "worst case scenario."

Braun allegedly tried to bar Swift from performing her own music, then later asked her to sign "an ironclad NDA" for a chance to bid on her catalog, before selling the rights to a private-equity company called Shamrock Holdings.

The "Lover" songstress has been vocal about this struggle every step of the way, largely to warn young artists like Rodrigo against similar traps.

"Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create," she wrote on Tumblr. "And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make."

Rodrigo's debut album "Sour," which she owns, will be released on May 21.

Read the original article on Insider