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Fresh off her “New Artist of the Year” win at the American Music Awards, Olivia Rodrigo is teaming up with Dolby Atmos to help fans experience music in a whole new way as well. The singer appears in a new campaign for Dolby, performing a stripped-down version of her latest single, “Traitor,” while revealing intimate details about the songwriting process behind the song.
Rodrigo, who also performed “Traitor” at the AMAs, teamed up with Dolby to showcase the company’s Dolby Atmos technology, which helps deliver music that is more immersive and with better clarity and depth. Available on streaming services like Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, and through devices like Amazon’s Echo Studio speaker, the spatial audio format also helps create a surround sound-style experience, with vocals and instruments that “float” around you, rather than directly at you.
Rodrigo’s commercial was directed by Sophie Muller of PRETTYBIRD and filmed earlier this summer (Dolby also released spots with artists like Bieber, J Balvin and The Weeknd). For her part, Rodrigo says that while she’s turned down a number of partnerships in recent months, working with Dolby was a no-brainer. “I think deciding who to partner with is just a gut feeling, and I just want to work with companies that are aligned with my vision and my morals and what I like about music,” she tells Rolling Stone. “I think Dolby sort of embodies all of that, creating amazing experiences for people who want to listen to music, and that’s really what I’m all about.”
Using “Traitor” as the song for the campaign was an intentional move, Rodrigo explains, not just to promote her new single, but to also showcase a different, more introspective side to herself. “I kind of wanted to focus a little bit more on the singer/songwriter aspect of my career,” she says, adding that “I think the bravest thing is being able to be honest enough with yourself to write songs.”
“I think ‘Traitor’ was a song where it was like this topic that was really painful for me to sort of deal with,” she continues. “But I think when you write a song, you can’t lie to yourself anymore. So it means you have to force yourself to dive deeper into what you’re really going through. I think that’s the hardest part of writing any song,” she muses: “Having the courage to be honest with yourself, to be vulnerable and to be truthful.”
While filming the new Dolby campaign was fun for Rodrigo, the singer says she’s looking forward to playing in front of people in real life again, after having released her debut album, SOUR, during the height of quarantine.
“I went to my first awards show maybe a month or two ago and it was just so much fun and so cool to see everyone,” she says. “My album came out in the isolation of Covid, so it’s been really nice to talk with my peers and connect with fans on a more personal level — there’s nothing quite like the energy of the live performance.”
To that point, Rodrigo reveals she’s hoping to tour in the new year, to finally perform a full set for fans, while also showcasing more of the deeper cuts from her album. “I’m really excited to tour,” she says. “I haven’t really performed many of my songs, and I’m excited to play [them] for an audience, so I can see [the songs] in a whole new way through people’s eyes.
With multiple partnerships, the new Dolby campaign and (hopefully) a world tour, Rodrigo is officially one of the biggest artists on the planet. But the 18-year-old says she’s just a regular music fan who still gets starstruck when she meets her idols.
“Omigosh, I am the biggest Lorde fan,” she gushes, “and I met her at the Met Gala a few months ago. She was just the loveliest person in the whole world and that was just like, ‘life made.'”