For the past few months, the hitmaker has faced an onslaught of criticism tied to her interpolation of everything from Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up" riff on "brutal" to Taylor Swift's "Cruel Summer" on "déjà vu." Most notably though, Rodrigo was taken to task for her use of the melody from Paramore's "Misery Business" in her No.1 song "good 4 u," even though she eventually amended the songwriting credits to include the band, as well as the credits for "déjà vu," which currently lists Swift, St. Vincent's Annie Clark and producer Jack Antonoff as contributors.
Unfortunately, the accusations are still a hot topic on social media, with many continuing to bring up the Paramore example as proof. Now though, Rodrigo has finally broken her silence on the issue by telling Teen Vogue that "nothing in music is ever new."
"There's four chords in every song. That's the fun part — trying to make that your own," she said, after telling writer P. Claire Dodson that music is "sort of a fun, beautiful sharing process," as "every single artist is inspired by artists who have come before them."
"What's so beautiful about music is that it can be so inspired by music that's come out in the past," Rodrigo said, adding that "writing songs about how I feel has always been easy and fun." But even so, the star also admitted that she's had a "harder time learning" how to handle the business side of stardom, which sometimes makes it hard to remember how much she loves songwriting.
"I've been sort of growing through that this year.... [But] I feel lucky I get to do that and be a songwriter and a performer for a living," she said, before appearing to allude to the plagiarism controversy, saying, "At the end of the day, I feel it doesn't have too much to do with me."
However, Rodrigo said the allegations were still "disappointing" to her, since she believed people were taking "things out of context" in an effort to "discredit any young woman's work." And in a similar vein, she also called out the way young women in the industry are disproportionately pressured into having a spotless reputation.
After all, as Rodrigo explained, "It's really toxic for young girls to open their Snapchat app and see the articles about young women who are just sharing their art and existing in the world, and watching them being torn apart for doing absolutely nothing."
Nevertheless, she went on to add that she's still "just really proud and happy to say that my job is being a songwriter" as she reiterated that "all music is inspired by each other."
"Obviously, I write all of my lyrics from my heart and my life first," Rodrigo said. "I came up with the lyrics and the melody for 'good 4 u' one morning in the shower."