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Olivia Rodrigo responds to fan theories on ‘Vampire’ and Taylor Swift

TikTokers have claimed the single takes aim at Swift

By Joe Goggins

Split of Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift
(Photos: Larissa Hofmann/Raph_PH/Wikimedia Commons)

Olivia Rodrigo has acknowledged fan theories that her song ‘Vampire’ was written about Taylor Swift.

Since it arrived in June, the track, which takes aim at an unnamed individual described as a “bloodsucker” and “fame fucker”, has been the centre of intense online speculation about its target. The song is at number one in the UK singles chart, having climbed to the summit for the first time last Friday (September 1).

Amateur sleuths have suggested that it may be Swift, pointing to the megastar having been handed a songwriting credit on Rodrigo’s song ‘Deja Vu’ in 2021. She had previously admitted that the track bore similarities to Swift’s ‘Cruel Summer’, leading to that song’s writers – Swift, Jack Antonoff and St. Vincent – eventually being credited as writers on ‘Deja Vu’.

‘Vampire’ contains the line “The way you sold me for parts / As you sunk your teeth into me”, which TikTok user Eliud has suggested is a shot at Swift over the ‘Deja Vu’ controversy. “When she released ‘Sour’, Taylor freaking said, ‘Ay, yo. Give me money. Those sound like my songs. I need money,” the TikToker reasoned. “She sunk her teeth into Olivia’s freaking neck.”

Now, in a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian, Rodrigo has addressed the suggestions without dismissing them out of hand. “I was very surprised when people thought that,” she said. “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.”

Rodrigo had already raised the possibility of removing the “fame fucker” lyric from the song at the urging of her friends, telling The Julia Show in July: “Some people said, ‘It kind of isolates you from people, you can’t really say things like that in song, it’s not relatable,’ yada, yada, yada,” she explained. “I think the song isn’t about fame fucking – I think it’s more about someone being manipulative and sucking you dry, using you for all you’re worth. I think that’s a universal theme, and I also think fame is more easily accessible now than it has ever been.”

‘Vampire’ is taken from Guts, Rodrigo’s much-anticipated second album, which is out on Friday (September 8).