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Obsessed: An Olivia Rodrigo Fan Dispatch

RANGE caught up with fans at the singer’s Toronto pop-up store to find out what makes the IT girl so stan-worthy. 

by Daniel McIntosh

Photo Illustrations by Michelle Cavaleri

Toronto was washed in plaid, purple, and glitter at Olivia Rodrigo’s pop-up ahead of a pair of sold-out shows in the city. With the help of American Express — aka Ticketmaster’s fav corporate fling — fans were given the chance to step into the singer’s world, with an exclusive merch lineup and backdrops reminiscing on her famous music videos. 

Inside, trademarks from Rodrigo’s videos are spread out like a museum dedicated to all things Olivia: cans of what can only be assumed to be Coke, relabeled B*TCH, a life-size version of the crescent moon she perches on during her shows, and a reimagining of her vanity, where fans could draw messages to their queen on walls and mirrors.

Along the way, fans could make memories of their own in a photobooth or get mesmerized by her videos, displayed on a stack of nostalgic CRT TVs.

From her standout fashion sense to her role as a positive influence and a symbol of Filipino representation, we dove through the looking glass and emerged from Olivia’s glitter-puke-filled toilet to figure out what’s got her fans so obsessed. 


Brooke, 15 (@brookiescookiesntreats), Corinna, 48


Why are you an Olivia Rodrigo fan?

B: I’ve always loved her music and I’ve just grown up with her. I watched An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success. I’ve seen Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. And she’s so inspiring. And I love all her style, and purple, and butterflies.

Did you get your mom into Olivia Rodrigo?

B: Yeah, basically. I showed her and I’m sure she loves [her music] because she’s so amazing.

Mom, what’s your favourite song?

C: Oh, that’s a tough one. She’s got so many good ones. I love “all-american bitch.”

Alex, 26 (@alex_brewda), Erin, 24 (@erinmccabe06)


How did you guys become fans of Olivia Rodrigo?

E: He reacted to her “driver’s license” video on YouTube!

A: Before it went viral, I reacted. I was the first reaction on YouTube, went viral, and all of us fans were like, please, please, please, more and more and more. So I just got into the music.

Would you say Olivia is a style icon?

E: I think so. Yeah, definitely. I love her aesthetic for this tour, the red, the sparkles, the purple. I love it. It’s iconic.


Mercedes, 22 (@mechemonkey)


If you could spend one day with Olivia Rodrigo, what would you do?

M: I feel like we would go dancing. We would have a good time. We’d laugh, we’d talk. We’d groove. Good fun night out.

Would you get an Olivia Rodrigo tattoo?

M: Inspired, maybe. Not, like, her face or anything. Like, a little butterfly.

What do you think about stan culture?

M: This is a huge question. I feel like it’s better to not stan people and just love and respect their work and their artistry, so that you can see them as human beings instead of this thing to consume.


Michaela, 20 (@ _michaelabeck)


Why is today and this concert special for you?

I’ve grown up with Olivia for the past few years, and I started watching High School Musical. So it’s been really nice to be able to watch her grow as an artist, and also a person, and also relate to songs that she’s put out. It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I’m excited to sing “teenage dream,” especially the line “so I’ll blow out the candle, happy birthday to me.” I think that’d be a special moment.


Maya, 22 (@myah.elliott), Emily, 24 (@emmyferrier)


What comes to mind when you think of Olivia Rodrigo?

E: Purple.

M: I was going to say the same thing, purple. All her albums have a purple vibe.

E: Purple, plaid, Y2K.

M: Youth, rock.

Can you describe the moment you became an Olivia Rodrigo fan?

E: I became a fan when I heard her song “deja vu.” I really love that one. I still play it in the car. It’s my summer song forever.

M: I am a very late fan. I became a fan when I heard “get him back.” That is my favorite song. It’s one of the only songs I listened to by her but I’m obsessed with it.

If you could hang out with Olivia for a day, what would you do?

M: I would want to do a photo shoot with her. I feel like she just is confident and knows what poses to do, so we could just be in a beautiful room like this and just have some cute poses. Have a fun day, go to a little donut shop, take cute photos, just be young and embrace the moments, you know?


Mikael, 27 (@mikaelmmelo), Sergio, 33 (@mrsergioroque)


Let’s go back to what you were saying about ages.

S: I’m 33 and it’s embarrassing that I’m here.


S: I’m a 33-year-old man that’s super into Olivia, but I love her.

What got you into her?

S: The music’s a really cool vibe. I think I was going through some stuff and I can kind of relate to it, which is… I can relate to a teenage girl, which is fun.

M: I think what I like about Olivia is that her music is so relatable. It doesn’t matter your age. She writes such a universal perspective of heartbreak or not feeling enough and things like that. And I think that’s just what I gravitated towards was those lyrics of feeling, ‘Oh, I guess we all feel like this no matter what age.’

Are you guys going to the concert tomorrow?

M: I wish, we’re trying to get tickets so bad! But it’s really hard.


Althea, 21 (@altheagarbanzos), Nicole, 28 (@mianickybelle)


Why are you fans of Olivia Rodrigo?

N: I love her style. I love her energy. I love the way that she writes songs. I can just relate to every song that she writes. 

A: We’re also of similar age. She’s only two weeks older than me. So for her to have that kind of vulnerability and be so open with her feelings, it’s inspirational and a symbol that you’re not alone because she’s the teenage girl, you know what I mean? The experiences that she goes through are very “teenage girl.”

What do you guys think of stan culture?

N: It’s kind of like a slippery slope, because sometimes it deters people from holding their celebrities and their idols accountable for things that they’ve done wrong. In terms of her specifically though, I think she’s a very good role model. Like she stands for women’s rights and she’s not very controversial in the sense that she’s going out and being crazy. It’s more her identity that people look up to. So, I think it’s in good faith.

Since you guys aren’t going to the concert, what are you going to do instead?

N: Hear about what happened at the concert the next day, and look at it on social media.

A: Sit in my bed on TikTok and cry about it, probably.


Nevaeh, 18 (@nevaeh.riley), Sammy, 18 (@sammy.talukder)


How did you guys become fans of Olivia Rodrigo?

S: High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. I had an addiction to that show in 2019.

N: I also started with the High School Musical series, and then she dropped her debut, “driver’s license,” and I ate that up! Ever since then I’ve been a fan.

Are you going to the concert?

S: Yes! I went to this tour four times already in Chicago and Montreal.

So you’re a super-fan?

S: That’s my sister. She’s really good at interacting, and it feels different even though it’s the same show. I’m just so excited to hear all my favorite songs live again. Every single time, I scream my heart out. It’s the best.

What’s your favourite song?

N: My favourite song is “favorite crime” and I’m very excited to see that one live.

What do you guys think about stan culture?

N: It has its good and its bad. At the end of the day, it’s fun to be a stan!

S: It’s fun to be a stan, that’s honestly how we met. Through stan culture and going to concerts. So I feel like it’s the best way to make friends if you’re really into artists and like music and stuff like that.


Diann, 39 (@pinkfluffglitterati)


Diann, how did you become a fan of Olivia Rodrigo?

D: Even though I’m not in the same age range as these people, I felt a lot of the feelings of angst and whenever I listened to her music… because I’m also Filipina like her, we can’t just bring [these feelings] up to our parents, you know? 

If you could send a message to Olivia right now, what would you say to her?

D: I would say, hopefully, there will be a time we could speak with each other in our vernacular. I want to know how she speaks Tagalog. That’s what I want to know, I want to speak Tagalog. If I only had like that one minute, and now we’re gonna speak in our vernacular, that’s about it.


Jillian, 26 (@beingjillian), Jess, 27 (@certifiedninja)


Why are you guys fans of Olivia Rodrigo?

Jillian: She represents a type of girlhood that I feel is very unique and authentic. She’s also just a fun being. I’m so fascinated by the way that she creates things and her process. I enjoy the way she puts herself out there. The way she doesn’t let little things obstruct who she is as an artist.

Jess: I think she’s really fearless in the way she shows emotion in her writing and when she’s performing. On this album, she gets really into her anger, which a lot of women don’t get to show. But she does it in a very interesting and fun way, which I think is cool.

What are you guys excited for at the concert?

Jillian: I’m excited for the moon moment, where she gets on a giant moon and cascades over the crowd, I think that’s going to be really amazing and visually very beautiful.

Jess: I’m ready to scream during “all-american bitch” and mosh during “obsessed.” 

Have you guys introduced your parents or anyone older to her music?

Jess: Absolutely! We’re Filipino and so is Olivia, so I love to show a Filipino girl who’s really making it. I love telling them the lore of what each song is about. They love to give me their input. I will say my mom likes SOUR more than GUTS because GUTS is too rock for her. It’s too upsetting for her.


Photo: Brent Goldman