At East View High School, a possible love triangle is stewing. A new song, named ‘Drivers License,’ along with an accompanying music video, was released this morning by actress Olivia Rodrigo, who plays Nini Salazar-Roberts in the Disney+ original show High School Musical: The Musical: The Movie. The song soon ignited speculation about the details of her relationship with Joshua Bassett, her HSMTMTS co-star. The song contains some pretty sharp lyrics that some fans assume are about Bassett and a certain blonde actress-singer, and the teens and tweens are in a tizzy now. Let us give you the rundown for those of us who graduated from high school prior to 2008.
Rodrigo and Bassett, whose characters date from the movie, had onscreen chemistry and an offscreen proximity that contributed to IRL relationship rumors. Rodrigo posted a TikTok titled “And that’s about failed relationships” back in August, featuring “All I Want” from the HSMTMTS soundtrack that Rodrigo wrote and sang in the series about the character of Bassett, Ricky.
“Rodrigo laments the end of a relationship in the new track, “Drivers License,” as she drives through the streets after receiving her license and also mentions, “I hope you didn’t mean what you wrote about me in that album,” which fans assume is about Bassett, who last year released two singles, “Common Sense” and “Anyone Else.
Wait now, that isn’t it, folks. This is where Sabrina Carpenter, the 21-year-old singer and actress who played Maya Hart in the Girl Meets World Disney series, makes a great appearance. It’s also speculated that after Rodrigo and Bassett called it quits in 2020, Bassett and Carpenter began dating.
Though they have not explicitly mentioned this, the two have been seen together and have appeared in the TikToks of each other, most recently where a scene from Sharkboy and Lavagirl’s The Adventures is reenacted. Rodrigo refers to a “blonde girl” in “Drivers License,” who is “so much older than [her].” Carpenter is actually blonde and is four years older than Rodrigo.
On January 4, Rodrigo announced the release of “Drivers License,” and just an hour later, Bassett announced the release of his new single, “Lie Lie Lie,” which will be released on January 14th. In the near messages, followers were swift to point out the coincidence, calling it “awkward” and “trying to steal the thunder of Olivia.” They related a picture of him dimly lit in a car to the music video Rodrigo released today with “Drivers License.”
Fans also found that while many HSMTMTS cast members, including Julia Lester, Joe Serafini, Larry Saperstein, Sofia Wylie, and Dara Reneé, enthusiastically commented on the post of Rodrigo, only one, Serafini, commented on the post of Bassett. Will they know something else about the drama that has yet to unfold? With season two arriving, there’s hope that some hearts on the HSMTMTS set can be mended by the power of music and a dance number.