“I was very surprised when people thought that,” Rodrigo, 20, told The Guardian in a Saturday, September 2, profile, when asked about the theories that “Vampire” was penned about Swift, 33.
Rodrigo continued: “I mean, 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 dropped “Vampire,” the first single from her sophomore album, Guts, in June. Her pointed lyrics seemed to tease a falling-out, though fans weren’t sure if it was about a romantic or platonic relationship.
“I used to think I was smart / But you made me look so naive / The way you sold me for parts / As you sunk your teeth into me,” Rodrigo sings. “Bloodsucker, fame f—ker / Bleedin’ me dry, like a goddamn vampire.”
She continues: “And every girl I ever talked to told me you were bad, bad news / You called them crazy, God, I hate the way I called them crazy too / You’re so convincing / How do you lie without flinching?”
Rodrigo has long touted herself as a fan of Swift, covering many of her songs before they finally met in person at the 2021 Brit Awards and exchanged handwritten letters. Rodrigo’s debut album, Sour, dropped several days later with Swift’s “New Year’s Day,” which she produced with Jack Antonoff, interpolated on “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back.” Rodrigo gave Swift and Antonoff, 39, songwriting props on the track at the time of the release. However, Rodrigo’s “Deja Vu” seemingly did the same with Swift’s “Cruel Summer” without crediting the pop star. In July 2021, Swift, Antonoff and St. Vincent were given co-writing credits.
Rodrigo previously revealed the tracks were loosely inspired by Swift’s music and specifically her 2019 song “Cruel Summer.” Eagle-eyed listeners quickly accused Rodrigo of plagiarism and copyright infringement, and the Disney Channel alum quietly gave Swift, Antonoff and St. Vincent credit and reportedly part of her royalties for “Deja Vu.” Rodrigo also added a post-release credit for Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Josh Farro after “Good 4 U” was compared to “Misery Business.”.
“I was so green as to how the music industry worked, the litigious side,” she told The Guardian. “I feel like now I know so much more about the industry and I just feel better equipped in that regard. It wasn’t something I thought about too much.”