When Olivia Rodrigo exploded in early 2021 with her Grammy Award-winning debut single “Drivers License,” the pressure was on for an equally as thrilling follow up record to keep the momentum going. The singer and songwriter shared “Deja Vu” a few months later as the second single from her debut album Sour, featuring an interpolation of Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” and a nod to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl.”
Rodrigo brought “Deja Vu” full circle on Wednesday night as she joined Joel on stage during this month’s stop of his ongoing residency at Madison Square Garden to perform the Sour single as well as its muse “Uptown Girl.”
“I sang with Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden today are u kidding,” the singer shared enthusiastically on Instagram later that night. She also snapped a selfie with the 73-year-old musician, adding: “Biggest honor ever still crying thank u Billy!!!!!!!”
Last year, Rodrigo revealed to Rolling Stone that it was actually her co-writer and producer Dan Nigro who came up with the “I bet that she knows Billy Joel / ‘Cause you played her ‘Uptown Girl” lyric, but admits it’s her favorite in the song.
In her Disney+ concert film documentary, Driving Home 2 U: A Sour Film, the singer explained her admiration of vivid storytelling in pop music. “When Dan and I wrote ‘Deja Vu’ together, we really wanted to write a song that was really vivid and specific. And I think “deja vu” really accomplishes that, especially in the verses, it really paints a picture,” Rodrigo said. “And I think specificity and authenticity are my two favorite things that a song can have. I learned that from country music, I think. I think country music songs are always very specific and authentic, and I think that’s why they’re so heartbreaking sometimes. If I write a song and it doesn’t have those things, I generally don’t really love it.”