Olivia Rodrigo accused of ripping off Rina Sawayama in ‘Brutal’ music video

Ed Barnes
Rina Sawayama Olivia RodrigoYouTube: Rina Sawayama, Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo has been accused of ‘ripping off’ the Japanese-British singer Rina Sawayama after fans noticed similarities between Rodrigo’s music video for ‘Brutal’ and Sawayama’s ‘XS’.

The music video for ‘Brutal’ was released on August 23, and features various avatars of Rodrigo with the beginning simulating someone choosing characters in a video game.

However, fans and critics were quick to notice similarities between Rodrigo’s video and the video for Sawayama’s ‘XS’ released in April 2020. Some even accused Rodrigo of ripping off the British singer.

The video for ‘XS’ features Sawayama selling a product called RINA Water on a shopping channel and doing a promotional video too. ‘XS’ lyrics criticize excessive consumerism and capitalism taking aim at fast fashion and the lives of the ultra-rich.

Similarities between Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Brutal’ and Rina Sawayama’s ‘XS’

As the video progresses, Sawayama’s character turned out to be a robot while the ‘water’ is extracted from a creature in chains.

In ‘Brutal’, one of Rodrigo’s avatars is shown selling water on a television channel while she sings of quitting her job and being exploited, echoing the themes of Sawayama’s song. Rodrigo also sports an orange wig in the video compared to Sawayama who sports orange and black hair in ‘XS’.

Some fans aren’t happy with the parallels

Other fans also noticed similarities between the pink suit worn by Rodrigo as a newsreader and one of the channel hosts in ‘XS’. Some fans also believed there were similarities in the opening bars of the songs as both songs feature a slow instrumental before a harsh guitar kicks in.

Sawayama at the Brit Awards 2021 said in an interview that she was excited to see Rodrigo at the event and added “I stan Olivia Rodrigo.” However, not all the reception has been negative.

Vogue described the video as a “visual treat” and a “playfully brash rebellion.” Publications like Insider noted similarities with videos such as Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ and that the video featured actor Lukas Cage from shows like “Euphoria” and “The White Lotus.”

Rodrigo has recently had to credit artists such as Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff on her song ‘deja vu’ and Hayley Williams and Josh Farro on ‘good 4 u’. This was after TikToks pointed out similarities between the songs. Rodrigo was also recently criticized for the alleged quality of her Sour merchandise.