After rampant speculation that her provocative new single, “Skin,” is a diss track aimed at a certain someone, Sabrina Carpenter revealed over the weekend that it was actually inspired by several different situations. “thank you to everyone who has listened to skin especially those who have opened their minds to lyrically what i was trying to get across,” wrote Carpenter in an Instagram post on Sunday night (Jan. 24) accompanied by a snap in which she’s laying down staring into space, her blonde hair spilling out of the frame.
It’s the next bit that got people talking, in which Carpenter, 21, appears to tamp down widespread reports that that the song is her response to 17-year-old High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Olivia Rodrigo‘s runaway smash “Drivers License,” which features the lines “And you’re probably with the blonde girl/ Who always made me doubt/ She’s so much older than me/ She’s everything I’m insecure about.”
Without naming names, in her post, Carpenter writes, “i wasn’t bothered by a few lines in a (magnificent) song and wrote a diss track about it. i was at a tipping point in my life for countless reasons. so i was inspired to do what i usually do to cope, write something that i wish i could have told myself in the past. people can only get to you if you give them the power to. and a lot of people were trying to get to me.”
Rodrigo is rumored to have written “License” after breaking up with fellow High School Musical: The Musical co-star Joshua Bassett, 20 — who recently released his own provocative single, “Lie Lie Lie” — who then reportedly dated Disney star Carpenter last year. But, to hear Carpenter tell it, “Skin” tells a number of stories.
“the song isn’t calling out one single person. some lines address a specific situation, while other lines address plenty of other experiences I’ve had this past year,” Carpenter wrote before pleading with fans to turn down the hate heat. “it also shows that many things have actually gotten under my skin.. and I’m still learning to not give other people so much power over my feelings. I know a lot of you struggle with the same thing. i don’t want this to become an endless cycle so please don’t take this as an opportunity to send more hate anyone’s way. lots of love to u all. thanks for letting me grow.”
On “Skin” Carpenter sings, “Maybe we could’ve been friends, if I met you in another life/ Maybe then we could pretend, there’s no gravity in the words we write,” before hitting the pointed chorus: “You can try to get under my, under my, under my skin/ While hе’s on mine/ I wish you knew that еven you can’t get under my skin, if I don’t let you in.”
For the record, Bassett said “Skin,” which dropped on Friday, has been “stuck in my head since i heard it!!!”
Listen to all three songs below.