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Joshua Bassett calls ‘Drivers License’ ‘SNL’ skit ‘an honor’

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As his music career heats up with a new EP, Joshua Bassett has already emerged as the most famous ex-boyfriend of 2021.

The “High School Musical: The Musical — The Series” actor is reportedly the subject of his co-star and ex-girlfriend Olivia Rodrigo’s hit song “Drivers License.” Rodrigo sings about trying to get over an ex, and that the guy has moved on with a “blond girl,” who fans are convinced is another Disney star, Sabrina Carpenter.

And then Rodrigo’s smash single and the drama surrounding it became the subject of a “Saturday Night Live” skit last month — featuring a bunch of pool-playing dudes analyzing the breakup ballad in a bar. In it, “SNL’s” Mikey Day quips, “My bitch ex Gina is Joshua Bassett.”

“That really is an honor to be made fun of by ‘SNL’ — are you kidding?” Bassett, 20, told The Post. “It was actually really cool. I wasn’t upset about it. I was like, ‘This is kind of insane.’ It was really just crazy.”

Now, Bassett is having the last laugh with a bigger spotlight on his self-titled debut EP, out Friday. The six-song set is primarily written and co-produced by the singer and multi-instrumentalist.

And those fans who’ve speculated about Bassett’s role in “Drivers License” might be thrilled to learn that one of the songs on the EP, the romantically titled “Heaven Is You,” was co-written by that potential current girlfriend Carpenter.

Joshua Bassett
Joshua Bassett recorded his self-titled debut EP over Zoom sessions last summer.

All relationship buzz aside, Bassett’s sound conjures up shades of Shawn Mendes and a junior Ed Sheeran.

“I was fortunate enough to work with one of Ed Sheeran’s producers, Jake Gosling,” said Bassett. “He was able to see the Ed Sheeran influence in me and pull that out. One of the first things that I learned how to play on guitar was ‘Little Bird’ by Ed Sheeran.”

Growing up in San Diego, Bassett started playing the drums in church at age 7 — alongside his dad on piano — before teaching himself how to play the guitar.

“When I was 14, I was grounded for a month,” he said. “At the beginning of the month, I convinced my mom somehow to let me get, like, a $100 guitar. So I literally every single day learned how to play guitar. By the end of that month, I was actually able to play kind of whatever I wanted.”


The cover of Joshua Bassett's self-titled debut EP
Joshua Bassett’s self-titled debut EP

Bassett also taught himself how to play the piano and picked up the ukulele — after inheriting one from his late grandfather — the bass and “a little bit of saxophone.”

“I just love hopping around on different instruments,” he said. “I can’t play violin yet, though. That’s really the dream.”

His one-man-band skills came in handy when recording his EP during the pandemic last summer.

“A lot of it was [done] on Zoom, so that was a challenge,” said Bassett. “It kind of forced me to bring a lot to the table. I couldn’t really rely on anyone else in the room. When it’s just you on Zoom with a producer, sometimes you’re like, ‘OK, I gotta do it all.’ ”

Bassett’s musicianship is showcased in the Disney+ “High School Musical” series — as is his creative partnership with Rodrigo. “Me and Olivia were able to actually write a song in Season 1,” he said.

Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett
Co-stars Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett have been the center of “Drivers License” drama.
Getty Images

Bassett also says he knew Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” was going to be “massive” the first time that he heard it.

“Obviously I’m a huge fan of Olivia, and so when I heard it I was like, ‘Wow, this is good,’” he said. “I was like, ‘This is gonna be insane.’ And I was absolutely right.”

As for all the rumors that the song is about him — and his reported romance with Carpenter — Bassett demurs.

“Everyone thinks different things. There’s all these different theories,” he said. “It’s actually pretty funny to me to watch the places people will go, the assumptions that they’ll make. I’m like, ‘You guys really don’t know what you’re talking about.’ ”



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