Secret

Album: Crisis / Secret / Set Me Free (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • Here, Joshua Bassett sings about discovering a former girlfriend's lies. At the time they were dating he was aware she had a crush on another guy, but ignored his friends' advice to "run for the hills." Bassett gave her the benefit of the doubt, but a year after their relationship ended, he discovered her secret: she'd been two-timing him.
  • Bassett recorded "Secret" for his EP Crisis/Secret/Set Me Free, a trilogy of songs believed to be addressing his High School Musical co-star and ex-girlfriend Olivia Rodrigo. When the teenage actress blamed him for the split on "Drivers License," Bassett felt deeply hurt. Here, he responds by portraying himself as the victim after being double crossed by her. Yes, it's possible the singer is alluding to a separate relationship, or even a fictional one, but he seemingly sprinkles several clues it is Rodrigo he is dissing.

    Bassett starts of the song by singing:

    Pulled into your driveway again
    We kissed, but it felt different


    Is this an allusion to "Drivers License"?

    He begins his second verse with:

    I really hope you had your fun, good for you foolin' everyone
    You had me tricked for 16 months


    Here, Bassett is possibly referring to Rodrigo's "Good 4 U" hit single. That song found her singing of an ex moving on with a new girlfriend, leaving Rodrigo heartbroken. Many fans believe the former boyfriend to be Bassett, so is he suggesting her portrayal of him and their relationship is "fooling everyone?"

    On the bridge, Bassett says that when the truth comes out, his ex's reputation will take a hit:

    When "Woe is me" stops working
    I bet your songs won't sound the same


    Clearly, Bassett is addressing a singer here. This ostensibly fits in with the rumored narrative of Rodrigo of "Drivers License" and "Good 4 U": that she launched her career with songs based on her heartbreak after he moved on too quickly following their breakup.
  • Bassett wrote the song with:

    Singer-songwriter and actress Katelyn Tarver (Cheryl Cole's "Crazy Stupid Love," Lost King's "You").

    The song's producer, Davis Naish. As well as being Katelyn Tarver's frequent collaborator, Naish also co-wrote Eric Church's "Stick That In Your Country Song."

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