“Secret” by Joshua Bassett
“Secret” is the second installment in a trilogy of songs where, as generally accepted, the addressee is Joshua Bassett’s High School Musical co-star Olivia Rodrigo.
The two of them have been having this theoretical back-and-forth ever since Rodrigo dropped a song, which went on to become a big hit, entitled “Drivers License” at the beginning of 2019, i.e. approximately a year to date.
Ours and other websites have been covering this drama, i.e. analyzing the songs which are believed to be messages from one party to the other, even though throughout no names have actually been dropped.
And if “Secret” is also part of this continuity, then it would be the first song in this series by Joshua that doesn’t particularly read as if it may be addressed to Olivia. Or put differently, if the addressee is indeed supposed to be Olivia, then this would be the first time, at least to our remembrance, that Joshua has accused her of infidelity. Making such an accusation at this point in the game is sort of a bombshell reveal, all things considered.
Playing the Victim?
In fact it wasn’t until “Crisis“, the first song in the aforementioned trilogy, that Bassett had even forthrightly implied that Olivia dumped him. So now, also taking “Secret” into consideration, his side of the story comes off like the reason Rodrigo decided to move on is because she was actually in love with someone else.
And it should be noted that throughout this whole ordeal, all of the songs Bassett released in relation to this issue have insinuated that despite her playing the victim’s role, it was primarily her fault their relationship went sour.
But again, this is the first time another dude has been brought into the equation. Furthermore, as stated, the reason Joshua had not brought this guy up previously was because dude dating Rodrigo was supposed to be a secret.
So it’s like Joshua is playing the victim himself. Simply put, he is playing the good boyfriend who basically found out his girlfriend was cheating and got really disappointed. However, not wanting to blow up her spot, he held on to that underground knowledge until now.
And it’s not like we, as music scholars, are trying to propagate some type of teenage-love drama. Neither are we trying to jump on the rumor bandwagon, for again, no names are actually dropped. But as with “Crisis”, lyrical hints would indicate that it’s now more obvious Joshua is addressing Olivia than ever before. For instance, in the bridge, he disses the addressee by stating that once people do get over her portraying the innocent sufferer, her “songs won’t sound the same” anymore, i.e. she will fall off.
And in making such an assertion, it’s like who else can he be talking about but Olivia?
What is actually going down in “Secret”
But all of that aside, what’s most simply going down here is this. The singer is dating someone and senses that something is different. He can feel that things are not feeling the same between them anymore.
He is also aware that she had been romantically interested in someone else. Initially he didn’t think much of it. And why? Because he was convinced by his girlfriend that she simply ‘has a crush’ or another guy. This is despite the fact that when such became known, his friends advised him, basically, to dump her. But the vocalist, being more mature-minded, opted not to give to the rumor mill and instead “defended” his shorty.
But somewhere along the line, he discovered that she is in fact cheating. However, he didn’t react by spazzing or anything like that. Instead, the vocalist kept that illicit relationship a “secret” along with the addressee, the other guy and their handful of mutual friends who are also knowledgeable of the situation.
Now the thing is, the vocalist never states why he was compelled to keep that to himself. We find that sort of a strange reaction to finding out the woman you love is seeing someone else.
Why did the Narrator remain Silent?
All things considered, it doesn’t read as if he did so in the name of love, i.e. playing the cuck, if you will. Rather it feels like maybe making such known would have ruined the addressee’s reputation – or something of the sort.
Olivia would have only been around 16-17 when she and Joshua reportedly dated. To begin with, this is an age many consider as being too young to even be romantically involved with one dude in a way. Now imagine if society were to find out that the said young female is dating two boyfriends simultaneously. That definitely wouldn’t have been a good look!
Based on the lyrics, this is the reason the narrator chose to keep the affair secret.
In conclusion, ideally speaking the analysis of a song should not be conducted as if it is geared towards a specific addressee without any concrete evidence. The only time one can come to such a conclusion is if the said individual is in fact identified by the songwriter or singer as the one whom the song is about.
But such is not the case with “Secret”. However, it’s like, everybody knows what this trilogy of songs is about in the first place.
In previous tracks which are also deemed to be related to this matter, Bassett kept it relatively cool in terms of not alluding to Olivia directly. But now it seems as if those walls are coming down. He appears unafraid to more straightforwardly suggest that it is she whom he’s singing about.
When was “Secret” released?
This song is part of an EP entitled “Crisis/Secret/Set Me Free”. The title of the EP is made up from the names of the three songs featured in the aforenoted trilogy. These songs also comprise the playlist of the album. And Warner Records made all of these tracks public on 3 December 2021. The tracks in question are:
This song was produced by Davis Naish. Naish is also credited as an author of “Secret” along with Joshua and Katelyn Tarver.