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All Things Billie Eilish

The 17-Year-Old Face of Alternative Music

May 06, 2019

Birthday: December 18, 2001
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius

At seventeen, many are taking the SAT and starting the college application process. Homeschooled seventeen-year-old model and singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, though, is straying from tradition: she has already amassed a net worth of $6 million, and spends her time playing shows around the world, including the Outdoor Stage at Coachella. As to her Coachella performance, Variety writes, “Eilish’s non-headlining but really effectively headlining performance was the most anticipated performance of the three-day weekend.”

If you’ve been hearing Eilish’s name, but don’t know much about her, here’s what you need to know:

  • Like many modern singers, Eilish got her start on Soundcloud, where she released songs like “sHE’s brOKen,” “Fingers Crossed,” and the hit single “Ocean Eyes,” which she released at the age of fourteen.
  • She signed with Next Models in October of 2018.
  • Her full name is Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell. Eilish and Pirate are her middle names, Baird is her mother’s maiden name, and O’Connell is her family name.
  • She is heavily involved in the design process for her merchandise, which is produced under the company name Blohsh, and the clothes can be found at Urban Outfitters.
  • She produced her single “Bored” for the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why".

Bellyache is a song written by Billie and her brother Finneas. It was released on February 24, 2017

The EP

Eilish released her EP, dont smile at me, on August 11, 2017, at the age of fifteen. The EP contains eight songs -- nine, including the Vince Staples remix of “watch,” entitled “&burn.” Throughout the songs, Eilish takes on various personas. In “bellyache,” for example, the singer enjoys getting into the persona of someone who acts on their emotions, only to feel guilt afterwards. “hostage,” the longest track on the album, further explores this somewhat psychopathic character.

dont smile at me, by Billie Eilishdont smile at me, by Billie EilishCourtesy of iTunes

In contrast, Eilish is very much herself in “COPYCAT,” when she comes into her 2019 style -- more so than with any other song on the EP. In this song, she addresses someone who copies everything she does in an attempt to win her favor.

In an interview, Eilish explained that this song provides a direct contrast to another song on the album, “idontwannabeyouanymore.” In “COPYCAT,” she speaks to herself and her public image in a very positive way, with lyrics such as “everybody knows my name.” In “idontwannabeyouanymore,” she discusses her own insecurities, explaining that, sometimes, she doesn’t want to live in her own skin. In a Genius interview, she says: “You are always you. Forever. That’s terrifying.”

In “my boy” and “party favor,” she speaks to the endings of romantic relationships that are failing, but in “hostage,” she clings onto a significant other. In this way, Eilish plays with contrasts between personas and emotions on this EP.

Early Life and Family Support

Eilish’s musical career truly began at age eight, when she began to participate in the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. She started writing songs at the age of 11, and has always loved making music with her brother, Finneas O’Connell. A musician himself, Finneas performs alongside his sister on both guitar and vocals. O’Connell originally wrote “Ocean Eyes” for his band, The Slightlys, but decided it was better suited for his sister. He currently releases songs under the name FINNEAS. He is yet to release a debut album, but has several singles with millions of Spotify streams, apiece. He is also known for his recurring role on Glee as the character of Alistair.

Their parents are both actors, like O’Connell. Their mom, Maggie Bair, played the role of Laura on Life Inside Out and Samara on Mass Effect 2. Their dad, Patrick O’Connell, had roles in both Iron Man and Supergirl, and also voiced a character in the video game, Hitman.

Billie in Blohsh merchBillie in Blohsh merchCourtesy of Billboard

The Debut Album

Eilish’s debut LP, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? was released on March 29, 2019. This album contains 14 songs, including an intro, “!!!!!!!,” and an outro, “goodbye.” The intro, true to Eilish’s character, is a recording of her taking out her Invisalign and stating that “this is the album.” The outro is a haunting compilation of all the songs from the album in reverse order, starting with “i love you” and ending with “bad guy.”

The songs on this album, similarly to those on the EP, vary in character. “bad guy,” for example, portrays a calloused and intense character, while “i love you” emphasizes emotions and vulnerability. A common thread throughout the album is distortion of vocals and instruments for emphasis. In “xanny,” for example, the pure vocals switch to vocals with a sort of underwater sound halfway through. In “8,” the vocals starts out adjusted to be higher pitched until after the first verse, when the vocals return to normal.

This album was released two weeks prior to Eilish’s Coachella debut, so concert-goers had two weeks to learn the lyrics so they could sing along at the event.
Throughout the album, Eilish draws her inspiration from various sources, ranging from the Sherlock episode-inspired “you should see me in a crown,” to the arcade game-inspired “ilomilo,” to The Office-inspired “my strange addiction,” which even goes as far as to sample quotes from the singer’s favorite TV show.

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Keep Up with Billie

Eilish, like most people her age, is very active on social media. Her Instagram username was changed from the iconic @wherearetheavocados -- a name she developed upon opening the fridge to see a lack of avocados, begging the question “Where are the avocados?” -- to a simpler @billieeilish earlier this May, leaving fans to wonder the reasoning behind this change. Her Twitter username shares this handle.

Her snapchat isn’t as active, but fans can add her at billie-eilish.

Fans can also visit her website, which takes visitors to a bedroom filled with Billie Eilish merchandise. Moving the cursor around gives visitors a 360 degree view of the room. The menu items are written on a mirror. This web interface is indicative of Eilish’s personality: unique.

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think of Billie Eilish? Do you prefer WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, dont smile at me, or Eilish’s older singles? Let us know in the comments below!