Who is Billie Eilish? Why do we like her? Why do we not like her? Is her middle name really “Pirate”? Who the heck is Finneas? (Like, you mean Phineas and Ferb?) So many questions about the newly 17-year-old who is approaching superstardom. But the most important question is: When we all fall asleep, where do we go?
By Kimberly Webb
Billie Eilish Pirate Baird-O’Connell is just like her name: anything but normal. Now, to be honest, if you haven’t heard her name...you’re probably old. Sorry. This talented teen has billions of streams...and she *kinda* stands out. She dresses like a gothic anime rapper in extremely baggy clothes with hats and jewelry galore. It’s an interesting paradox for a girl to wear a bright neon jumpsuit 5 sizes too large for her, sing about being a serial killer with an angelic melody, and then name her album don’t look at me. Billie was born to actor/artist parents Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, who homeschooled both Billie and her older brother Finneas to foster and develop their creativity. Billie grew up dancing and joined the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus at the young age of eight. She started writing songs when she was eleven, and her first song “Fingers crossed” was actually inspired by The Walking Dead.
Finneas O’Connell, who co-writes and tours with his sister, has acted in a few films and had recurring roles on Modern Family and Glee. They are a dynamic duo in the music industry. Billie has expressed her immense appreciation and love for Finneas, posted on her Instagram: “This is my big brother and my best friend. I would be precisely nothing without him.” Billie and Finneas wrote and then posted the breakthrough song “Ocean Eyes” in 2015 to SoundCloud, and boom. A star was born. At the time, Billie was only 13, singing lines about love and napalm skies- with incredible control and range. She later released her album don’t smile at me that furthered her fame and blew her up into a well-known name in pop culture.
With such a distinct style and sound, Bill’s music is incredibly unique and pretty hard to categorize...she fits no one genre. With her excessive use of the words “dude”, “dick”, and an assortment of cuss words, she isn’t here to take things too seriously. She won’t be placed in a box, and she doesn’t want to be. Her voice is so different and honestly just...well, cool. Weird. Eclectic. New. With her talent and personality, there’s no question why she’s on everyone’s music radar. She has been given the opportunity to express a wildly imaginative gift, and she is doing it in a way that captivates millions of people. It’s not that Billie Eilish is controversial, it’s just that we are all trying to figure her out and loving not being able to at the same time. Even while having to deal with a complete change of lifestyle at such a young age, Billie has not allowed her mass fame to make her stop being herself. That’s not to say the fame hasn’t affected her— she has made statements about how crazy her life has become. She is constantly cracking jokes and laughing.... It can be hard to remember that this megastar isn’t even a legal adult yet, and she still harbors a teenage spirit and zest for life, which is evident when she is interviewed or posts on her social media accounts. She shares her life with her fans, gets intimate with crowds at concerts, and has even opened up about her struggle with Tourette's Syndrome with all her fans on social media.
Billie’s new album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? drops March 29th...and I can barely contain myself. When asked about the album name in an interview, Bill’s response was immediate. “I mean, dude,” she said. “Where the f*** do we go?! I’m sure somebody’s gonna be like, oh, it’s your brain doing this — but, like, you cannot give me a good explanation. I do not understand. Dreams are a really intense part of my life. I’ll go through a month where I’ll have the same nightmare every single night — a dream that’s so bad that the whole day is off, or a dream that’s so good that none of it’s true.” However, some people are turned off to Billie’s newer music as her more recent songs and videos have gravitated toward the macabre. The album cover is a little creepy, a severe contrast to her previous one.
If you’re not into the darker side of art, you might not like her change of style this second album. However, her voice on the three singles she has released that are on the album is still soft and pretty. “when the party’s over” is about the passionate haunting of heartbreak. The music video showcases Billie in a pristine white room with white clothes crying black tears- which was not all special effects, as she showed on her Instagram with the caption “Just so y’all know how real that video was. Stung like a mf.” “bury a Friend,” is told as a horror story inspired by sleep paralysis that gives you chills from the ominous music and unnerving lyrics. “Wish You Were Gay,” is about wishing the reason your crush didn’t date you was due to differing sexual orientation rather than the fact that they just don’t like you; with clever lines like “I ate alone at seven, you were six minutes away,” the masterpiece takes a few listens to really process. All three songs are vastly different from her previous music and from each other, and I encourage you to take a listen and cultivate your own opinion if you haven’t already. As you can tell, her look has changed as she has grown and mature both as a person and as an artist.
So, yeah, Bill’s a little weird. But that’s why we love her. She doesn’t follow the status quo and she doesn’t care. She seems to be the future. Billie Eilish Pirate Baird-O’Connell is exactly who need at the forefront of the music game right now: someone who is unapologetically herself. Even if you don’t like her, you can’t help but give her credit for her unique sound and clear talent. I’m ending this article with a few of her lyrics that really stand out or hit home— she and Finneas are truly modern poets and the musical application is just superb.
Her lyrics are just like her: intriguing and real. Spotify
“If teardrops could be bottled
There'd be swimming pools filled by models
Told a tight dress is what makes you a whore
If "I love you" was a promise
Would you break it, if you're honest
Tell the mirror what you know she's heard before
I don't wanna be you anymore”