Billie Eilish first graced the pop music realm in 2015, with a Soundcloud track that took off with a little more gusto than expected.
Since then, the LA teenager has taken strides in the pop music scene. Think four hit singles, 2 million Spotify streams and signing to the same record label as Lana Del Rey.
Growing up with artistic influences and a passion for songwriting, Billie’s no stranger to the creative magic that fuels a song. Her airy vocals layered over darker pop melodies have seen inevitable comparisons to Lorde – and honestly, we’re in love with both.
We caught up with Billie this week to talk about her journey, the haters and her soon-to-come fashion line.
Congratulations on your latest single, you’ve had such a successful year! Talk us through a little bit about that.
Thank you, yeah, it’s been kinda crazy. It all started at the end of 2015, when it was a small amount of crazy. Then it kinda grew. So right now, I’m trying to make a lot of music while dealing with the fact that everything’s happening and it’s super surreal. It’s been really cool.
It must be crazy having the spotlight on you at 15. Are there any challenges that come with that?
Not really. I mean, I think it’s kind of unfair at times. A lot of people will think, ‘Oh you’re too old for this, so you’re not cool, or you’re too young for this, so you don’t know enough’. But I think people should stop doing that because I’m young.
I’m young as hell. Of course I haven’t gone through the same things as someone much older than me. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been alone through my eyes, because I have. And I know what pain is like and I know what joy is like. I think everyone at any age knows more than everyone else, in their own way.
People have been comparing your music to Lorde. What are your thoughts?
It’s weird! I remember discovering her music years ago. I remember hearing ‘Royals’ before it got huge and I was like, ‘Shit! Wow, OK, that’s really good’. (laughs)
She’s kind of mind-blowing, so being compared to her is just like ‘shit, OK.’
How would you describe yourself? What do you want people to think of when they hear ‘Billie Eilish’?
Think of whatever you want to think of. I’m not going to tell people what to think or how to feel.
I want to have a wide variety of people that think I’m something. And whatever it is in their mind, that’s fine. If someone doesn’t like something that I do, that makes me want to do it more and get in their face.
Personally, I love being judged. I like when people hate on me. I mean, a lot of the time, a lot of the hate is true. So when people hate on me, I’m like ‘you’re right, I could do that better’.
But I don’t know, I just want people to think of me and then be like, ‘hey I could do something like that too’ or ‘I could be insane like that too, you know’.
Which phase of the songwriting process do you enjoy the most?
I usually write with my brother, so we’ll start a song out and then it will be cool, and we kind of get the vibe. I feel like there’s a switch. And I feel like that moment is so special and just so exciting to have.
What’s it like working with your brother?
It’s great, dude. I’m best friends with my brother, we get along all the time. But it’s not like we don’t ever fight. We fight and we get into arguments and we disagree, we’re not always sweet.
We have a relationship and it’s crazy but it’s wonderful. It gives us that openness when we write stuff together. Because we’re siblings, we can just say anything we feel and neither of us will get offended or hate each other for it. It’s kind of, just, open.
What can we expect from you and your brother in the future?
A lot of music. I’m also working on a clothing design right now because I’m super into fashion. I’ve just been getting that done right now.
We’re working on an EP, which is coming out in a few months, and an album to come. We’re also going on tour kind of in the fall, I think.
A fashion line too, that’s so exciting! I love when musicians bring out clothing.
Yeah, me too, my god. I’m super pumped, that’s like the main thing I’m super excited about because I’ve always dressed the way I dress. I never have let anyone in my life dress me or tell me how to dress, or even listen to them if they say I should wear anything else.
It’s always been me and right now, I just dress above crazy. I try to dress like I’ve never seen before, it’s very strange. But yeah, there’ll be a little hint of that in my merch.