Billie Eilish may be young, but don’t let her age fool you – the popstar’s vocals are as good as they come. Her voice is almost paradoxical; somehow both angelic and haunting at the same time. Billie’s claim to fame is her track “Ocean Eyes”, which she uploaded to YouTube in 2016 when she was thirteen. The video quickly went viral upon its release, and ultimately propelled Billie into superstardom.
Born in Los Angeles, Billie and her older brother Finneas (who actually wrote “Ocean Eyes”) received homeschooling from their parents. Being musicians themselves, Billie’s parents nurtured and encouraged their children’s musical ability. At six years old, Billie sang in a talent show, performing “Happiness is a Warm Gun” by the Beatles. When she was eight, Billie joined a choir, which became like a second home to her. Reminiscing about that experience, Billie said, “to be in a room full of people who actually loved singing as much as I do was really eye opening.”
On the heels of “Ocean Eyes’” success, Billie released the single “Bellyache” in 2017. The song is as jarring as it is catchy, as it features dark, sinister lyrics.
Billie spoke to Noisey about the track:
“It’s obviously fictional. When me and my brother are writing we find it fun to put yourself into character or become someone else. To write about something we’ve never done before. ‘Bellyache’ is about the concept of guilt, when you do things in the moment because you feel so strongly about them. In the end you’re left with the decision you made […] It’s about a psychopath who regrets being a psychopath but doesn’t really care.”
In August 2017, Billie released her debut EP Don’t Smile At Me. Along with the singles “Ocean Eyes” and “Bellyache”, the album also includes the songs “idontwannabeyouanymore” and “&Burn”, which features rapper Vince Staples. That particular collab may come as a surprise to some, but Billie is a huge rap/hip-hop fan. She told Paper Magazine that she wants to work with rappers such as Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, and A$AP Rocky in the future. We are here for that!
Don’t Smile At Me was a success, garnering critical acclaim and receiving “Gold” certification in America, Canada, and the United Kingdom. You can stream Don’t Smile At Me here:
Billie’s talents extend beyond singing and songwriting – she is also a trained and accomplished dancer. She began taking dance classes at the age of eight, and practiced a variety of styles. That includes tap, ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop, to name a few. In her interview with Paper Magazine, Billie elaborates on why she loves dancing:
“It’s such a good escape. Whenever I was really upset or something bad happened or I was mad, I could just go dance and it would all go away. I could just be in myself, and feel how I feel without saying how I feel, which is rare.”
Check out some of Billie’s choreography here:
In early 2018, Billie embarked on her first tour, performing across North America (and select cities in Europe.) Later that year, Billie teamed up with Khalid to release the song “Lovely”, which appears on the soundtrack for the show 13 Reasons Why. The song was a massive hit, receiving platinum certification in Canada and the United States.
In March 2019, Billie will release her first album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We All Go? It will feature 14 songs, including the singles “You Should See Me In A Crown,” and “Bury A Friend”. You can listen to the latter below:
Whats your favourite Billie Eilish track? Let us know on twitter @umusic!