Billie Eilish

By GRACIE DENEEN ‘21

On November 2nd, 2,500 Bostonians gathered in the House of Blues to watch Billie Eilish, the artist behind “Ocean Eyes,” “idontwannabeyouanymore,” and “when the party’s over,” perform. Billie Eilish, the young singer with the light, feathery voice and gorgeous harmonies, has become one of the most popular teen artists, with 17 million monthly listeners on Spotify. But where did all of this success come from?

According to thefamouspeople.com, Eilish was brought up in a very musical household. Her parents, Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, homeschooled Eilish and her brother to support their interests and musical talents. Along with music, Eilish focused on dance and acting for the majority of her childhood. Eilish and her brother, Finneas O’Connell, are the masterminds behind all of her music. She and her brother have been close their whole lives, sharing a bond through the music of their childhood. Inspired by the prior success of Eilish’s parents in music and her own older brother, Eilish had wanted to be a star since the very beginning.

Eilish’s first big success was the release of “Ocean Eyes” in 2015. According to billboard.com, she and her brother wrote the song together and released it without any expectations of the public opinion. The success of the song shocked the two of them, prompting them to write and produce more music together. Last year, Eilish released the song “Bellyache,” stirring up many questions from her listeners. The song is set in the mind of a serial killer, mentioning her friends’ bodies laying in the back of her car. During the first listen, the lyrics are a little frightening. Eilish explains that she enjoys writing in character: according to an interview by billboard.com, she believes that “one doesn’t necessarily have to feel the feelings they write songs about, they can just act as a character to express emotions through lyrics.” The combination of her haunting music and simple music videos creates the whole image of Billie Eilish. The music video for “when the party’s over” is a perfect example of her minimalistic video style. It opens with a glass of black liquid of some sort. She drinks it, and, as the video goes on, she starts crying the liquid onto the floor. Despite that being all that happens for the three minute and thirteen second video, the video is so beautiful and skillfully shot that time flies, even with just one take. Each moment of the video draws the viewer in, while all Eilish does is mouth the words, drink an unknown beverage, and cry.

Billie Eilish’s elusive presence is what makes her so captivating. Her immense success is due to so much more than just her music or her videos. It’s the poise, talent, and maturity she has for a sixteen-year-old. On top of her sheer amount of popularity, her songwriting ability and pure talent is striking. The art of songwriting is learned through years and years of practice, but Eilish perfected the art by the time she was just thirteen years old. Recording and putting out songs, acting and dancing in music videos, performing around the world, and giving candid answers in interviews all require bravery and maturity: Eilish handles the stresses and excitement of fame with ease and poise.

Billie Eilish is a sixteen-year-old superstar. Her pure talent is unmistakable, her hard working attitude is undeniable, and her popularity is already immense. For a sixteen-year-old kid, she’s thriving, and I, along with many others, can’t wait for her next release.

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Milton Paper