posted on: Thursday April 11, 2019
by Grace Whitman ’22 A&E Staff
Billie Eilish O’Connell, more commonly known as Billie Eilish, started gaining attention last year with the release of her debut single “Ocean Eyes,” which went viral overnight. She instantly began gaining fans of all ages, and she has had over one billion streaming plays. As an artist often compared to Lorde and Lana del Ray, Eilish has taken pop music down a different, dark, and downbeat route. The Los Angeles native is only 17-years-old, but her lyrics and voice are far more mature.
Coming off her early success, Eilish’s fans have been patiently waiting for her highly anticipated album. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter released her debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, on March 29. The album is on pace to be the second most streamed album in 2019 behind Ariana Grande’s thank u, next. Her vocals are soft and raspy, which adds to the sinister sound of the album. The lyrics are very powerful and mature for such a young artist and include topics such as drugs, homosexuality, suicide, and more.
Eilish released four singles before the release of her 14-song album. Her song “Bury a Friend” has over 210 million streams on Spotify. A recurring line that portrays the message of the song is found in the chorus when she sings, “I wanna end me,” a clear allusion to her suicidal thoughts and mental illness.
“When the party’s over” is the most successful song she had on this album and already has over 330 million streams on Spotify. The song has a very sad vibe, which carries on the common theme of heartbreak and love in her songs.
Another single on the album, “i wish you were gay,” was released on March 4 and is about how she was in love with a boy who had no interest in liking her back. She expresses in the song that she wishes he was gay so that she could blame the fact that he was not interested in her on his sexual orientation.
When asked about sadness in her life in an interview with Apple Music, Eilish said, “Depression has sort of controlled everything in my life. My whole life I’ve always been a melancholy person. That’s my default.” She is able to express her raw emotions through her music which has changed her life completely.
Additionally, she recently shared her experience of living with Tourette Syndrome during a guest appearance on The Ellen Show. “It’s something I’ve lived with my whole life, and it’s not anything different,” she said. “I just never said anything because I didn’t want that to define who I was. I didn’t want it to be ‘Billie Eilish the artist with Tourette’s.’” Going public about her diagnosis has created a closer bond with her fans.
Eilish is now the youngest female solo act in UK chart history to debut at No. 1 on the official UK albums chart. She is changing music and she is just getting started.