Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell took our imaginations by storm. The activity of the 19-year-old in social media is followed by everyone, her music premieres break records of popularity, fans love her as much as the music industry, and every interview of a young artist, every photo of her immediately becomes the No. 1 news around the world – from gossip channels on YouTube to respected newspapers and news portals.
What’s the secret of Billie Eilish? Why is the whole world crazy about this sensitive teen?
Her first album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” debuted at number one on the Billboard charts in 18 countries and was the most-listened album of the year, with billions of plays on streaming platforms. Billie was the first person born in the 21st century to do this. She is also the youngest artist to win (together with her brother, the producer of her recordings) all major awards at the 62nd Grammy Awards (Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Album). Dave Grohl stated that what is happening around Eilish now happened to Nirvana in 1991.
Although her parents are Hollywood actors, she receives home education (her parents were inspired by the story of the children’s band Hanson) and has been learning singing and dancing since childhood. Billie Eilish is not just another product of the “children’s star factory” like the most popular pop artists of the last decade (Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake started their careers with the Mickey Mouse Club). The artist’s gigantic success seems to be a lucky coincidence – a unique combination of work, personality, talents, beauty, birthplace, social class and family support.
Way to the top
It all started quite inconspicuously in 2015, when Fred Diaz, the dance teacher of Billie and her brother Finneas, asked them to create a song for a dance show. Finneas already had a song ready for his band, but felt his sister’s voice was more appropriate here. This is how “Ocean Eyes” was born, a song that made millions of ears fall in love with the gentle, hypnotic voice of the singer. 14-year-old Billie put a song on Soundcloud for the choreographer to listen to and accidentally became a viral hit. In two weeks it achieved hundreds of thousands of listening sessions. It was then that Finneas’ manager became interested in her. He sensed the siblings’ potential for cooperation and decided to help them climb to the top. He got Billie a deal with an A&R company that prepares emerging artists for deals with major labels. Billie got a PR manager who negotiated a cooperation with Chanel for her and hired a stylist to create a unique image of the future star. It had to work.
A year later, the siblings signed a contract with Darkroom and Interscope. The founder of the former, Justin Lubliner, decided to promote the young artist, inspired by the careers of hip-hop stars like Travis Scott or Chance the Rapper. As a result, they did not focus on creating a loud single, but on building the artist’s persona and expressive aesthetics, the music of which will be only one of the elements.
The success of this plan seems to have exceeded their wildest expectations. Billie Eilish has become a cultural phenomenon that goes far beyond musical accomplishments. Her alternative style, deeply embedded in internet culture, reflected how today’s teenagers live and feel. They created a whole new level of authenticity for a generation raised on more classic stars like Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber.
Read without limits
Access this article and other special content. For free