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Music Profiles: Billie Eilish – a very modern phenomenon

Music Profiles: Billie Eilish – a very modern phenomenon

Billie Eilish Profile

No Majesty Music Profiles takes a look at artists’ careers from start to present, with the aim of documenting their impact on music culture.

Baby scenester Billie Eilish has been taking the music, fashion and media world by storm in the last year, and she is only just getting started. 

Eilish broke on to the music scene back in 2016, when she was just 13, with a record that entered the top twenty in the states. Don’t Smile at Me was an instant hit, and the months that followed paved the way for her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The album has been number one internationally as well as spawning a multitude of award-winning singles. 

Eilish most recently released the theme for the latest Bond film No Time to Die, which, since the release has been pushed due to the lockdown, the world will know in even more intimate detail before the film itself comes out. Now 18, the world is at Billie Eilish’s feet, and she shows every sign of continuing to soar.

Born in 2001 as Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, Eilish grew up in a very open and creative family: her mother home-schooled her and encouraged her and her brother Finneas — the producer who has earned his share in the same spotlight as his sibling — to explore every avenue of their interests, and to pursue their passions. 

Billie Eilish on stage in 2017.

Eilish’s first single, Ocean Eyes was released, in true ultra-modern style; on Soundcloud, and thanks to a potent mix of excellent marketing, harnessing the powers of technology, pure talent and a total disregard for social norms, Eilish fast became a star. Now, she’s already an instantly recognisable music icon, with her iced-out, mega baggy, hip hop inspired outfits with perfect crillys, and a dayglo gothy vibe.  

Moving back to the point of Eilish being an incredibly modern artist; much of her work has been in response to very modern issues, and other aspects of modern culture. She released an acoustic cover of Drake’s smash ‘Hotline Bling’, and a single that was a specific response to the award-winning Roma. She is also the first 00’s baby to have a number one single, the youngest person, at seventeen at the time to write and record a Bond theme, and the first woman to win in all four major Grammy categories in the same year. In short, Billie Eilish is a fire burning down every barrier in her path.

With so many accolades already under her belt at such a young age, it’s no wonder that Eilish has been called the voice of a generation. But beyond her artistic achievements, which are obviously numerous, Eilish has also gained a reputation as an outspoken, candid advocate for feminism, making much-quoted statements, like “that’s why I wear big, baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion [about my body] because they haven’t seen what’s underneath”. 

Billie Eilish

She’s bucked any attempt to corner her into adopting sexualised visuals, and, almost to the contrary, Eilish’s music videos are dark, creepy and artistic. Because Eilish is a digital phenomenon she is able to connect with her fan base easily and frequently and as such, her contemporaries are hugely loyal, supporting her in all her successes and minute exposures of personal detail. 

Billie Eilish’s short history is so impressive, she has achieved more by the age of eighteen than many could hope to achieve in an entire artistic career. She looks set to continue the steep upward trajectory for a long while yet, and thank god, because she is incredible.

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