Billie Eilish has been busy. In the last two months, she has booked her first tour across North America (which is now almost completely sold out), released her debut EP (which met with wide praise for its production, precocious writing, and sublime vocals); and she's even had a doughnut named after her in her home city of L.A. Eilish is a teenage sensation, sensational in part because her wise words are reflective of a soul that has seen and done so much more than seems possible for her young years. In fact EARMILK are so impressed with Eilish's music that we're hailing her a pop prodigy-to-be, and consequently we decided to interview her as the first musician of our "Artist to Watch" series. EARMILK sat down to talk to Eilish about her passion for dance, her creative process, and how baring her soul on the internet changed her life.
EARMILK: How old were you when you started writing songs?
Billie Eilish: I was eleven. I started seriously writing when I was eleven, but the first song I ever wrote was when I was five. It was about falling into a hole. And it was good, I loved it!
EM: You're also a dancer, right?
BE: Yes, I am also a dancer.
EM: Were you always going to be a singer and a songwriter, or did you have a shift from dance to singing?
BE: Not at all, it was so normal. I didn't think about writing songs. I had a lot of things to say and I was twelve, so I played some chords and sang them. I did it because I felt like I needed to. And then Ocean Eyes happened.
"Ocean Eyes" didn't pop into existence in a way that was particularly extraordinary. The extraordinary thing here is that people of any age and from any walk of life can create something beautiful out of nothing but abstract feeling. And the extraordinary thing about the music industry is that anyone can access the tools to produce great music and release it to the world. These people who feel so much and have so much to say can pick up their laptops and make art. Eilish's brother, Finneas O'Connell, is nineteen years old at the moment. Since its release, he has produced and co-written most of Eilish's material.