Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Billie Eilish - Average American to Music Sensation at 15

So by this point we’ve all probably heard of the rising star known as Billie Eilish, in her 17 years on this earth she’s manged to reach the Billboard Hot 100 7 times, collaborated with DJ Khalid and is set to play London’s Shepherds Bush Empire (The O2) on the 4 th of March. These are all achievements many musicians and artists can only dream about and yet somehow this American teenage songwriter has already ticked these boxes and isn’t set to slow down any time soon.

Naturally, the same as when any young star appears, people always ask how she managed it? Now there’s many avenues we could explore to explain her sudden stardom including: the fact that she was home-schooled her whole life; or that she was born into a family of creatives including famous artists and actresses (Her brother having appeared in Glee, Bad Teacher and Modern Family as well as having his own musical career, and Her Mother having appeared in Life Inside Out alongside other smaller films); or maybe it’s simply her undying ability to be herself regardless of what anyone throws at her. There is however one factor that until recently would of never been considered and that is the internet and it’s presence in her rise to fame.

Billie’s story starts back in early 2015, at the time she had her sights set on her passion for dance and although having written a few small songs only saw the artform as a hobby. This all changed with a song her brother wrote titled ‘Ocean Eyes’, the song was originally intended to be used as a track to perform to at her weekly dance classes however they quickly realised it had turned out better than expected and decided to record a professional version of the track. Her brother being well versed in production self produced the track with Billie performing the vocals and aiding with the writing and by the beginning of 2016 the song was released. The track slowly gained more and more popularity as the months passed with the release of a music video in March of the same year. That along with the various remixes made helped to push Ocean Eyes into the public eye and started Billie out on her career and by 2017 she was releasing her first EP ‘Don’t Smile At Me’ and the rest is history...

Now all of that could have been found on Wikipedia the bit that stands out is the way it all happened, I.e. through the internet and more particularly SoundCloud. Recently more than ever the amount of child stars in the public eye is increasing with waves of SoundCloud Artists appearing all the time, some with a very questionable musical ability. This is creating a culture of artists more focused on image and brand than they are on the actual music they are creating and all of this is being fed by the sheer number of people using the internet on a daily basis. That sincerity and eccentricity is what helps carry this new wave of artist through and helps people to connect with them, they’re not trying to pretend to be something they’re not and in Billie Eilish’s case that is definitely apparent. However one thing I’m sure we can all agree is that Billie unlike many others on this platform is not in it for the fame or the money and we respect her for that as it is becoming a rarity and we can’t wait to see what she releases next.

Billie is set to play Manchester's Academy tonight for the first show of her UK tour.

By Robert Couldridge

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