Billie Eilish on Her ‘Complicated’ Relationship With Her Fans

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell first began to catch the public’s attention back in 2015 with her debut single “Ocean Eyes.” She’s only increased in popularity ever since. Today, Eilish has some of the most devoted fans in the music industry. Since 2015, Eilish says her relationship with her fans has had its fair share of growing pains. Here’s how things have changed.

Billie Eilish hugs a fan onstage during weekend one, day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 04, 2019 in Austin, Texas.
Billie Eilish hugs a fan | Rick Kern/WireImage

Billie Eilish doesn’t ‘really know how to keep a boundary’

In an interview with The Guardian on July 31, Eilish spoke candidly about figuring out her relationship with her fans.

“When it comes to fans, it’s complicated,” she said. “I don’t even know where to start. I don’t really know how to keep a boundary. I’ve had such a good relationship with the fans since the beginning, and they have literally been the number one priority for me. Half of me wants to tell the fans everything – every single thing I think and feel, and every person I meet, and every feeling I have – because I think of them as like my friends. But at the same time, I also really, really want to live privately. So it’s tough.”

Social media has only complicated things further. Her fan base has grown substantially over the last few years, so what the “Bad Guy” singer posts online is shared on a much larger scale now.

“With social media, I can’t use it as much because it will live there forever, and everyone besides the fans will also see,” she said. “So that’s annoying. It’s like if you wanted to whisper a secret to a friend of yours, but while whispering it, they had a microphone in their ear, and it was shooting to 80 million people. You know what I mean? That’s how it feels. I have this need to tell the fans these things and talk to them, and I used to do that, because it was a really tiny amount of people, when I first started out. And I would tell these whole stories about what happened and laugh about it, and it would become like an inside joke with the fans. But then those stories never go away.”

Billie Eilish on trolls and keeping her personal life private

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Eilish typically connects with her fans while performing. But with the pandemic, the “Oxytocin” singer hasn’t been able to have that time with them. And it seems, with that lacking connection, they crave more and more personal information from her.

“It’s just funny because, like, as a fan, I would have never talked about what someone did, because it’s not your business,” she said a bit exasperated, reports The Guardian. “It’s literally not your life. You don’t know any of these people. Nobody knows me, and I don’t know anyone. It’s nobody’s business. Like, why the f— do people care so much? And I don’t actually think they do care online. With trolls, I think they just are bored, and that’s it. I do not get it. I don’t know when it became about everybody’s personal life. Oh my God, it makes me so angry.”

What Billie Eilish wants her fans to know about her

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Eilish wants her fans to keep in mind that she’s a person just like them, who changes every day.

“I guess I want them to understand that… just as you change, and your opinions and feelings and likes and dislikes and knowledge changes over the years, so do mine,” she said. “Everyone’s guilty of looking at celebrities and not processing that they’re just a person. But they are. So it’s the classic ‘do to others what you would want to be done to you’. Because you’re just some person and so is everybody else.”