Billie Eilish was only 13 when she posted a song on SoundCloud that would change her life. That was four years ago and the teenage superstar is not slowing down. At first, it was just funny to the artist that a song she’d posted for her dance teacher to use was gaining popularity. Soon, it went viral and currently has 200 million streams on Spotify.
This kind of success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. She had help getting there. Find out who the soon-to-be-18-year-old’s only songwriting partner is and all about his own musical journey.
Her brother Finneas is her best friend and collaborator
Producer, songwriting partner, and older brother to Eilish is Finneas O’Connell, with the very cool stage name of just FINNEAS. He’s four years older than his famous sister and has been right by her side during her meteoric rise. He spoke with The Star-Tribune earlier this year about the ups and downs of collaborating with his sister.
“I think because we’re siblings we’re more comfortable with the songwriting process, and working to make songs better if the other one doesn’t like what we’re doing. We’re more honest.”
He describes the songwriting process as “…different every time. Sometimes it’s her life experience that sparks it; sometimes it’s mine. Sometimes one of us will do a bunch of the writing and then the other comes in and helps finish it.”
“A good example of that is You Should See Me in a Crown. I had mostly written it, but when it came time to record it she had some good ideas for changing up some lyrics.”
They recorded her debut album in a bedroom
It’s incredible to realize that Eilish’s debut album was not recorded in a studio, but in a bedroom.
“If you need to record live instruments, especially drums, it’s still best to do it in a studio. But anyone producing themselves, that’s all going on in bedrooms these days, and I’m all for it. I feel like you’re able to be your most creative in private environments, and not a studio where an A&R person is coming in, telling us a song isn’t a smash.”
“We feel really happy and more inspired when we’re at home. Also, daylight helps. My bedroom had a lot of windows, and we found that to be very important.”
Finneas’ star is rising, too
“My job is so easy with Billie. I just get to play cool bass lines and play keys, and jam out with our incredible drummer Andrew. When I’m on stage right now, I’m the only person on stage, I don’t have a band or anything, so it’s just me and I’m sweating, and wearing a suit, and tripping over myself. It’s super nerve-wracking.”
“I’ve also performed way more with Billie than on my own,” he added, “so maybe in two years I’ll feel differently. But today, I’ve already done my show today and I’m doing Billie’s in three hours. And I’m not nervous at all, I’m just excited.”