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Billie Eilish’s music, persona ‘inspiring’ for students

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Billie Eilish’s music, persona ‘inspiring’ for students

Billie Eilish performs at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on March 9, 2018. Eilish often sings while playing the ukulele.

Billie Eilish performs at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on March 9, 2018. Eilish often sings while playing the ukulele.

Andrea Ramirez

Billie Eilish performs at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on March 9, 2018. Eilish often sings while playing the ukulele.

Andrea Ramirez

Andrea Ramirez

Billie Eilish performs at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on March 9, 2018. Eilish often sings while playing the ukulele.

By Thea Leimone, The Archer School for Girls

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Twelve million Instagram followers. Eighteen songs. Six songs on Billboard’s Top 100. This is Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, a 16-year-old singer and songwriter. Eilish is ‘breaking stereotypes’ of the archetypal teen singer and redefining pop music as Gen Z’s next big thing.

The Oracle sat down with Archer students to hear about their reactions to the up-and-coming artist.

Freshman Andrea Ramirez has been a fan of Eilish for over two years and feels that she has impacted her life over this time. Ramirez loves Eilish’s voice and believes her personality is what makes her so different as an artist.

“[Her music is] different but the same every time, it usually has a new message every time,” Ramirez said. “I just really like her voice — it’s really soft and soothing.”

Eilish is known for her energetic performances, which include clips from other artists, lots of jumping and her classic bright and oversized clothing. Eilish is often joined on stage by her brother Finneas O’Connell, who is a singer, songwriter and actor.

“I give a lot of credit to her brother, too — I love Finneas. She’s just so talented and she’s going so many places, and she’s not fake with it either,” Remi Cannon ’25, who first listened to Eilish in late 2016, said. “All of the concerts, they’re real; there’s no autotune; she puts so much effort into all of them.”

Eilish has been teasing her fans with snippets and photos of her new album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” which will be released March 29. While she hasn’t released her next album yet, Eilish has released three singles in the past three months: “When the Party’s Over,” “Come out and Play,” “When I Was Older” and most recently on Jan. 30, “Bury a Friend.”

“I think she’ll definitely grow. I mean, she’s already been growing pretty fast and I know she’ll do pretty big things,” Ramirez said.

Eilish has been open about her struggles with depression in both interviews and her songs. Recently, she revealed via an Instagram story that she has Tourettes, which causes her to have tics that she has learned to keep fairly controlled.

“She has impacted a lot of people and not only me because she’s young. A lot of people think, ‘Oh, you’re young, you don’t know anything about mental illness,”’ Ramirez said. “She is just a voice for everyone.”

Eilish’s songs are technically not pop songs but under the genre of alternative music, though her songs are often played on pop music playlists and radio stations, according to Apple Music.

Eilish is known for her somewhat intimidating demeanor, with very few Instagram photos where can be seen smiling. She often wears oversized clothing with heavy chains and currently has blue hair.  Despite her image, Eilish’s fans find her personality attractive, according to Harper’s Bazaar article.

“She has this ‘I don’t give a crap’ attitude, so that’s kind of cool to see in a young person,” sophomore Camille Colker said. “She has her own fashion sense and she seems like she doesn’t have a need to follow trends in music or in society. I think she’s a really unique person.”

Cannon described herself as completely obsessed ever since she heard Eilish’s first song, “Ocean Eyes”.

“Just looking at a picture of her warms my heart. It’s the weirdest feeling — she just has the thing about her,” Cannon said. “She’s that kind of person where you just can’t stop smiling.”

In a recent Vanity Fair video, Eilish was asked identical questions to an interview she did one year ago. In the original interview, Eilish showed she had 257,000 followers on Instagram as of Oct. 2017. One year later in October 2018, Eilish had 6.3 million followers. Now, five months later on Jan. 31, 2019, Eilish has 12 million followers.

Eilish performed at various venues around the world throughout 2018, it was recently revealed that she will now be headlining day two of Coachella.

“I hope she continues to grow and that she becomes even more successful, and I hope that she is happy with what she’s producing and with her lifestyle,”  Colker said.

Cannon expressed awe for her maturity and feels that her young age is what really makes her a different artist.

“We’re taught that change isn’t always good, but the amount of changes she’s gone through in the past few years is just inspiring,” Cannon said.

Eilish’s songs are very lyric-focused, with messages about mental health, relationships and emotions. Both Cannon and Colker said they find Eilish’s young age and unique personality to be inspiring.

“Her music sometimes can make me emotional, depending on the song,” Colker said. “It’s a very comfortable place, listening to her music. I feel really relaxed. Her music has been a positive influence.”

Cannon, Colker and Ramirez all expressed admiration and love for her voice and hopes of a successful future for Eilish.

“I think she’ll just keep growing and growing,” Ramirez said. “She’s someone that we listen to and look up to, so I think she’s pretty great.”

This story was originally published on The Oracle on February 5, 2019.

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