Billie Eilish is the next American musical legend. Only 18, she has achieved meteoric success in only a few short years. Her genre of music can be described as alternative, “exploring a strain of melancholy, minimal and slightly surrealistic pop,” according to Apple Music.
But what really stole the show was Eilish’s record-breaking sweep at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, a few weeks ago. She was nominated for 6 categories and won 5, including the Big Four awards for Best New Artist, Album, Record, and Song of the Year. What’s legendary about her win is her being only the second artist in Grammy history to achieve such an honor, as well as being the first woman to do so. She is also the youngest, only 18 years old.
“I think seeing Billie all blinged out with her Grammys [awards] afterward shows that she’s such an icon. She did things that no one has ever done yet, and so young,” said Jenny Cabrera, a senior psychology major at Queens College.
Like many legends that have risen to stardom on Soundcloud, this too was the humble beginning for Billie Eilish. Living in LA and always having a passion for music and dance, at the age of 14, she uploaded her song “Ocean Eyes,” which went viral overnight.
Her brother, and producer, Finneas O’ Connell, has also been her biggest fan and critic. Because the two were homeschooled, they worked together to write songs and create beats in their bedrooms.
From performing at local parks to major festivals such as Coachella, to her latest achievement as the youngest to produce a song for a James Bond film, Eilish has become the icon of her age. She’s collaborated with big-name artists including Justin Bieber, Khalid and Vince Staples.
“You have to respect how she did it all,” remarked Peter Lam, a sophomore majoring in Drama. “Some celebrities get big breaks from TV shows and what-not, but Billie had to fight for hers, and she did, so quickly and so successfully. She’s the GOAT [Greatest of All Time].”
But Billie Eilish is so much more than her music. A large part of the reason why she has gained so much traction is that she promotes equality and love, not just through her music but also in the way she lives her life. She is often seen wearing baggy clothes, because she doesn’t want to be judged on what she looks like, and is a promoter of positive body image for young women.
Billie’s green hair and peculiar style are unapologetic and this has undoubtedly struck a connection among many of her fans, particularly young teenage women. She owns the fact that she is the “bad guy.”
Ashley Khan, a QC freshman and accounting major notes that “Billie’s style of music is kinda dark and very different. But I think that even though her music is so dark and mysterious, it still makes you feel good listening to it. She’s really good at communicating that emotion to her listeners.”
At only 18, Billie Eilish continues to deliver quality music and a vibe like no other artist. The music is experimental, and so is she. Her future’s so bright and we’re excited for all of the record-breaking and albums to come.