In November 2017, 15-year-old Billie Eilish sat in an interview with Vanity Fair. Fresh-faced and full of life, she spoke confidently and enthusiastically about her rising fame and the people she dreamed of working with.
In November 2018, within the same room, a very different Billie Eilish sits. The very same questions are received with very different answers.
In the days where popstars are created clean cut and inch perfect, Billie Eilish sticks out like a sore thumb. Adorning her baggy street style clothing coupled with her tired complexion and gifted chains, the tender age of 16 has never looked more devastating.
A household name amongst the internet world, Eilish rose to fame via Soundcloud in 2016 with single ‘Ocean Eyes’. She now sells out shows worldwide and her songs explore a heartache that most 16-year-olds are yet to discover. It is easy to credit Eilish for going against the mould and using her haunting vocals to create something truly ‘out there’ and unique. However, it is also easy to forget that a young, creative mind comes at a price.
Her commentary on the music industry and how it has shaped her serve as a painful indication of how intoxicating it can be.
“We’re all sad as hell. All these artists, we’re sad as shit, dude” Eilish explains with a pain masqueraded by teenage colloquialisms and a forced smile.
Most 16-year-olds would believe that having multiple famous names in their phone and a couple million followers on Instagram is a dream come true, but the harsh reality is told by Eilish, plain and simple.
“Don’t post about your feelings, ever” she advises as her lack of freedom becomes blatantly clear.
As Eilish’s answers continue to unravel, we are reminded of the common case of the teenage popstar. How a burnout is somewhat inevitable before the turn of the decade. However, there is a wave of strength lying amongst her sensitivity. A strength that will allow her career to flourish for long into the future.
You can watch the interview here:
Words by Hayley Millross