Billie Eilish is a 17 year old from Los Angeles California, who recently and quickly made a place for herself in the music industry after the release of her debut single “Ocean Eyes” on SoundCloud in 2016. With the help of her brother Finneas O’Connell, she was nominated by iHeartRadio for the “Fan Fave New Artist” award in 2018 and again in 2019 for “Best New Rock/Alternative Artist” along with Pollstar Awards award for “Best New Headliner”- also in 2019. Most would consider the start to her career sudden and headstrong, so aside from her nirvana- like energy; what is so special about Billie and why is she so influential?
In March 2019, Billie did an interview with The Guardian on where and what she came from, describing her early life as humble and home town as “janky as hell”. Aside from her environment she feels that she was given the freedom to explore what she was interested in, was never put into a box, and had the support of both her parents on every venture regardless of their financial state. Okay- We appreciate a humble queen.
In the same interview Billie also commented on her love for Justin Bieber growing up and how her love for him became stress on her as she realized she was just one of millions of fans that felt the same way about him. Due to the heartbreak experienced from this, Billie has made it a point to be relatable to her audience by trying to be someone she would love to be a fan of. She mentioned Rihanna’s career as an example of what she hopes to be as an artist with a big platform, because “No one (else’s) career is what I would want. No one can do this sh*t right.” As someone who has seen her fan base up close and personal, I believe she is indeed doing this sh*t right.
As she states in the song “xanny” Billie is unapologetically fine without drugs in a generation that glamorizes drugs. She also has Synesthesia and Tourette’s and still manages to spread love by breaking down social norms. Billie spoke to iHeartRadio about how Synesthesia really played a part on her music videos and the importance of being able to feel the music without hearing it. Her shows are filled with colorful yet dark, electric, eerie and velvety visuals ensuring she helps the audience with her perspective. She's also spoken on her own mental health journey for the Ad Council’s campaign “Seize the Awkward”, encouraging peers to check on their friends and their mental health. For someone born into a generation that is busy trying to get rich and famous Billie is sure to bring a fresh and much needed influence on fans.
On June 23rdBillie performed at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta selling out just days before the show. Upon arrival to the venue I saw long lines of eleven to twenty-something year olds excitedly waiting for entrance to experience the Billie Eilish tour show. In the crowd fashion trends consisted of a combination of neon articles, fishnets, cargo pants, baggie/ over sized pants and other colorful and trendy outfits; all giving me the colorful free- expression vibes I got from Billie herself.
Morgan, 19 (Left to right)Courtney 22, Lacey 19, Sarah 17 Layla, 18
The show opened with Denzel Curry’s energetic performance as he made sure to prepare the crowd by jumping in and rapping with fans in the crowd. Denzel also brought out Twelve’ Len who helped in ensuring the energy was there for Billie.
After Curry’s performance Billie finally came out to play her highest ranking song “ Bad Guy”. As soon as she stepped foot on stage the entire crowd roared up and broke into excited screams and shrieks. Through-out the performance of her new album Billie constantly jumped around the stage with high energy as the visuals in the background changed from eerie black and white images of a spider to colorful flashing yellow and red lights to a close up of Billie performing her softer songs. The visual satisfaction one expected from a Synesthetic person was definitely there and we were all there with it. The show concluded with Billie taking a moment to thank everyone before stepping off stage for the last time.
On my way out the venue I walked past merch stands and couldn’t help to notice they were all mostly sold out. Fans went further to show their love by tagging the tour buses with love notes and signatures.
I’ll be honest to say that I had not heard of Billie until a month ago but what I've seen from such a young focused millennial is straight up inspirational. She seems to have the ability to spread her opinions on genderless love, body shaming, veganism, and drugs without trying very hard. Also lets be real- her mix of electric sounds with hard bass and an angelic voice is impressive on it's own. I can now say that I've walked away from this experience as a newfound Billie Eilish fan.