When we think of "overnight success," the image that usually comes to mind is a DIY hip-hop artist. It’s not often that a pop artist can achieve this kind of acclaim and traction without the aid of a major label.
But that’s exactly what happened to Billie Eilish – a 14-year-old homeschooled songwriter who found instant popularity with her first single. She posted it to SoundCloud, with a download link meant for her dance teacher, and it managed to gather over a million plays overnight, catapulting her into the limelight.
She has a distinctive voice that combines the melancholy quality of a teenage LiveJournal with the raw vocals of an industry giant. Her songs are brooding ("When the Party’s Over") and bitingly satirical (like “Wish You Were Gay”).
Her music blends styles from EDM to industrial and trap, to jazz, combining different musical genres into one cohesive sound. It’s a style that only a decade ago would have been unheard of for a teenager.
The singer’s music and image reflects her generation – the postmodern culture that remakes the world on a daily basis. But what makes her stand out is that she isn’t afraid to tackle the most taboo topics, including love and depression.
Her debut single, “Ocean Eyes,” is a testament to that. It’s a powerful, deeply personal song that speaks directly to her love interest – who she describes as being like the ocean in that his eyes are calm at times and fiery at others.