Billie Eilish finds herself in a unique position, with more than seven years in both the music and beauty spaces, she’s still often the youngest person in the room. At times, navigating that can be tough, but Eilish has found ways to set boundaries and let her creative vision be front and center. For her interview in this year’s Best of Beauty issue, Eilish talks about relinquishing control, why she refuses to settle, and the process behind creating her hit song, ‘What Was I Made For?’.
On growing up, evolving as a person, and learning to set boundaries: “When I was 17, I was like, I found it. I found the person I am, forever. This is how I’m going to do it. I found all the ways! These are my boundaries. These are the things that make me happy, and this is my recipe for how I’m going to make music and be happy. Then I grew up a little, and suddenly life was like, These aren’t going to work. You’ve got to change. You’re not that person anymore.”
On her advice to fellow artists and women: “But the thing is, people should know—women should know— you don’t have to be exceptional. You can just be a person, and you should get awards for just being. Sometimes artists don’t have plans, and that’s fine, but I did, and I wasn’t going to waste them.”
On co-writing ‘What Was I Made For?’ with her brother-collaborator Finneas O’Connell for the Barbie soundtrack: “We wrote it in a period of time where we couldn’t have been less inspired and less creative. That day we were making stuff, and were like, ‘We’ve lost it. Why are we even doing this?’ And then those first chords happened, and ‘I used to float / now I just fall down’ came out and the song wrote itself. I have the whole video of us writing the song, and the first thing we wrote were those lines in the first 10 minutes. We wrote most of the song without thinking about ourselves and our own lives, but thinking about this character we were inspired by. A couple of days went by, and I realized it was about me. It’s everything I feel. And it’s not just me—everyone feels like that, eventually.”
On learning to deal with public life and the lack of privacy: “I’m starting to do better, but I’ve not been doing so great, to be honest. For a while. I have impending-doom feelings most of the day. When I think too much about it, how I can never have privacy again, it’s enough to make you want to do all sorts of crazy things. But you have to let it go.”
On the moment she realized she didn’t need to be in control all the time: “There was this moment when I was in Paris, we were driving around, and I was in a bad place. It was not a good time for ol’ Bill. I was not getting better, and didn’t know when I would. And this motorcycle pulled up next to the car, and this guy’s helmet had a sticker on it that said in all caps, ‘Move on.’ I was sitting there like, Oh. Message received. I have a really big problem with control, so I’ve been trying to teach myself that there are things out of your control and you have to move on. I have settled many times with things and people and life. I’ve settled for less than I deserved, and I’m not going to do that anymore.”
[Photo Credit: Cho Gi-Seok for Allure Magazine]
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