How did Billie Eilish get famous? All you need to know

Billie Eilish is an American singer and songwriter who shot to fame all around the world for her ‘different’ approach to music. Eilish isn’t your everyday popstar in terms of success or lifestyle. The California native is a multiple Grammy Award winner and a holder of numerous chart records, and she is still a teenager.

Her lifestyle is can be described as neo-goth, but with a humility rarely associated with such success. Unlike teen stars such as Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande who first gained fame on television, Billie earned her success in a manner often described as ‘accidental.’

This piece will look at how Billie Eilish got famous.

Billie’s breakout song Ocean Eyes was meant for her dance teacher but ended up being a global hit

Billie Eilish grew up in a house that appreciated art and encouraged creativity. Her mom, Maggie, is a singer and actress who starred in the movie Life Inside Out. Billie’s dad, Patrick, is an actor who appeared in The West Wing and Iron Man

Patrick and Maggie chose early on to homeschool Billie and her brother Finneas so they could have an opportunity to explore their talents. The siblings enjoyed performance and learned songwriting from their mother. In Billie’s early teens, Finneas penned the song Ocean Eyes but felt that Billie was better suited to perform the song.

One of Billie’s teachers asked her to create a song for dance choreography, and Billie was all too happy to oblige. The song she chose: Ocean Eyes. Billie posted the hit on SoundCloud for her teacher to listen to, but it quickly gained thousands of listens. Eilish talked to Junkee about the hit:

“He was like ‘Dude, we got 1000 listens. That was such a big deal at the time, even though 1000 is basically nothing compared to everything else in the world. But at the time it was a huge deal. We just thought we made it. And then it just kept growing, and then it got really big.”

Ocean Eyes, in its original version and the plethora of remixes that flooded the internet, attracted the attention of music executives. Billie eventually signed with Darkroom/ Interscope in November 2016. Eilish enjoys the fame, but she told MTV that it can be overwhelming:

“I wish I could turn it off (at airports). When I’m in the plane and two girls come and tap me on the fucking face and take a picture of me while I’m trying to sleep. Don’t get me wrong – I love every person that gives any fucks about me. But there are lines. People forget what respect is.”

Billie and her Grammy-award winning brother Finneas still record music in their parent’s house

Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas played a pivotal role in Billie’s spectacular rise. Finneas’ bond with Billie started while she was in her mother’s womb, as he gave her the name Pirate. After Billie was born, her parents added the name Pirate to her official name. As they grew up, they bonded over their shared love for music.

“We’re very close,” Finneas told The Star-Tribune. “Being homeschooled, we spent a lot of time together growing up. So we know each other well.” Billie told They both could sing, but Finneas displayed extra skill when it came to production. “I think because we’re siblings we’re more comfortable with the songwriting process.”

Eilish and her brother still make music together, and according to her, she cannot replicate what she creates with Finneas with any other person. She told Vogue:

“We don’t like studios… I hate recording booths. I hate being far away and singing alone in a room. In the beginning, all we could hear was, ‘Let’s put you in the studio with this person and that person.’ So we did go into the studio and work with this producer or writer or artist or whatever, and it was fine, but nothing ever did what me and Finneas alone do.”