Q

Billie Eilish shares her perspective on success, social media and fame

In this interview and studio performance, Billie Eilish talks about having the kind of early fame and success that speaks to how stars are made: billions of streams and video views.
Billie Eilish talks about having the kind of early fame and success that speaks to how stars are made in 2018: billions of streams and video views. 24:39
Listen19:17

Billie Eilish is one of the biggest pop stars of her generation, although the 18 year old still doesn't like to differentiate between her and her millions of fans. 

"I try as hard as I can to not be anything more than they are," she tells q host Tom Power. "We're all equal. … It's weird, because they're all, like, my age. They're all kids that I would be friends with."

This much is apparent when you go to any Eilish show, which is more like a "karaoke night" she says, with her audience singing back every single word to her. "I basically could just not show up and the show could still go on."

Her debut studio album, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, a collection of deep, brooding, malevolent and celebratory pop released in March 2019, quickly became the best-selling album of the year and resulted in six number one singles, including When the Party's Over

Eilish, who writes and records her music with her brother Finneas O'Connell, is up for six Grammy Awards this year, including record, album and song of the year, as well as best new artist. She'll also perform on the broadcast. But don't expect to hear Eilish boast about any of this. While she doesn't take moments like this for granted, she also doesn't put too much stock in them. 

"The fact that I'm gonna die one day and that everyone around me is gonna die and no one will remember me after a certain point makes me feel so good," she says. "I could do the best thing in the world and nobody would remember it … or I can do the worst thing in the world and that won't matter because I'll die eventually. So you don't really have to worry that much." 

She dropped by the q studio in 2018 to chat about her career up to that point, as well as share her perspective on success, social media, music that inspires her, fame and even existence. 


Watch the full interview above. This interview originally aired on November 8, 2018.

— Produced by ​Mitch Pollock

Miss an episode of CBC q? Download our podcast.

 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.