Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Billie Eilish is dominating the pop music realm

Billie Eilish has steadily become one of the most recognizable names in the pop industry
Courtesy of IMDb

If you’re interested in modern pop culture, you definitely know of Billie Eilish. Her unique music style and influential persona have made her one of the leading voices in contemporary pop music. Her breakthrough 2015 single “Ocean Eyes” catapulted her to international recognition as a teenager. Since then, her career has skyrocketed.

If you have been paying attention to recent award shows, you would know Eilish has been taking home countless shiny awards, owning multiple titles in the music industry. Her music has been streamed over 76.7 billion times worldwide. Fan or not, it is a fact that she is a dominating figure in the pop music realm.

The 2024 Oscars saw Eilish take home the academy award for Best Original Song for “What Was I Made For?” from the hit film, “Barbie.” Eilish also won this award in 2022 as well for “No Time to Die,” making her the youngest two-time Oscar winner. At just 22 years old, Eilish has 25 Grammy nominations and nine wins to her name. She is truly a force in pop music.

The singer has developed a well-known persona because of her mysterious electronica-pop aesthetic, unique sense of style and natural charisma. Although she addresses a wide range of current issues in her music, each listener feels as though they are experiencing it personally because of how intimate her lyrics are: multi-layered and presented through her own style of figurative language.

Eilish is immediately someone the younger audience wants to listen to and learn from. She is a dependable and worthy role model as she belongs to Generation Z, crediting her with relatability. Additionally, her personality and music are closely linked to her fashion aesthetic. Her sense of style is a hybrid of street wear, Y2k and tomboy. Personally, in addition to her music, I find her to be a major fashion inspiration.

Eilish has embraced the harsh limelight, using it to her advantage to advocate for causes close to her and her generational peers’ hearts, from mental health to environmental activism; her song “Bury a Friend” addresses a range of relatable topics, with the creature underneath Eilish’s bed serving as inspiration for the song. She views herself as her own worst adversary, the monster, according to Eilish, but many interpretations of the song are possible. A large portion perhaps might be a depiction of her evil side coming to torment her as its own existence.

The album’s theme and title track are both unclear, with “Bury a Friend” being the most so. The music video for this song was quite intriguing as well. The dark shadows, eerie lighting and creepy acting perfectly mirrored the song. With 471 million views, it is safe to say that listeners also enjoy the visual portrayal of her music.

Many of her listeners find it fascinating the way she approaches songwriting as she never directly addresses what she is trying to convey through her lyrics.  She is known for metaphorically communicating her message through both auditory and visual means. It’s almost like an Easter egg hunt for each listener to decode the explicit and implicit meanings and how they all tie together, ultimately enhancing the listening experience.

For example, “Bellyache” is from the perspective of a mass murder. The overarching topic has to do with doing something that you later on regret. “Where’s my mind? / Maybe it’s in the gutter,” the lyrics read. The sentiment could be taken as that sometimes we act terribly for no apparent reason. Eilish continues to sing, “Thought that I’d feel better, but now I got a bellyache”. The lyrics suggest frequently, we act in ways that we believe will be most therapeutic — but afterward, we regret our choices and ask ourselves, ‘what did I just do and why?’

Additionally, Eilish participated in Vanity Fair’s “Same Interview, Different Year” series specially curated for her. Each year on Oct. 18 from 2017 to 2022, she did a Vanity Fair interview answering questions ranging from her personal to professional life, showing how Eilish has grown and matured into the music industry. It is a heartwarming series as Eilish sees her younger self blossom, and the viewers watch her progress with her. Vanity Fair initiated a hiatus on the yearly interviews and stated the interviews will continue being recorded, but will only get released every couple of years.

As of current news, Billie made a surprise appearance at Lana Del Rey’s set at Coachella 2024. The crowd was taken aback as they sang duets of each other’s songs, marking a major highlight of Coachella 2024. Further, as of April 7, Billie has been teasing her new studio album “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT” out May 17. We are on our toes for another era of Billie Eilish.

Ishani Roy can be reached at [email protected].

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