Skip to content

Billie Eilish, Between Fake Industry Transplant And The Real Deal

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish


Billie Eilish has been in the news for a little while, she was just the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last week, which has to be a highlight in a musical career, that many artists will never achieve.

Only 2 years ago, she was playing the Hi-Hat, a tiny club in Highland Park, the Los Angeles neighborhood where she was raised. A year later, her debut EP had reached the top 15 in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, and she is now this big pop star booking huge places for her tour, with a number-one single in the US,… and she is just 17.

Whether you find Billie Eilish talented or not is practically irrelevant in the story, I am just extremely suspicious of an artist making it to the top this fast. It was a meteoritic ascension if there is one, and this made me a skeptic of her authenticity, at lost for a better word. Authenticity is a term debated a lot when we are talking about pop and rock stars, it doesn’t mean much as everyone has to invent and reinvent himself or herself at one point of a career. But I am not really talking about that, let’s check a few facts about Billie’s career:

She recorded ‘Ocean Eyes’ written by her brother Finneas for his band, and released it on Soundcloud in 2016, with a video, and the song went viral. She was signed by Interscope Records in November 2016 and released an EP (with 4 remixes of this same song) a few months later (January 2017)… right away, there is a red flag, she got signed by one of the biggest labels with no previous musical experience, no previous band, and basically just because of a song. Many artists have to go through many stages (many bands, demo tapes, small labels…) before winning that big lottery.

In 2017, she released a few singles, often accompanied by videos, ‘Bellyache’, Watch’, ‘Copycat’,… then her debut EP, ‘Don’t Smile at Me’ and very soon she collaborates with Vince Staples for a remix of one of her songs.

With just one EP, she is treated like a music royalty, she is everywhere and gets to be interviewed by everyone and every magazine and every platform ever created. Who gets that much exposure so fast? The Interscope machine was obviously working very fast at flooding the world with Billie. At the end of 2017, she announces a tour in major venues across the US and in Europe. Again, how many almost unknown artists go on a world tour this fast? Remember, she has just one EP under her belt at the time. Of course, there were a few late-night TV appearances, and the next tour is on steroids, with arenas and stadiums booked all over the world, … she has 2 dates at the Forum here in LA.

All this goes with an exponential growth of followers on social media with currently 2.7 M followers on Twitter and 39.4 M followers on Instagram. In comparison, Madonna has 2,5 M followers on Twitter and 14.4 M on IG, and Lana del Rey has 9.5 M followers on Twitter and 14.6 M on IG. Which means that Billie has more followers on IG that Madonna and Del Rey combined… in just 3 years? But if we believe the story, she managed to do that just by herself.

And then there is her image, which has moved to a more hip hop look over the years. Despite the fact she is not a rapper, she has managed to absorb most of the Soundcloud mumbling rappers’ look, with baggy designer clothes, basketball shorts, big chains around the neck and neon rainbow hair. She also makes sure she is close to this new generation of rappers, even mourning the most controversial of them, XXXTentacion,… a little controversy is never bad publicity, because it helps her image of ‘bad girl’ she likes to cultivate,… then, of course, she has to explain why she likes the guy, and it’s more publicity. She even speaks with a sort of blackish ghetto-ish accent (and I am not the only one to have noticed). At best, she should talk with a Latino accent because she was raised in Highland Park… I am just surprised ‘exploitation or cultural appropriation’ were not thrown at her face more often, but may be her early friendship with all these rappers was calculated to avoid this.

She often says she is weird and dark, sad and depressed, she rolls her eyes and pulls her tongue, and never smiles on photos, while her music and videos are very dark, even disturbing. In interviews, she has never been shy at sharing her anxiety problems, night terrors, problems with body dysmorphia, self-harm, and depression – she said she got depressed after a dance injury which forced her to quit. But may be Billie is taking life’s big disappointments for true depression, if she was suffering from deep dark depression that nails a person in bed, could she go on tour and do everythign she does?

I have no way to know if Billie is completely sincere – and she well may be 100% sincere and be a depressed teenager – but after all this, a picture seems to be surfacing: This young singer-songwriter, homeschooled and raised by poor artist parents, has personal struggles but she nevertheless worked her DIY ethic to worldwide success,… She is a teenager with the same angst and anxiety than her fans, but this new poster girl for depression has a love for hip hop culture, the most popular culture of the moment. This is the story sold, but should we swallow this tale without any second thought?

In her recent Rolling Stone interview, she is photographed with tears rolling from her eye, and I have to wonder, would a really depressed person accept to do that as if depression was the next fashion accessory? I have been around depressed people and this is not the impression I got. There’s also a lot of talk about the family’s struggle for money before her success and her parents not ‘earning a commission, or in any other way profiting off Eilish’s success’… and there’s more about her depression, nightmares… and declaration like these: ‘I have a job that doesn’t allow me to break down. I can’t go cry somewhere, I can’t go scream and be mad. I have to work.’ She’d tried seeing a therapist a few times last year and found it so-so, but she forced herself to go again. ‘I just was in such a bad place. It was too much on me. I was too much on me. I don’t want advice, because I’m not going to take it anyway. I just wanted to be heard.’

There’s a very careful blend of fragility and strength, vulnerability, anger, and plenty of emotions all torn up in one baggie-clothed teenager. In short, Billie is any teenager’s dream come true, the cool girl who dresses up as you wish you could, the edgy girl who is sharing your nighmares.

And I have a hard time to decipher the truth.

Her insane success is too fuliginous to be completely organic and it’s difficult to believe she didn’t get some massive help. It’s no coincidence if Julia Roberts showed up at one of her shows at the Fonda theater during her first tour, it’s no coincidence if she gets a video interview in Vanity Fair, an interview in Interview magazine, Elle magazine, Harpers Bazaar, mentions in Billboard magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, and BBC News, and tons of other top publications, just at the start of her career. Her parents may not have been the successful actors and musicians they wanted to be, but they both have a long list of credits stretching back to 40 years, while her mother was teaching songwriting and screenwriting to industry professionals, and her brother Finneas O’Connell is an actor who has been on hit TV shows. Billie and Finneas were homeschooled and it seems that the focus was on art, acting, singing, and dancing rather than conventional academics and one of their classes was even songwriting taught by their mother… they were well trained since childhood.

Then there is the calculated move to embrace hip hop culture with a depressed side because the confident pop princess role was already taken by Ariana Grande? Eilish is the anti-princess, she flirts with the ghetto accent, wears the hip clothes and talks about self-harm, basically, she is the perfect incarnation of this insecure generation facing all the 21st-century existential threats… and labels probably realized there was a niche for that, they just had to find the right artist.

And even though all this was her and only her, even though she were this authentic trend setter everyone pretends she is, shouldn’t her parents worry about her? If everything is true, we have a depressed teenager, who used to cut and harm herself, slept in her parents’ bed till she was 10 and still have night terrors. Despite all this, they have pushed her in this brutal business which has already killed many young people. Maybe fame and money is what they are after since they have been struggling for recognition all their careers? But the priority here is clear, and this was even more obvious this Monday when Phineas and Bliie were interviewed by Howard Stern on SiriusXM. Toward the end, her parents made a jaw-dropping revelation, as they told her she was conceived from IVF. It surely was a good radio moment but why would any parent do this on the air? And I am not even mentioning the high cost of an IVF for people who have called themselves poor? Where is the truth?

In the end her success could just be the product of greedy parents hungry for success and a no less greedy industry exploiting her very special talent and carefully manufactured image. I can’t tell if Billie Eilish is working a bit too hard at this edgy depressed side she is almost using as a brand, or if this is very real. And I hope this is real, otherwise, the story is quite ugly and cynical.


  1. Jack on October 2, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    17-1/2 year old daughter has been a Billie fan from the beginning. She’s been to 2 Billie concerts in Portland. My daughter has gone through serious dark periods with a major Spinal Fusion Surgery and having to give up the idea of a dance career which she had been preparing for since age 3. So much coincidence.

  2. Meredith Brooks on January 28, 2020 at 6:20 am

    I k kw her very well she is a spoiled brat
    Period and really rude
    Known her for years … very snobby and bitchy without reason
    Finneas is the talent … completely.. she is a voice period

  3. Jody on January 31, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    she’s great

    • Rick on February 11, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      Why do people post such venom?

      Obviously she isn’t one of your friends or you wouldn’t post this nonsense.
      Judging from your dialogue she’d never want to be your friend.

      You’re probably very young Meredith. Don’t go public with stuff like this
      if indeed you know her. Believe me 100% that in 10-years time you’ll be
      laughing at why you posted this …in a positive way

  4. Rick on February 11, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    regarding Billie’s accent. It’s not ghetto Black but instead has more of a ghetto Latino style …the same as Alicia Keys.
    Go figure.
    BTW I’m a huge Billie fan!!

  5. Thomas Salmon on June 20, 2020 at 6:37 pm


    Seems to me that she’s totally open about pretty much all of the above. Of course – she’d probably be the first to admit she just wants to be like everyone else – she suffers from tourette syndrome.

    She rolls her eyes and pulls her tongue – sure. If I couldn’t stop myself from repeatedly blinking my eyes, shrugging my shoulders or blurting out unusual sounds or offensive words – I’m pretty sure I’d be pulling my tongue out as well.

    She’s got more than one reason to feel uncomfortable about being a ‘star’ – can you imagine being in the public eye and knowing that over time your condition may become so embarrassing that you are shunned and excluded from social life?

    The self-hatred, depression and suicidal tendencies tells you quite a lot – but get real she’s so young. What do you actually expect her to do?

    It’s more than normal for any performer to have a persona, and it’s part of the live of any artist to live that persona intensely.

    Let Billie be Billie – she’s so young that by the time you’ve finished writing all this she will be moving into a different phase of ‘being Billie’ anyway.

    She’s got talent – people buy her records – that’s the music industry. That’s how it works – period.

    She isn’t responsible for that – and for what it’s worth, whether she is ‘bitchy’ or not (and she’s not coy about it) she’s doing her best to be an authentic artist at her young age.

    If you think that comes easily – then just take a moment to review how many artists in her profession even make it to any form of normality or stability in their lives – and how many end up bouncing off into auto-destruct mode.

    Billie should commended for her success. If you like her music then great! If you don’t that’s totally up to you. Disputing her fame and stardom is like blaming clowns for being silly – that’s the business they are in and it’s not their fault that it works like that.

  6. Scott on November 28, 2020 at 8:38 am

    You nailed it. She’s a creation of what young America wanted in 2020. Twenty years removed from Britney Spears and what was hot then. It’s an industry and someone needed to fill the void. Glad I’m not the only one who unmasked this manufactured creation…

    • Melissa on December 15, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      I’ve been telling my daughter this since this child Billie emerged onto the radio. She is a persona created by a studio. Some of the things in her life may be true but highly exaggerated to hit the feelings of easily influenced teens. Depression is not something to take lightly. These teens are idolizing her and trying to find any faults and traumas within to mimic Billie. As a side note the industry IS using Billie as a recruit for political beliefs. They have groomed her to be a strong Hollywood influencer and these kids that follow her believe her statements without doing any research themselves.
      She is not just raw talent. She is a weapon against today’s youth.

      • Ellie Enevski on March 27, 2021 at 3:29 am

        Melissa, this is how I feel as well. I am a musician and a singer as well as a voice professor and know how the industry works! I teach young vocalists every day and I have met such amazing and charismatic artists who are also multi talented and playing instruments, composing and producing their own music … And yet, they have never had the chance to go beyond the club scene. I think Billie is an ordinary and pretty basic singer with a fake image of someone who actually lies to her most vulnerable crowd ( the teens) hiding behind super exaggerated personal drama which fits perfectly the image of nowadays young people! When I saw her on the Grammys, she & her brother somehow did not fit on that stage… They looked like some kind of imposters pretending to be super team but honestly, their performance did not touch me at all… Super basic and also, they were not singing live but sang over their recorded track … Not sure why! It is too bad our kids idolize Billie and don’t realize that she opens up wounds and triggers depressive actions in teens with those traumas that she proudly share in any media or interview! Depression is usually a hidden condition and definitely does not seek popularity or winning image!

  7. Mick on May 3, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    the big issue here is not how this affected Eilish, and here quick rise and riches. its how crappy this is to far more talented individuals out there that are much more deserving of this level of fame and fortune. This was a manufactured artist and dammit, the public will have it forced down their throats until they buy it!

  8. KC on April 28, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    Maybe Billie’s parents hooked up with whoever is behind Lorde?

    I watched “the world’s a little blurry” and thought of “spinal tap” and are they putting this on? Manufactured like Hannah Montana. Little cute hooks to get you into the song but no substance.

    Amy Lee and Evanescence are so much more talented. Amy was/is so much better at laying down teenage angst and depression.

    I feel sorry for young people if this is your idol.

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top