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Watch Billie Eilish and Her Family Talk About How They Make Music | Diary of a Song

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08:02   |   Apr 01, 2019

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Watch Billie Eilish and Her Family Talk About How They Make Music | Diary of a Song
Watch Billie Eilish and Her Family Talk About How They Make Music | Diary of a Song thumb Watch Billie Eilish and Her Family Talk About How They Make Music | Diary of a Song thumb Watch Billie Eilish and Her Family Talk About How They Make Music | Diary of a Song thumb

Transcription

  • “Oh my God.”
  • “Hey.”
  • “Hello.”
  • “What’s up?”
  • “What’s up?”
  • “Wait, I lost you for a second.
  • You froze.”
  • “[Singing] What do you want from me?
  • Why don’t you run from me?
  • What are you wondering?
  • What do you know?”
  • “When did you first start making music?”
  • “Like, when I was like 11.”
  • “How old are you?”
  • “I’m 17 now.
  • I feel like I’ve been 16 for, like, my whole life.
  • So I’m 17 now.
  • And then my brother, he started around 12.
  • Me and him were both doing the same thing in the same house.
  • And we just were like, we live three feet away
  • from each other,
  • why don’t we do this together?
  • [Singing]
  • “The creative production writing
  • crew of Billie’s debut album’s two people.
  • It’s just her and me.
  • We wrote “Bury a Friend” on my 21st birthday.
  • And we were playing Lollapalooza.”
  • Singing: “I’ve never fallen from quite this high.
  • Falling into your ocean eyes.”
  • “I was, like, away from all my friends.
  • I couldn’t have a birthday party or anything.
  • And so I was like, well, I love making music,
  • so let’s rent a studio.”
  • “And I do remember having a feeling of,
  • like, if we spend all day of my birthday,
  • we better make something that, like, comes out.”
  • “Finneas just started making this shuffle beat.”
  • “So it’s [beat boxing]”
  • [beat playing]
  • “And I thought it was sick.”
  • “It feels kind of like a football chant.
  • It’s a really body- friendly rhythm,
  • if you play it at the right tempo.”
  • “Lyrically, where did you start?”
  • “I really wanted to kind of do, like,
  • a bunch of Ws in a row, like a bunch of questions.
  • [Singing] What do you want from me?
  • Why don’t you run from me?
  • What are you wondering?
  • What do you know?
  • “And it was like, who is this character?
  • And what the hell are they?
  • And I think just, automatically, it
  • was so clear that it was like the monster under your bed.”
  • “And then I was like, that’d be
  • great to write a song from that perspective.”
  • “Why aren’t you scared of me?
  • Why do you care for me?
  • When we all fall asleep, where do we go?”
  • “What was it about Billie’s voice
  • that, even from an early age, you knew
  • you wanted to work with her.”
  • “Her emotionality.
  • Every time she sang a lyric, I believed it.
  • Billie would, like, sing a ‘Hotline Bling’ cover
  • by Drake.”
  • Singing: “You used to call me on my cellphone late night
  • when you need my love.”
  • “And I was just like, did you write this?
  • And she was like, no, it’s ‘Hotline Bling.’
  • I was like, oh, wow.
  • When you sing it, it feels like you wrote it, to me.”
  • “Where do you normally write and record?”
  • “We’ve written and recorded, like, 90 percent of everything
  • we’ve ever made in my bedroom in my parents’ house.
  • It’s really small, but it’s really cozy.
  • Billie will sit on my bed.
  • And I have, like, a lot of big Murakami pillows on my bed.
  • She gets inspired.
  • Like, we’ll track something.
  • And I’ll sit, and I’ll work on production.
  • Then we’ll work on lyrics together.
  • I have a piano in there.
  • We tend to work pretty long days.
  • Mom will just, like, bring in food,
  • because we’ll just keep going.”
  • “Since he moved out, he’s lost, like, 15 pounds.”
  • “Because you don’t bring snacks?”
  • “He doesn’t eat enough.”
  • “He doesn’t know how to cook.”
  • “What was it like for you and your husband
  • when your kids first started making music together?”
  • “I mean, Billie was already singing all the time.
  • And she had this beautiful voice.”
  • Singing: “I don’t want to live in a world without you.”
  • “And, like, every year she’d sing in the home school
  • talent show.”
  • Singing: “And I should know.”
  • “Finneas had a band.
  • And it was very all-consuming.”
  • [Singing]
  • And so, you know,
  • it just was kind of this perfectly natural thing
  • when Finneas suddenly was, like,
  • hey, let me record you doing this song.”
  • “Ready?”
  • “Yeah.
  • Are you?”
  • “Maybe.”
  • “We knew they were amazing.
  • But nobody in their wildest dreams
  • thought anyone would hear it except, you know,
  • 20 friends.”
  • [Cheering]
  • [All singing]
  • [Cheering]
  • “All right, so you have the, like, sort
  • of nursery rhyme hook melody.
  • And you had some verses.
  • When did you first start incorporating
  • the spooky noises?”
  • “I was in the dentist’s chair.
  • And they were shaving off my Invisalign attachments.
  • And it was this loud, like, [drill sound] [bleep]. And I
  • thought it was so dope.
  • And I pull out my phone immediately
  • and pressed record.”
  • [Drilling]
  • “O.K. Rinse out and let’s take a peek.”
  • “I found it very horrible to listen to.
  • But it worked great in the song.”
  • Singing: “Calling security.
  • Keeping my head held down.”
  • “As soon as there was a line about stepping on glass,
  • I wanted to hear someone stepping on glass.
  • And as soon as there was a line about a staple,
  • I was, like, smacking a staple gun.”
  • Singing: “Step on the glass.
  • Staple your tongue.”
  • “There is also one called nightmare horse.”
  • [Sound effect playing]
  • “Another one I like is Easy Bake Oven.”
  • “Yeah.
  • Singing: “Bury a friend.”
  • That [bleep] yeah, it’s
  • literally an Easy Bake Oven.”
  • “And then I processed a ton of her going, like, ah!
  • And then it ends up sounding like —
  • [Sound effect] —
  • I put that all over the song.”
  • Singing: “Cleaning you out.
  • Am I satisfactory?”
  • “The song is so weird.
  • It’s so weird.
  • And we were, like, can you understand it
  • and actually sing along?
  • And so I remember, like, we tried
  • a billion different things.
  • And then we were, like, you know
  • what, this needs a bridge.”
  • “So how did it end up sounding?
  • Can you do a little bit of it?”
  • “Like — The debt I owe.
  • Got to sell my soul.
  • I can’t say no.
  • No, I can’t say no.”
  • Singing: “Then my limbs all froze.
  • And my eyes won’t close.
  • And I can’t say no.
  • I can’t say no.”
  • “I like it because it sounds like a Kurt Weill song
  • almost, to me.
  • Do you know what I mean?”
  • “The structure is super weird.
  • It’s like, hook —”
  • “A verse.
  • A pre-chorus.”
  • “Drop.”
  • “A hook.”
  • “Verse two.
  • Alternate verse two.”
  • “Bridge.”
  • “Pre-chorus.
  • Drop.”
  • “And then the hook.”
  • “Normally songs are like, verse, chorus, verse, chorus,
  • bridge, chorus.
  • Like, that’s pretty much the way that they are.
  • There was, like, a point right at the end
  • of working on the song where it was suddenly,
  • like, much more traditional song structure.
  • We were like, all right, well, now,
  • we’re making, like, a pop record here.
  • So I’m really glad it ended up being the weirder
  • version of the song.”
  • Singing: “Honestly, I thought that I would be dead by now.
  • Calling security, keeping my head held down.”
  • “I don’t want to be in the pop world.
  • I don’t want to be in the alternative world, or the
  • hip-hop world, or the R&B world,
  • or whatever [expletive], you know?
  • I want it to be, like, what kind of music you listen to?
  • Billie Eilish kind of music, you know?
  • Like —”
  • “Yeah.”
  • “The other kind.”
  • “I’m telling you all now.
  • This is going to be the biggest artist, 2019.”
  • “When the song came out, I said to Billie,
  • I was, like, ‘I think we just get to do
  • whatever we want, now.’ ”
  • Singing: “I want to end me.”
  • “They don’t remember this.
  • But this is what happened.
  • One of the other things I do in life
  • is a lot of aerial, like, circus trapeze.
  • So I was, like, can you guys write
  • a song that has the perfect beat for my warm-up?
  • And Finneas goes, oh, shuffle beat.
  • Yeah, I’ve always wanted to make something
  • with a shuffle beat.
  • They don’t remember this story.”
  • “That’s not how it happened.”
  • “If she feels like she was part of the impetus
  • for ‘Bury a Friend,’ like, more power to her.
  • I don’t personally remember that being a part
  • of the genesis of the song.”
  • “But it happened.”

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Description

The fastest-rising pop star of the moment is 17 and writes off-kilter hits with her older brother from their parents’ house. Breaking down Billie Eilish’s “Bury a Friend,” we show a new model for making it big.

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