Sunday, June 26

Billie Eilish publishes her family photos: ‘It made me miss many parts of my life’ | Music books

TThe girl in the photo, sitting at the piano while singing into a toy microphone, could be any child. But she is Billie Eilish: one of the biggest stars in the world since the age of 14, famous for her dreamy pop style and temperament, the singer of the next James Bond song. Now, at only 19 years old, she is about to release her second album, Happier Than Ever, and has just relaunched herself; Her bleached locks and vixenesco makeover in the cover of Vogue this week released a thousand pieces of thought. But ahead of the album, she’s launching a quieter project: a family book that gives fans a glimpse into her childhood and non-fans a rather poignant glimpse into the strangeness of fame.

Eilish loves her family’s photo albums, but won’t risk taking them on a trip because “they’re too precious,” she tells The Guardian. “However, I love to go over them when I’m at home, I always try to sit down and go over them from time to time.”

Finneas and Billie as children
Finneas and Billie as children. Photograph: Billie Eilish’s Family

The book feels necessarily intimate, especially for a young woman who has spoken out about her struggle to balance her need for privacy and her fans’ appetite for all things Eilish. (“It’s too much for them and it’s too much for me and it’s unhealthy,” she told Vogue this week). Each photo in the book is selected by her, and with care. “It was really hard to decide what to include, but I feel like I shared a lot in the book,” he says. “There were some things that I almost put in but left out, after realizing that people didn’t need to know.”

Unlike so many young pop stars, Eilish did not leave the Disney channel or the child actor route and appears (from her family snapshots, at least) to have had a remarkably normal childhood. The strangeness of his rise, uploading a song to SoundCloud when he was 13, a record deal at 14, materializes in a blurry photo taken not long before, on his 12th birthday, that he decided to walk by on the side of the road. . among a gang of Justin Bieber fans, waiting to see the singer driving. Just a few years and pages later, young fans are shown crying at their own concerts, waiting hours for a signing, reaching out to brush his arm.

Billie Eilish performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2019
Eilish performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2019. Photograph: Matty Vogel / Billie Eilish’s Family

Family has had a constant presence in Eilish’s career; his older brother, Finneas O’Connell, produces and writes many of his songs and his parents join them on tour. Her mom Maggie and dad Patrick also appear in the audiobook that is published alongside the book, sharing their memories of their famous daughter. Now that you are 19, will you keep your parents involved? “Definitely,” she says. “I love my parents and I choose to be around them. They understand that I need space and they give it to me when I need it. They don’t do everything with me now, but I like them so I want them around. “

One photo shows her napping on a train, under the caption “when I could use public transport without being harassed.” It’s hard to imagine feeling nostalgic for sleeping in a narrow seat, but again, not many of us are as instantly recognizable as Eilish. Rather than make her frustrated by the shackles of fame, revisiting photos from the time before her meteoric rise to fame at age 14 “honestly made me thank you.”

“I spent a lot of time looking at old photos throughout my life for this book and there were a lot of things that I went through that made me nostalgic and made me miss a lot of parts of my life,” she says. “But overall, it made me feel more grateful for the life I have now and it made me realize that I wouldn’t want to go back. I wouldn’t do it any other way. “

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