Billie Eilish on How 'Little' the Public Knows About Her - and How Her Album Will Dig Into Her Trauma
"I have such a loud personality that makes people feel like they know everything about me and they literally don't at all," Billie Eilish said
Long gone is the neon green and black hair which made Billie Eilish easily identifiable. And these days, in anticipation of her second album Happier Than Ever, the pop star has shed her previous persona and lyrical messaging to portray someone closer to her true self.
In her new Rolling Stone cover story, the 19-year-old singer reflected on her growth from debut album, 2019's When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, and spoke about how her upcoming 16 songs will dive deeper into who she really is.
"I was a kid and I wanted to do kid s---. I didn't want to be not able to f---ing go to a store or the mall. I was very angry and not grateful about it," Eilish said of early fame.
Eilish, who described herself as a private person, shared that despite being in the public eye, the public doesn't know her "at all."
"Anytime I see an impression on the internet, it just reminds me how little the internet knows about me. Like, I really don't share s---. I have such a loud personality that makes people feel like they know everything about me and they literally don't at all," she said, adding that the main takeaways should be "that I can sing. That I'm a woman. That I have a personality."
And the rare instances that Eilish does talk about more personal topics, her words become public record. "I wish that I could tell the fans everything I think and feel and it wouldn't live on the internet forever. And be spoken about and called problematic, or called whatever the f--- anybody wants to call any thoughts that a human has," she said. "The other sad thing is that they don't actually know me. And I don't really know them, but obviously we're connected. The problem is you feel like you know somebody, but you don't. And then it's like, yeah. It's just a lot."
Eilish, who grew up idolizing Justin Bieber, said she now understands why her favorite celebrities keep some things close to the vest.
"It's sad because I can't give the fans everything they want. The bigger I've gotten, the more I understand why [my favorite celebrities] couldn't do all the things I wanted them to do," she said. "It wouldn't make sense to people who aren't in this world."
"If I said what I was thinking right now, [the fans] would feel the same way I did when I was 11," she added. "They'd be like, 'It would be so easy. You could just do it.' No. It's crazy the amount of things you don't think about before it's right in front of you."
But songwriting is where she can express herself authentically.
"I went through some crazy s---, and it really affected me and made me not want to go near anyone ever," she said of her personal trauma, which will be infused in her sophomore album, adding that the first album was "almost all fictional."
She's already released the album's lead singles "My Future" and "Your Power," and teased the opening track "Getting Older" as "so revealing," telling the outlet: "I had to take a break in the middle of writing that one, and I wanted to cry, because it was so revealing. And it's just the truth."
The lyrics to "Your Power" appear to be about an older partner taking advantage of a younger woman in a romantic relationship, which some fans thought was about Eilish and her ex-boyfriend Brandon Adams.
"I feel like people actually really, really listened to the lyrics. I was scared for it to come out because it's my favorite song I've ever written. I felt the world didn't deserve it," she said. "I've been in two [relationships]. I've experienced a lot in what I have done. But I've never been in something really real and normal."
Her relationship with Adams became widely known thanks to her Apple TV documentary, The World's a Little Blurry, which she called a "microscopic, tiny, tiny little bit of that relationship. Nobody knows about any of that, at all. I just wish people could just stop and see things and not have to say things all the time."
In fact, she had originally planned not to include her relationship at all. "I don't like to share that part of my life, and I was not planning on sharing that part of my life ever," she said.
These days, she's romantically linked to actor Matthew Tyler Vorce, but they have yet to publicly confirm or become Instagram official.
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Speaking with Rolling Stone, she called herself "clingy" and that she's learning to be on her own. "I didn't know how before which is ironic because I had never been in a relationship that allowed me to really exist with that person anyway. My emotion always is because of somebody else's, and that had been such a big pain in the ass," she said.
Going forward, Eilish may never name names or confirm relationships and that's because, she said, she doesn't feel obligated to.
"[People are like] 'Well, you're an artist, so when you put something out there like that, you can't expect people to not dive into it more.' Yes I can," she said. "You should absolutely respect me giving you this much information and saying, 'This is all you get.' The rest is for my own brain."
Happier Than Ever is set to be released on July 30.