The musician and producer, best known as Billie Eilish's brother, is a star in his own right

By Diane J. Cho
January 26, 2020 04:40 PM
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With five Grammy nominations at this year’s award ceremony, Finneas O’Connell‘s name is at the tip of everybody’s tongues — but mostly in relation to younger sister and pop megastar Billie Eilish. The 22-year-old is most famously known to have produced and co-written his sister’s debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, but now the spotlight is on him.

Having already picked up a win Sunday afternoon, Finneas is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after producers in the music industry, thanks to crafting the Eilish sound fans can’t get enough of and working with artists like Selena Gomez and Camila Cabello.

Before the 62nd Grammy Awards kick off this Sunday, get to know Finneas — a new thriving artist who has only just begun to show his full potential.

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Grammy Awards coverage to get the latest news on music’s biggest night.

Finneas was born on July 30, 1997, and is four years older than Billie.

The two started making music together as kids in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles, where they were raised by their mother, Maggie Baird, and father, Patrick O’Connell. Both parents were working actors who homeschooled their children, according to the Washington Post.

“We were a very crunchy, sort of hippie-dippy family,” Finneas told the outlet in January 2020.

“We have never put any kind of emphasis on getting a job and making a living,” his father Patrick added. “If we modeled anything, it was being broke and artsy.”

He dabbled in acting before his music career took off.

Fans can catch the star in reruns of the final season of Glee as Allistair, the character he played for four episodes in 2015. He described his experience on the show as being the new kid in class the week school let out, according to the Washington Post.

“I definitely felt like I’m part of the end of this seminal thing,” he told the outlet. “It’s so funny to be doing your fourth episode of a show and everybody’s weeping, and it’s like, their 130th episode.”

He also appeared in 2013’s Life Inside Out as Shane with mom Baird, the movie’s co-writer, and made cameos on Modern Family in two episodes that ran in 2013 and 2014, according to his IMDB page.

His debut solo EP Blood Harmony dropped on Oct. 4, 2019.

After focusing his energies on Billie’s music, Finneas took time in between touring and shows to release his own collection of songs. The title — Blood Harmony — was inspired by his sibling bond with his sister, according to Rolling Stone.

“I would love for this title to remain ambiguous to listeners and for everyone to be able to imbue it with their own meaning and justification,” he told the outlet. “The most common use of the term ‘blood harmony’ is an English expression for what it sounds like when siblings sing together, that biologic chemistry — I think that speaks for itself.”

He’s currently dating YouTube star and fashion influencer Claudia Sulewski.

Finneas’ better half has a big presence on Instagram (1.4 million followers), and an even bigger one on YouTube (2 million subscribers), where she vlogs about fashion, beauty, her family and life with Finneas. Sulewski was also recognized at the 2019 Revolve Awards for YouTube channel of the year, with her man by her side.

In a video for BuzzFeed from July 2019, Finneas revealed that he wrote the song “Claudia” the day that he met her and sent it to her that same night. The love song contains sweet lyrics, like “Oh, I’m in trouble now/Come kiss me black and blue/Might last another round/But I’m bound to fall for you.”

One awkward point of contention is that fans often comment about how much Sulewski looks like Billie. Can you spot the resemblance?

He’s written and produced for stars like Camila Cabello, Halsey and Selena Gomez.

In a December 2019 post on Instagram, the artist shared his experience being a fan of and then collaborating with Cabello on “Used to This” for her album Romance.

“Camila Cabello is one of my favorite artists. She’s also a friend of mine now which makes me feel VERY COOL!!!” he began. “I stood in the crowd at lollapalooza last summer and watched her set in awe. I texted my managers/publisher right then that I would die to write with her.”

“I love this album so much and I could NOT be more grateful to be a part of it!” he continued. “Much love to you, Camila ? enjoy this beautiful album’s beautiful life!”

He also shared his “small role” in creating Halsey’s “I Hate Everybody,” writing, “I played a very very VERY small role in the creation of song ‘I HATE EVERYBODY’ and I couldn’t feel luckier. Halsey’s music has inspired me since I first heard ‘New Americana’ when I was 17.”

Finneas also added production to Selena Gomez’s “Lose You to Love Me,” which was written by Gomez and Julia Michaels. “it’s a really beautiful song,” he told iHeart of the single. “And I mainly just felt lucky to be hearing it before anybody else got to hear it. But it was really fun to work on it, too.”

He’s up for five Grammys.

At 22, the star has a nomination in three of the Grammys’ main categories — album, record and song of the year — as well as producer of the year and best engineered album for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Girlfriend Sulewski marked the milestone on Instagram, writing a sweet post to congratulate her man.

“MY BABY’S A GRAMMY NOMINEE!!!!??????,” she wrote.

“Couldn’t name a single individual working harder than you. Pushing and trusting his creative instincts, changing the way people feel and connect to music. You are an outlier. The most inspiring and deserving of all of this recognition. You both are taking over the WORLD,” she said, referencing Finneas and sister Billie.

The 62nd Grammy Awards will take place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.