Billie Eilish is one of America’s most famous musicians now and she won five Grammys in 2020. Where exactly did the pop sensation grow up though?
Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell grew up in Highland Park, Los Angeles, California. Her mother is an actress, teacher, and screenwriter, while her dad is an actor and construction worker. You may also know that she has an older brother named Finneas who helps her to write all of her songs. Both she and Finneas were homeschooled by her mother.
You can read more below about Billie Eilish’s upbringing, how she became famous, and how she and Finneas record their records.
Billie Eilish’s Homelife
Billie Eilish didn’t exactly have the most normal upbringing. While most kids attend either a public or private school, Billie and her brother Finneas were both homeschooled.
As this The News-Review article says, the reasoning behind her parent’s decision to homeschool Billie and Finneas was because of the hit group Hanson. Their song ‘MMMBop’ came out the same year Finneas was born and Baird decided that she would homeschool her kids too as this would help foster their creativity.
Being homeschooled isn’t exactly at the top of the list of her unique upbringing either. Until Finneas was ten years old, the entire family shared a bed in their two-bedroom bungalow in Los Angeles.
Billie was also raised as a vegetarian and went vegan back in 2014. Instead of being raised with the goal of going to college and getting a ‘good’ job, her parents instead encouraged her and her brother to go after their passions and dreams.
So, she found herself enrolled in activities like horseback riding, dance classes, and singing in a children’s choir. She was also into hands-on stuff like making costumes for her and her friends to wear.
Growing up, Billie spent a lot of her time making music with Finneas. The two would often hang out in his tiny bedroom playing on the piano that was packed into the bedroom.
It was from this mindset and upbringing that Billie became famous as sort of a fluke. Her story of fame is definitely one of overnight success.
You can watch the below Carpool Karaoke episode where Billie Eilish shows James Cordon around her family home.
Billie’s Overnight Success
It was in 2015, when she was only fourteen, that Finneas wrote the song ‘Ocean Eyes’ for his band to play. He wanted female vocals on the track so he asked his younger sister, Billie, to sing on the song.
As Billie Eilish told Teen Vogue, she planned on using the song for one of her dance routines. Her dance instructor had asked her or her brother to write an original song that she could choreograph.
They both liked the idea of ‘Ocean Eyes’ being that song, so they recorded it and uploaded it to Soundcloud with the option to download it. What happened next was completely unexpected.
‘Ocean Eyes’ went viral.
As Eilish said “Basically overnight a ton of people started hearing it and sharing it. Hillydilly, a music discovery website, found it and posted it and it just got bigger and bigger. It was really surreal.”
After that, both of the O’Connell siblings were offered representation. Eilish soon ended up signed to the label The Darkroom and Interscope Records.
How Billie and Finneas Record Albums
Nowadays, pretty much every music album that you hear is produced in a studio somewhere in L.A. or New York City or maybe even Nashville. That is unless you are listening to Billie Eilish’s music.
She and Finneas decided to stay true to the original sound of their music and record her album in Finneas’ childhood bedroom. This was completely against the wishes of their label, but they refused to record anywhere else.
Since they recorded in the bedroom, it has given Eilish’s music a very unique sound that isn’t prevalent in most other popstars music.
Despite growing up in the two-bedroom Highland Park Bungalow and using it as a recording studio, Eilish doesn’t exactly feel safe there anymore. That’s because in 2019 her home address was leaked online and fans started showing up at her house.
She told Rolling Stone that they had to have a bodyguard sleep in the living room for a while. Even though there was all of this drama surrounding her childhood home, Billie Eilish still seems quite attached to it and the Highland Park neighborhood where she grew up.