Billie Eilish and her brother/producer extraordinaire Finneas have broken down the meaning behind her hit song ‘Everything I Wanted’ as well as how they made the track.
The song, which was released as a standalone single in November 2019, arrived as a huge moment in Eilish’s career as it marked the first new material from the singer since she shared her groundbreaking debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. Now, a year on from its release, she has revealed all about the track and collaborator Finneas to discuss the dream that inspired the song whilst appearing on an episode of the Song Exploder podcast.
“We were at the tail-end of working on Billie’s debut album and we were having that sort of second-guessing moment where we thought, ‘Do we have every song for this album? Should we try writing one or two more?’,” Finneas said.
Eilish then went on to say that she had a nightmare the night before in which she died after jumping from a building. “The whole dream was me watching how everything went after I’d died,” she stated.
“I was there for it and I could see everything. I remember in the dream there were newspapers that said, ‘Problematic 16-year-old Billie Eilish has finally killed herself’. And my best friends were doing an interview and they were like, ‘Oh, we never really liked her’.”
Eilish then said that “everything [she’d] been thinking put into a horrible, horrible reality”, adding that she “couldn’t think of anything else” the following day. Then Eilish and Finneas turned this nightmare into music when they next entered the studio.
“I was also really depressed at the time and had been suicidal in the past,” Eilish added. “It was weird telling Finneas about the dream I had because I was like, ‘Well I had this dream that I kinda got what I wanted, which is, you know, dying’.”
The singer then revealed that her brother “didn’t want to write about it”, explaining: “I think it was actually really scary to me to hear her articulate her depression in a way that was more obvious than she was making it on a day-to-day basis,” Finneas added: “So that was kind of alarming. I got pretty flipped out – and told her so.”
This was a topic that Eilish’s family members were worried about her writing about. “It was so intense, and because of that we didn’t write the rest of it for like probably half a year,” she said. They then changed the focus of the song to be about their sibling relationship and how they “pulled each other out of dark places”.
Listen to the episode, below.