Like most young pop stars, when Billie Eilish made her big splash on the music scene with her era-defining anthem ‘bad guy’, her rise to prominence was met with a collective groan from music purists. For those particular musos, a singer like Billie Eilish rarely pleases them. That’s because, to their mind, Eilish is just one of a long line of artists who will make a few hits, create some wealth, fire out some tours and then return to the shadows. In their eyes, Eilish is yet another identikit pop star.
Over recent years, however, Eilish has proved them all wrong. She’s done it in a variety of ways. Not only has her music reinvigorated a generation who seemed intent on finding sonic solace in DJs only, but her growing catalogue of songs speak of a talented individual completely obsessed by her craft and guided by her talent. The truth is, Eilish has always been dedicated to her work, as the clip below proves.
The collection of clips of pre-fame Eilish shows a singer who, despite her young years, always seemed intent on making music. Though she operates with a distinct sense of maturity now, one that belies her young years, Eilish has always had an uncanny enthusiasm for making music. It can be heard in her covers and her music now, but most prominently witnessed in the clip provided by Who is there?.
The footage shows the young Eilish growing up with a guitar by her side and a microphone in her hand. The film starts at the very beginning of her love affair with music as a teeny Billie strums away at her guitar for the audience behind the camera lens and even goes as far as to cheer her own performance once she’s done. As the footage rolls on, so does time, and we are given the first glimpse of Eilish’s raw talent, most notably her vocal prowess, as she performs for what appears to be a church crowd.
The next clip is one we’ve likely all seen before. It sees Eilish sitting at her piano and belting out Alicia Keys’ classic ‘Fallin” with an alarming skill for a twelve-year-old. The clip was originally shown as Keys hosted Eilish as part of her stint on the Late Late Show. Naturally, Keys has heard covers of this song more times than most, but even she is surprised by the talent at hand.
The following clips see Eilish maturing and finding not only her signature vocal sound (breathy but powerful) but also her humour. But perhaps the finest example of the talent Eilish would become is seen in the video, which captures Eilish and her brother Finneas at the piano performing Frank Ocean’s classic ‘Chanel’. It’s a delicately poised showing that would provide a blueprint for Eilish’s impressive success.
So, if you ever find yourself doubting the talent of Billie Eilish or, indeed, in the middle of an argument with an aforementioned “purist” who sees no value in pop music, then point them towards this stunning clip of a pre-fame Billie Eilish proving why she was always destined for greatness.