NME.COM: Billie Eilish’s debut is NME’s Album Of The Year 2019. Duh. The LA teenager started the year as a cult hero and finished it as the most-talked about musician in recent times, brandishing a brand-new sound and all the makings of a true once-in-a-generation star. Thomas Smith speaks to the 17-year-old about her triumphant year, coping with fame and how she’s going to follow this one up.
Two years ago this month, NME met Billie Eilish for the first time, backstage at Brooklyn’s 280-capacity venue Baby’s All Right. Calm, collected and staggeringly cool, the then-15 year-old put the heebie-jeebies into us – barely a teenager, she already had wisdom beyond her age, and it felt abundantly clear we were meeting with a future superstar. As her ‘Don’t Smile At Me’ EP was gaining steam, we asked if she was ready for the fame coming her way. “The attention doesn’t scare me,” she said. “Nothing really scares me, to be honest.”
If her 2019 is anything to go by, every other artist should have the fear running through them. She’s entering the next decade comfortably perched on pop music’s highest throne, just like she promised on ‘You Should See Me In A Crown’. Good luck wrestling it from her.