Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
Last week I started drafting my Stars of 2018 list, mainly so I could note down Billie Eilish, who I think will be all over the ‘ones to watch’ features next year. She’d just turned 14 when she popped onto my radar with Ocean Eyes in early 2016, and now at the grand old age of 15 she’s in the midst of her major label launch. Billie is a typical LA teenager, equal parts cool and precocious. Her middle name is Pirate. She’s from a family of actors and musicians, and her brother Finneas O’Connell, who appeared in the last series of Glee, is her main co-writer. The song that got her signed was the sweet, introspective Ocean Eyes, which she recently performed on The Late, Late Show With James Corden as part of the Apple Music Up Next series. I prefer the poppier follow-up Bellyache, which has a fun video that sets out her distinctive style and personality. Billie is also known for the piano ballad Bored, which was on the 13 Reasons Why soundtrack. She has a thing for oversized outfits, which look a bit silly, but as she wears them in every promo appearance it makes her stand out more than her music would on its own. I find it hard to imagine there’s a big market for her, but so far signs are actually good – she has the unusual combo of industry buzz and real fans. Her upcoming London gig sold out in 20 minutes, and she already has fan videos with large view counts on YouTube.