Billie Eilish wears sweatpants, sneakers and oversized t-shirts a lot. There is a cool contrast between Eilish and her typically “sexy” female teen pop star counterparts on a visual level. But when 16-year-old Eilish gets on stage and the most haunting voice escapes, audiences across the globe are captivated. With her viral hit “Ocean Eyes,” “Lovely” featuring Khalid and her newest banger, “You Should See Me in a Crown,” Eilish is a powerhouse vocalist who refuses to cater to any commercial expectations as a female artist, especially during her live set.
“Every time I see the crowd jumping around in a mosh pit or going crazy, my smile gets so big,” she says of her live shows. “Getting a crowd to do that as a female singer is really rare to me. Just being able to get anybody jumping in a crowd, and being a female, feels like I’ve accomplished something huge. It makes me really proud of myself.”
Eilish has brought her high-energy stage presence to music festivals across the country including Governors Ball, Lollapalooza and most recently, has earned her first major headlining slot at All Things Go Fall Classic on October 6. When I remind Eilish that the first day’s lineup is all female or non-binary artists, the festival darling spews several elated expletives.
Eilish celebrates female empowerment by recognizing she doesn’t have to be “pretty” to be successful. “It feels like girls can’t be ugly, physically or mentally. But I want to be ugly,” she says. “I feel like there are so few girls who feel okay with being something more than ‘pretty’ and it breaks my heart because I know how badass girls are, and I know what girls are capable of.” As a music lover, Eilish knows there are few things greater than seeing an artist on stage willing to be ugly and lose all inhibitions for a moment. “I want to see you be yourself and jump around and move,” Eilish adds.
As one of the newest female voices in the music festival circuit, Eilish offers a breath of fresh air to the stage, dressed in a baggy t-shirt.