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Billie Eilish in swarm
Billie Eilish in swarm
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Culture > Entertainment

Billie Eilish’s songs and her bittersweet sexual discovery

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Billie Eilish began her career at a very young age, while the stage was more like her bedroom – always with her brother, producer, and composer, Finneas O’Connell. During the singer’s adolescence, the two could work on songs that tormented her dreams, thoughts, and experiences, exploring common insecurities to Gen Z. 

At just 14, Billie had already recorded the single that, in 2017, would be responsible for her international fame. With melancholy lyrics and beat, “ocean eyes” triggered the recognition of the North American talent – ​​two years later, it reached position 84 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was realized with her first studio work, the EP Don’t Smile at Me, which also has other hits, such as “idontwannabeyouanymore” and “my boy”.

In this first moment, Eilish took the opportunity to demonstrate all the lyrical and sound density that the public could expect from her future productions. Furthermore, she sought to break down barriers and stereotypes of what was expected from a pop diva, wearing loose-fitting and sporty clothes. She exploited his features – her white skin and light eyes – to differentiate herself through aesthetics, using practically radioactive colors in her bleached hair. 

Her debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? , released in 2019, was acclaimed by critics and the public. By continuing to amplify the generation’s ills, the album became a portrait of those who identify with the artist – like the author who writes to you – and who are, in some way, always lost. Together with Finneas, Billie became the driving force behind the delicious mix of “difficult” feelings and moving beats – at the age of 18 she won the main Grammy categories.

The second major production, “Happier Than Ever”, came two years later, during the Covid-19 pandemic. With a mature and fluid Billie, the brothers explored more powerful lyrics, where the singer takes the opportunity to address the “damage” of fame in her life, relationships that didn’t work out, and how she believes she is seen in the spotlight. “Getting Older”, “NDA”, and the song that bears the title of the album are beautiful examples of how Billie was already immersed in this catastrophic musical universe.

Between albums, the duo worked on isolated singles and major partnerships. The feat with Khalid, “Lovely”, reached more than two billion views on YouTube, while her original songs for film productions earned her two Oscars – in 2020, with “No Time To Die”, for one of the 007 sequels, and in 2024, with “What Was I Made For?”, for Barbie. They also worked on another powerful EP, Guitar Songs, through acoustic and yet extremely sincere songs. “I remember you said you were scared, and so was I”, says Billie in ‘The 30th’.

At 22, Billie released her third album. HIT ME HARD AND SOFT is a mix of all her works, showing her musical authenticity through reports on feelings about her own body, relationships, and the industry again. With totally different sounds, the songs complement each other in some way, whether due to their high tone of voice and full of melancholy, or the lyrics that translate the most diverse feelings.

What about Billie’s sexuality?

Like any good pop diva – especially those from Gen Z –, since a teenager, Billie has been constantly bombarded by questions about her body, sexuality, desires, and particularities. 

“It’s so strange growing up and changing in front of the world. The craziest part is discovering things about myself and suddenly everyone knows, and I don’t even have a second to think about how that makes me feel” the artist reported during an interview for Interview magazine, with Lana Del Rey.

Not long ago, Billie told the public that she was attracted to both men and women. During an interview with Rolling Stone, however, she commented that it took her years to understand herself sexually. “I’ve been in love with girls my whole life, but I just didn’t understand. […] I love women so much. I love them as people. I’m attracted to them as people. I’m attracted to them”, she confessed.  

In her first productions, as a girl in showbiz, it is to be expected that the singer would not be able to find gaps to express herself in this way. Or even, while she was able to, she came up against many heteronormative expectations.

However, when releasing the video for “Lost Cause” – a song from her second album, Happier Than Ever – Billie was accused by her fans of queer baiting. With lyrics that refer to a relationship with someone who is a “lost cause”, the artist was surrounded by several women in the project’s scenes, often on the bed with them all or dancing. As at the time she had not yet spoken openly about her orientation – and wrote in an Instagram caption that she “loved women” – part of the public understood that it would be a strategy to attract the LGBTQIA+ community to her new music. Were they right or was it Billie’s first way out of having to talk directly about her sexuality?

Last year, in an interview with Variety, Eilish said that she never felt very feminine – given social parameters – and that, for a long time, she only had noisy relationships with other women. Today she said she feels like she’s becoming someone she loves by doing what she’s truly proud of. “In a lot of ways, I feel like I’m finally waking up to everything”, added.

Before releasing her latest album, Billie gave another interview that caught the attention of the public and the media. This time, for Rolling Stone, the singer spoke openly about her sexuality, sex, desires, and ways of giving her pleasure. Finding ways to have fun alone is what helped her foster a “raw and deep connection” with herself, generating “a love for my body that I never really had”. 

In May, after creating more comfortable territory, Eilish released the single “LUNCH” from her album. The song, which soon came to be considered an LGBTQIA+ anthem, has lyrics that finally literally expose her interest in the female sex, as she says “could eat that girl for lunch”. Shortly after, she gave us a clip of the production, which focuses on the aesthetics of the 2000s, with Billie returning to layering and baggy clothes.

Still in HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, the artist continues working with other romantic relationships. “WILDFLOWER”, for example, would be a statement for Jesse Rutherford – singer and her ex-boyfriend –, due to his long relationship with Devon Lee Carlson and its influences on Billie. Furthermore, “CHIHIRO” – that became more famous in Brazil due to a remix in the MTG funk style, made by DJ Mulú – shows another troubled relationship, filled with uncertainty and other people’s opinions, “they told me they were only curious / now it’s serious”.


The article above was edited by Beatriz Gatz.

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Fernanda Alves

Casper Libero '25

Future journalist, writer in training and lover of culture.