Billie Eilish – the singer who has been breaking records and achieving unbelievable success since the age of 15 is back to talk to Vanity Fair for the sixth year running, and this is the most introspective interview of hers to date.
Just in 2022 alone, she has managed to complete a world tour, headline both Coachella and Glastonbury – where she was the youngest ever headline act – and she received an Oscar for Best Original Song for her Bond theme tune, No Time To Die. And this is all before she turns 21 on the 18th December. She has also just been announced as a headline act at 2023s Reading and Leeds festival, too. What a year.
With everything going on, she has still managed to complete her annual interview with Vanity Fair where she looked back on her year and her previous answers since 2017, opening up about herself both now and over the years.
Eilish has been taking part in this Vanity Fair interview yearly on 18th October, answering the same questions each time and it has created almost a time capsule of her teenage self, showing how she has changed and grown across this thrilling time of life and career. In this interview they ask her questions such as what her most successful moment in the year was, how she is at the time, how she’d describe her style, what her biggest non-music goal is for the next year, and many others.
Over the years, her answers to these questions often change a lot and this year, aged 20, you can see how hearing the answers from her younger years leaves her feeling reflective on her past attitudes and mental states. This was the first year she seemed genuinely content in herself and in her life, saying that: “I’ve had a very big transformation this year with my fitness, lifestyle, and it’s been a really insane process and I feel better about myself than I ever have”. You can see this happiness, too.
With these interviews come the people who watch religiously every year and a lot of these are not always super fans but just those who come back to see how she has grown and how well she has done. For those who have been following her from the beginning, it’s as though they have been able to grow up alongside her. Chloe Graham, a 19-year-old fan who has been following Eilish since the release of Ocean Eyes in 2016, speaks about how the Vanity Fair interviews are not just to follow and look back with pride on her favourite artist, but also on herself.
“Every time a new album or song has come out I’ve been in a different state of mind and place in my life”, and Graham says that every year when she watches the interviews, “it makes me reminisce about that point in my life, where I was then and how much I’ve changed”. Eilish’s music has changed from her first single to her most recent album, Happier Than Ever, and so have her listeners.
One fan, Darcie Harris, 20, who has been following Eilish from the beginning says the Vanity Fair interview is something she looks forward to each year because it reminds just how real she is. “These interviews confirm her authenticity. Some people live to identify every negative thing about people in the spotlight – especially young women like Billie – and seeing her grow and change in these interviews might have these people branding her as ‘fake’. But I think her being this candid as she grows – both in mindset and appearance – makes her more authentic”.
Harris feels that these interviews create a connection between herself and Eilish, watching her achieve everything she has is like being proud of a close friend, saying “there are a lot of similarities and parallels between the two of us so it’s very easy to compare yourself to her”. Being almost the same age as the singer she says, “it’s sometimes the casual thought of ‘oh wow, look at what she’s doing at my age, what am I doing?’, but that’s not in a bad way, it feels more like a proud moment”.
This style of interviewing is not only enjoyed by her audience but by Eilish herself. This year she asked her Instagram followers to send in questions and one asked her favourite thing about these interviews, and she said: “It makes me feel connected to myself, I have, what, 5 versions of myself to interact with – that’s so insane”. This iconic interview has allowed Eilish to document her life and career and with everything she has lined up, I’m sure she is already looking forward to sharing it all again next year.
Writing: Summer Rogers | Subbing: Zofia Sookyova