Billie Eilish Talks ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft,’ Prioritizing Mental Health, Fame

BILLIE EILISH IS AT THE bottom of a swimming pool, held up by a large black weight strapped to her shoulders. She’s not having fun, to say the least. “I basically waterboarded myself for six hours straight,” the 22-year-old superstar told me later. “If I’m not suffering in some way, I don’t feel good about what I’m doing.”

Eilish wears loose black pants under shorts, a button-down shirt over a thermal long sleeve, a striped tie, cuffs, a variety of silver rings and a gothic studded bracelet, as well as an anchor on her shoulders. . She submerges again and again for two minutes at a time, holding her breath the entire time, while photographer William Drumm photographs her sinking beneath a white wooden door. His eyes are completely open for those 120 seconds, with no glasses or nose plugs to help him.

We’re on a soundstage in Santa Clarita, California, on a cold, rainy February afternoon. Eilish is surrounded by a team of nearly 40 people. There’s a stylist, her management and caterers standing next to a table filled with snacks and ginger shots. There are men helping her with an oxygen mask that she uses between dives, one of them shouting “Three breaths away!” » to count down until it sinks. Maggie Baird, Eilish’s mother, sits nervously poolside, watching as her daughter subjects her body to pain similar to what experienced divers would struggle with.

The purpose of all this suffering? Eilish shoots the cover of her third album, Hit me hard and soft (released May 17). “If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I’m going to go through hell and come back to try my luck,” she told me. “I have always been like that and I will continue to be like that. A lot of my work is physically painful in many ways, and I love it. Oh, my God, I live for this.

Less than 48 hours ago, Eilish won song of the year at the Grammys for “What Was I Made For?”, her delicate and devastating hit from the group. barbie soundtrack. After the Grammys, she stayed up until 7:30 the next morning, went to bed until one, ate avocado toast, then dyed her hair completely black, saying goodbye to her roots red, in preparation for today’s shoot.

It’s been a strange time for Eilish. “What was I made for?” was much bigger than expected; the last few months have been a succession of award shows, and she’s ready to disappear for a few months, at least until the album comes out. “Brother, no one can get enough of me,” she told me. “Every second of every day is Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, which is great, but as soon as the Oscars are over and I lose, I’m gone. I literally left.

But she didn’t lose: On March 10, she found herself on stage at the Dolby Theater, accepting the award for best original song — the same award she won in 2022 for “No Time to Die,” from the latest film by James Bond – and becoming the youngest double Oscar winner in history. “I had a nightmare about this last night,” she told the crowd. “I just didn’t think it would happen. I did not expect that. I feel incredibly lucky and honored.

Incredibly surreal moments like this have been happening to Eilish for a while now. At 17, she became a global sensation with When we all fall asleep, where do we go? the now classic start to 2019 that exposed his fragile psyche and rawest feelings of insecurity. Eilish drew us into her dark world, a realm where her bright blue eyes sobbed black ink, spiders came out of her mouth, and she grew huge feathery wings so she could fall from the sky.

Hit me hard and soft plunges us headfirst into this universe, from the deepest depressions to the exhaustion that accompanies the world speculating on its every move. There are no arachnids where they shouldn’t be, but by getting in touch with her darker side, Eilish finally feels like herself again. “I feel like this album is me,” she says. “He’s not a character. We have the impression that When we all fall asleep, where do we go? version of me. It sounds like my youth and who I was as a child.

Even though 2019 seemed like a whirlwind of madness at one point, she found herself lacking. “It was the best time of my life,” she says. “This whole process made me feel like I was getting back to the girl I was. I upset her. I’ve looked everywhere for her, and it’s almost like she’s drowned in the world and the media. I don’t remember when she left.

It was most likely in 2020, at the dawn of Covid. “I was so with myself that I could no longer see myself objectively,” she says. “And then I dyed my hair blonde and immediately was like, ‘Oh, I have no idea who I am.'” She recorded her second album, Happier than ever, in these confusing months of confinement. Her introspective, jazz-leaning songs have received rave reviews, as have her glamorous dresses and new hairstyle. But it lacked the incandescent glow of When we all fall asleep, and Finneas, his brother and closest collaborator, remembers those times as difficult and confusing. “Weirdly, it was a bit like being in a tornado cave, reading a lovely little story,” he says. “It was a coping mechanism of an album.”

Eilish does not regret this era; she knows she had to try something outside of her comfort zone to get back to her youth. “In a way, growing up on (Hit me hard and soft) involved revisiting a lot of things,” says Finneas. “I feel like this album has some real ghosts in it, and I say that with love. There are ideas on this album that are five years old, and there’s a past that I really like. When Billie talks about the days of When we all fall asleep, it was this theatricality and darkness. What’s the one thing that no one is as good at as Billie? This album was an exploration of what we do best.

Diving back into that darkness, combined with experimenting with new sounds – from string quartet to shimmering trance on the dance floor – makes Hit me hard and soft Eilish’s best album to date. She tried to play on the title song for Happier than ever, but she puts it on full throttle here on several songs, finally putting an end to all those lame critiques of “She Just Whispers.”

“She understands storytelling at such a young age,” says Donald Glover, who cast Eilish in his unsettling series. Swarm, marking the musician’s acting debut. “And she is authentic in her experience. I feel like she lives her life for herself.

And there you have it, after six hours in the water, the album has a cover. Once filming was over, Eilish spent 20 straight minutes blowing her nose in her trailer. “It was just white snot coming out, like my insides were made of white goo,” she told me later. She walks over to her parents’ house and lies down on their couch, realizing she can barely walk. The weight left bruises; her throat hurts ; she has difficulty speaking. She tries to relieve her sinus pain with a nasal rinse. She washes her hair twice. She wears a face mask and washes her ears in three cycles: first with hydrogen peroxide, then alcohol, then lukewarm water. Then she eats spicy food.

Vintage shirt The Jesus and Mary Chain. Shoes: custom made by Osiris

Glasses by Chrome Hearts. Jacket and shirt by Olly Shinder. Shorts by Pro Club. Shoes – Custom made by Osiris

“Everyone was like, ‘You should go home and take a nice bath,'” Eilish recalled. “I was like, ‘I’ve been in the water for six fucking hours!’ » » She takes one anyway, but not before noticing something strange in her parents’ garden. “I saw these string lights, and each light had a circular orb around each light, a full aura. I felt like I was high and drunk, and I hadn’t slept in days. I said to myself, “Mom, what does this look like for you? Do you see that? She said to me: “What are you talking about?” »

She goes to bed and passes out for nine hours – so unusually long for her that Maggie almost comes into her room to make sure she’s okay. “I’ve never been in so much pain after filming,” Eilish recalls. “I have never been in so much pain in my life. All that for once. That’s what they say about childbirth. It was like 12 hours of horrible, excruciating pain for a lifetime of great album art. Do you know what I’m saying?”

AS A CHILD, Eilish’s biggest fear was water. She has traumatic memories – of the swimming instructor whose method was to submit her and wait for her to “get it”, or of the time she was sucked into the ocean waves and a lifeguard had to save. She always found the courage to dive, but for years the mere thought of swimming made her heart beat faster. And don’t even get it started on the whales.

“Oh, my God,” she said. “How can we accept that a whale exists, y’all? These things are huge. The noises they make. This shit terrifies me. Uh! Creepy.

Two days into the album cover shoot, and the rain has barely stopped in Los Angeles. Eilish and I are at Finneas’ home studio in Los Feliz, sitting on peach desk chairs in front of a console lit crystal blue. She grabs the keyboard from her brother’s office. “I never learned to write because I wasn’t of that generation, and now I regret it,” she says. “To be honest, my parents never taught me.” In an effort to show me videos of the animals that influenced the album, she opens YouTube. “Wow!” She…

Gn entert
News Source : www.rollingstone.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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