18-year-old Billie Eilish swept this year’s Grammys with wins in all of the “Big Four” categories, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. But even with all of those wins (and especially the one for Best New Artist), people can’t help but wonder who the next Billie Eilish will be. And in an interview with Hanuman Welch for Apple Music’s ALT CTRL podcast yesterday (April 28), her brother and producer Finneas offered an answer.
“Well, the only version of that question that I can get behind is who is the next person that will do exactly what they want and be deemed pop music?” Finneas said before explaining why the question is unfair. “To me, it does a disservice to two things. It does a huge disservice to Billie, in that you could be a next Billie. It also does a huge disservice to anyone they claim Billie is the next version, you know what I mean? It does a huge disservice to Lorde. It does a huge disservice to Lana [Del Rey].”
And he has a point. Just because Eilish experienced massive success over the last year doesn’t mean she took away from other artists’ success. “It’s not cyclical in that way,” Finneas explained, making it clear that musicians are not out to replace each other. “Billie was nominated for album of the year, the same year Lana was,” he said. “It’s not like you pass the torch and then you just retire.”
Still, he’s grateful for the positive response to their art, and he understands why some may wish to emulate their authenticity. “I think the whole response to our art being so positive is that it rings true and it feels like a unique thing,” he said. “And I feel that was the thing that we strived for in the beginning was to not conform to any preconceived notions of what we should be doing.”
Finneas is also not ignorant to the fact that Lorde and Lana used similar methods when creating their own music. “I think Lorde did the same thing. I think Lana has done the same thing,” he said. “They’ve both been influences of ours, for sure.” But that doesn’t mean Eilish was the next version of either of those two artists. “Imagine if somebody was like, ‘Who’s the next Timothée Chalamet?'” he said. “It’s like, he’s currently Timothée Chalamet.”
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