During a too-brief appearance in the Grammy Awards press room, Billie Eilish stood onstage in sparking green beside her brother and producer, Finneas O’Connell. In her hands was just one of the five Grammy statues she’d won, including the night’s four most prestigious awards: album, record of the year, and song of the year and best new artist.
“I don’t know what’s next. I’m going to do whatever I feel,” said Eilish, who just turned 18, grinning serenely behind the microphone.
In one of her earlier acceptance speeches, Eilish made a point of thanking the fans who supported each of the night’s nominated artists. Backstage, O’Connell — who earlier in the the evening had won additional Grammys for non-classical producer of the year and non-classical engineered album — noted how deeply songs can connect with young fans.
“The music that I listened to when I was growing up was the most important to me forever,” O’Connell said. “Anytime a person that age comes up to either one of us and says we’re their favorite anything, I know what that means to them.”
“We made this album in a bedroom, in the house we grew up in,” Eilish added, while her brother noted the surreal experience of ending up with a stack of awards at Staples Center.
The creative process is “insular,” he explained, “and you just take apart your own music the whole time you’re making it, and then when it comes out and you listen to it, you think you could have done it better.”
He said he finally realized they were onto something when he saw late-night host James Corden “running around singing ‘Bad Guy.’”
“It’s crazy. I was sort of surprised.”