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Billie Eilish – spring/summer 2020
Billie wears striped shirt and shorts with piping, socks and shoes GucciPhotography Harmony Korine, Styling Emma Wyman

Hear Billie Eilish and Finneas explain how they made ‘everything i wanted’

The musical siblings dissect the track for the latest edition of the Song Exploder podcast

Billie Eilish and her brother/producer Finneas have explained how they made her 2019 single, “everything i wanted”, in the latest edition of the Song Exploder podcast.

The 2019 track marked the first new material since Eilish dropped her award-winning debut, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, a few months prior. Now, speaking a year on from its release, the musical siblings reveal the dream that inspired the song, and explain how it almost didn’t get finished.

“We were at the tail end of working on Billie’s debut album,” explains Finneas, “and we were having that sort of second-guessing moment where we thought, ‘Do we have every song for this album? Should we try writing one or two more?’”

Eilish then reveals that she’d had a dream the previous night in which she’d jumped off a building and died. “The whole dream was me watching how everything went after I died,” she continues. “I was looking at my life through my non-existence.”

In the dream, newspaper headlines declared, ‘Problematic 16-year-old Billie Eilish has finally killed herself’, and Eilish’s best friend’s claimed they “never really liked her” and were “pretty glad that she died”.

“It was one of those dreams that was everything you’ve been thinking put into a horrible reality,” Eilish laughs. “I couldn’t think of anything else. It was the only thing that was on my mind. I was very caught up and distracted and distant the entire day, and I couldn’t stop feeling it and being scared.”

Eilish says she told Finneas about it and the pair “had to write about it”. As the podcast goes on, Finneas explains how he produced the instrumental to create something “a little atypical” and “unique”.

Opening up about her struggle with her mental health, which likely influenced the dream, Eilish says: “I was really depressed at the time and had been suicidal in the past, so it was weird telling Finneas about the dream I had because I was like, ‘I had this dream that I kind of got what I wanted, which is dying’. When I think about it now, it’s like, ‘Jesus Christ, that’s dark’, but to be honest with you, it was real.”

Finneas reveals that he found it “scary” to hear Eilish “articulate her depression in a way that was more obvious than I think she was making it on a day-to-day basis”. According to Eilish, it became a big family argument, in which her parents told her she shouldn’t be writing about the dream/her depression and suicidal thoughts.

“Because of that,” continues Eilish, “we didn’t write the rest of it for probably half a year.” 

You can listen to the full podcast above, and hear Eilish’s new track, “Therefore I Am”, here.