Billie Eilish wrote a song about suicide when she was 11 years old.
The 18-year-old singer decided to experiment with songwriting at a young age, and though she claims she never felt like taking her own life at the time, she took the opportunity to write a song called ‘Why Not’ about suicide.
In an interview with the new issue of Vogue magazine – of which she is the cover star – Billie shared: “That was the song, at 11. And I was totally happy. I had never felt suicidal, and I didn’t want to feel that way, but I liked the idea of writing a song about something I didn’t know about.”
In fact, Billie and her brother Finneas O’Connell spent their childhood writing lyrics from the viewpoint of characters they created to give themselves an array of different perspectives.
“Just because the story isn’t real doesn’t mean it can’t be important.”— Billie Eilish
Together, they wrote ‘Bellyache’ about a girl who had killed her friends and is dealing with grief over her actions, as well as ‘Bury Friend’ which told the story of a monster hiding under the bed.
Billie – real name Billie O’Connell – insists there is nothing unusual about this as all of her music idols all use this technique when creating their music.
She said: “Just because the story isn’t real doesn’t mean it can’t be important.
“There’s a difference between lying in a song and writing a story. There are tons of songs where people are just lying. There’s a lot of that in rap right now, from people that I know who rap. It’s like, ‘I got my AK-47, and I’m f***in’… ‘ and I’m like, what? You don’t have a gun. ‘And all my bitches…’ I’m like, which bitches? That’s posturing, and that’s not what I’m doing.”
Meanwhile, Billie has offered her own advice to someone going through suicidal thoughts after she struggled with depression.
She added: “When people ask me what I’d say to somebody looking for advice on mental health, the only thing I can say is patience. I had patience with myself. I didn’t take that last step. I waited. Things fade.”