Billie Eilish Refuses to be "Used"

Billie Eilish Refuses to be "Used"

In a recent conversation with Pharrell, teen star Billie Eilish opened up about how she holds her own in an industry known for exploitation.

In a recent conversation with Pharrell, teen star Billie Eilish opened up about how she holds her own in an industry known for exploitation.

Photography: Inez & Vinoodh

Styling: Alex White

Text: Brooke Kushwaha

In a recent conversation with Pharrell, teen superstar Billie Eilish revealed that her first meeting with record executives—at just 13 years old—was fraught with warnings that she would inevitably be exploited by the industry. Rather than give up, Eilish chose not to believe them, and assembled her own team. The artist has never been afraid to forge her own path, and chose to work with those that would take her seriously from the beginning.

"I don’t know. There has been a whole world of young, especially female artists, and every artist (not just young) being used and manipulated by the stereotypical label or industry," Eilish told Pharrell. "There’s kind of this weird name on everything now where it’s like, people expect that. I remember the first time I had any sort of meeting with a label or management, I was 13. I think the only people that didn’t look at me like I was going to have a horrible career were the people that I ended up working with. Everyone was just like, “Oh, you’re 13, yikes, you’re going to be used,” and this and that. And I am like, “Yo, y’all are the people that would use me in the situation you are talking about.” So, I don’t know what that is supposed to mean. The only people who didn’t say that shit were the people that I felt an energy and connection with."

As Eilish pointed out, artists of all backgrounds and ages must be careful to hold their own and not bow to label pressures. Although she has opened up about the stresses of fame and touring before, she is happy to report that she trusts the adults in her corner and always has the final say on where she's going.

"I am really, really lucky and grateful that I have had the experience that I had with my label and with my team and everyone, because I never had any issues with people trying to pull me in a different direction, one in which I would not want to be headed," Eilish continued. "I think that might just be because I have always been the kind of person that knows what the fuck I want, and if it’s not what I want, then I am not going to do it."

Eilish credits her professional freedom to her stubborn personality.

"I think it’s my best quality and my worst quality, how strong-willed I am, because it has brought me here," she said. "It literally has created who I am."

Read more about this month's cover star in her full interview with Pharrell here

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