With legions of loyal followers hanging on her every eye roll, the singer Billie Eilish is the Snapchat-filtered, Bart Simpson–esque pop messiah that this world deserves.
The 16-year-old star, who has been making music for three years now, just got her learner’s permit, is about to embark on her second world tour, and is currently in Los Angeles finishing her debut album. Over the phone from Atlanta, fellow wunderkind Lil Yachty tells Eilish that she’s well on her way to becoming her generation’s Britney Spears—head-shaving meltdown and all.
LIL YACHTY: I ain’t no interviewer, you know?
BILLIE EILISH: I know.
YACHTY: So, what’s good? [Laughs]
EILISH: I’m okay, bro. I don’t know. They were like, “You wanna do an interview with another artist?” And I was like, “No, but sure.” And then they were like, “Cool.” And, I was like, “Yachty’s fire, so fuck it.”
YACHTY: How long does it take you to make a song? Longer than a day?
EILISH: Way longer than a day! Especially if it’s a song I want to be good. It can take many days.
YACHTY: I make several songs in one night.
YACHTY: Yeah, I have hundreds of songs. It’s crazy, though, the idea of making music for people you’ve never met. It must be wild doing this shit at 16. I remember I was on the way at 18, but at 16 I was still in high school.
EILISH: I mean, this started when I was 13, which was just—oh my god. It wasn’t at the point it is now, but it was weird. And now that it’s grown, it’s just crazy. I just got my permit and drove for the first time. Shit is so weird, dude. People hit me up to go to the studio, and I’m like, “I can’t, because I’m 5 years old, bro.”
YACHTY: You look more like a legend when you accomplish a lot at a young age. I bet you’ll be a legend by the time you’re 19. They’ll be like, “She did this already? She did that? What the fuck?”
EILISH: I feel you.
YACHTY: I enjoyed being a teenager. I hate being 21! This shit is weird as fuck. I can buy alcohol now? I can go to the club? I miss when I was 18. I had a bachelor pad—a penthouse on, like, the 36th floor. I had a G-Wagen. I had my homies living with me. I still live with 11 people. It’s a frat house.
EILISH: I’ve never really been around people my age. I also never went to school.
EILISH: Fuck school.
YACHTY: I’m half-and-half on school. I had fun in grade school, but when I went to college it was the worst place I’ve ever been in my entire life.
EILISH: You went to college?
YACHTY: I went to Alabama State for a month. It was in the middle of nowhere.
EILISH: Did you have your red hair back then?
YACHTY: Yeah, and that was before people were doing color—it was foreign for men to have red hair plus braids plus beads.
EILISH: That’s your signature.
YACHTY: So you stay touring, huh? You already toured this year and you’re about to do it again.
EILISH: Three months, dude.
YACHTY: Do you get homesick?
EILISH: This last one was a lot better than I expected it to be. My first tour last October sucked. It was a cool experience, but it was really overwhelming. I was expecting the one this year to suck balls, too, but then it kind of didn’t.
YACHTY: My world tour was the worst shit of my life. I wanted to cry. I missed home. I was all the way across the world, and I couldn’t eat nothing. My mom had to ship me a big-ass box of American food. Cereal. Girl Scout cookies. Chocolate chip Famous Amos. I was starving to death!
EILISH: Having your people around you makes everything so much better. I don’t have that yet. I’m just really with my mom and family. I love my family to death, but going on a trip with them all the time is like—I can’t fucking leave! Whatever, it’s cool. I’m grateful.
YACHTY: It’ll get better. Just don’t go all Britney Spears when you’re older.
“People hit me up to go to the studio, and I’m like, ‘I can’t, because I’m 5 years old, bro.’” —BILLIE EILISH
YACHTY: Cut all your hair off. You might look fine, but gosh.
EILISH: I had the urge to shave my head the other day, and then I was like, “What the fuck is going on?” I had to go somewhere and just, like, take a bath. I had to get out of that state of mind.
YACHTY: Do you watch sports?
EILISH: No one in my family ever watched sports, so I didn’t realize it was a thing until recently, to be honest. We mostly just listened to music.
YACHTY: My mom and dad got divorced when I was, like, 8, and when I went to my dad’s house on the weekend he’d play a lot of music: Miles Davis, Radiohead, Thom Yorke, Elton John. Coldplay is my favorite band—“Yellow,” “The Scientist,” all that shit. People are scared of rock, but they need to give it a chance.
EILISH: I hate when people say, “I only listen to this, I don’t listen to that.” It closes so many doors. I also grew up on a ton of different music: The Beatles, Green Day, Avril Lavigne, Coldplay, Lana Del Rey.
YACHTY: I love Lana Del Rey! I met her at [A$AP] Rocky’s house last year and we became friends. I love her so much.
EILISH: She’s a star.
YACHTY: She’s on my top five in terms of white girls.
EILISH: Who else is on there?
YACHTY: I don’t know, like, who is that girl—not Iggy Azalea, but put her on there. What’s this other girl’s name, though—I think she makes music?
EILISH: Bro, you could be talking about anybody right now.
YACHTY: Let me Google it.
EILISH: Have you hollered at Bella Hadid?
YACHTY: Yo, I tried. I went to the Met Gala, and that’s when I first met Bella Hadid. I had never heard of her before, and she was probably the most beautiful girl I met in my life.
EILISH: But who is the other girl you’re thinking about?
YACHTY: Niykee Heaton!
EILISH: Of course you would say that.
YACHTY: You know what I typed in to search for her? “Ne-Yo Song White Girl.” I DM’d her once and she didn’t respond. I’m not pressed about it, though.
EILISH: Okay, so that’s Iggy Azalea, Lana Del Rey, Niykee Heaton, Bella Hadid—who’s the fifth one?
YACHTY: Jennifer Lawson.
YACHTY: Jennifer Lawson. From The Hunger Games.
EILISH: She is beautiful.
YACHTY: I wonder if any of them are looking for a mixed baby—
PUBLICIST: Billie’s publicist here. Sorry to chime in. Billie, you’ve got to go shortly.
EILISH: Dude, I’m hungry as hell.
YACHTY: Go get your dollars, bro! And get some food so you can grow. You don’t want to be little forever.