put her in a box — singles like “bad guy” and her unique style have turned her into a gender-fluid force of innovation. She appeals to people from all backgrounds, and it’s made her one of the best-selling artists of our decade.
Part of the reason for her one-of-a-kind sound and vibe is the music from which she takes inspiration from. She and her brother Finneas are fantastic at being able to decipher what makes a song timeless. Many songs are fads, and fade in our minds just months after they’ve been released. But Eilish knows how to make a time capsule out of sound, and that’s all thanks to these diverse influences.
1. Frank Sinatra
This classic “New York, New York” singer is an OG — no, seriously! He had ties to the mob that made him the true original gangster of pop. Many of Frank’s songs have a melancholy tinge, which is one of the only connections we can find between her and this 1950s crooner.
2. The Beatles
Decades after their most popular hits, young people still know The Beatles and their legacy. Even though their songs are a lot less experimental than Eilish’s, she dares listeners to listen to her and Finneas’ music, which she says is inspired by lots of Beatles tracks, which “feel good” to hear.
3. Earl Sweatshirt
We Stan a queen that loves all genres equally. This is a surprising inspo for Billie, but if you take into account some of her beats, her delivery, and even her style. She’s a big fan of Odd Future, and Earl especially for his use of jazz in tracks. However, that’s not the only Odd Future member that Billie has a musical thing for.
4. Tyler the Creator
This guy has been in the media frequently for saying and doing some pretty outlandish things, and his music is also the opposite of conservative. She hasn’t pinned exactly what she adores Tyler, but acknowledges that he inspired “every part of everything about me.” We can see this in her unusual, offbeat samples and avoidance of cliche traps. They’re both super quirky, so we understand the kindred spirits connection.
5. Lana Del Rey
While Billie Eilish represents the future, Lana Del Rey is also a contemporary artist but feels like a blast from the past with her vintage Hollywood look and sound. The theme of existentialism is present in both Del Rey and Eilish’s work, and helped develop her creative persona. She always talks about Lana when it comes to developing both songwriting and singing skills.
6. Nicki Minaj
The queen of rap is apparently a huge influence on the queen of pop. Apart for the empowering efforts to connect women in a cutthroat industry, Eilish learned some other things from Minaj as well — incorporating different characters in her songwriting. She loved how Nicki slayed different voices, and developed this with a technique of her own.
7. Marina and the Diamonds
We’re also major fans of this artist, who definitely falls on the “less weird” part of the Billie Eilish inspiration spectrum. It’s a mix of pop, dance, and rock that just makes you want to get up and dance. Eilish discovered the band’s song “Primadonna” online after searching for a Halloween makeup tutorial, and admired the lead singer’s voice.
Not everyone knows about this Norwegian singer, but after Eilish saw one of her music videos on TV titled “Runaway”, she knew music was what she seriously wanted to do with her life. She watched the video at just 12, and we’re glad that she stuck through with the ambitious goal. Her breakout hit “Ocean Eyes” actually sounds quite similar to the Aurora song she was initially inspired by.
9. Amy Winehouse
RIP to this British beauty with the voice of the century. Winehouse is a big inspiration for many musicians, and her love for the late artist can be attributed to the more somber, bluesy songs that Eilish has put out. It makes sense, given the tragic circumstances of the artist’s death, and the darkness that was present in her songs when she was alive.
10. Bon Iver
We wouldn’t’ describe Billie’s music as folk-centric, but the echoey, complex acoustics that Bon Iver uses is something that the female singer enjoys and actively incorporates in her own music. Iver is a shining example of minimalism rather than the over-layering of sounds, a common pitfall for many performers. The beauty is in the space and quiet sometimes.