• UO Giving Guide: Billie Eilish

    The best gift is giving back. We're highlighting 8 inspiring young creatives and joining them in supporting 8 deserving charities this holiday season. See what they're wishing for this year, and learn more about how you can give back too.

    This holiday season, musician Billie Eilish tells us why giving back is so important. We worked with her to support Red Bucket Equine Rescue by donating $5k on her behalf. Follow @redbucketrescue to learn more and donate!
    Photos by Anna Ottum

    Name: Billie Eilish
    Occupation: Musician
    Charity: Red Bucket Equine Rescue

    Hi Billie! Can you tell us about your charity? What makes it so important to you?
    It's basically an organization that rescues and rehabilitates neglected horses. When I was younger, I was really interested in horses but my family was not rich so I couldn't afford [lessons]. But I needed to be around them so I worked at the barn and the stables and taught myself everything about horses. I was a horse camp counselor for like, two years. I worked in the barns most days so I could afford riding lessons.

    This organization is so important to me because horses are such a magnificent species and I want people to know that and get the chance to experience them.

    What's the best gift you've ever gotten from somebody? 
    It's weird, but I played a show the other day and someone brought me a can of beans and I love beans. They brought me the exact kind that I like, and they brought me a little note on top, because these are all my favorite food. It's only certain ones. The Refried Rosarita Vegetarian Beans, they're so good. You bring me beans, I will love you forever. 

    Do people bring you a lot of gifts on tour?
    Yes, it's so cool. It's kind of a mix of everything, it's a lot of artwork. One fan... I'm going to just zone in on this because this person deserves the world. They brought me this notebook, this pretty big notebook, and she was like, "I got basically all of your fans to write you notes, and they're all in this book." If you open it, it's screenshots of long paragraphs in DMs on Instagram, from each fan, and it's like a hundred pages of these huge notes, like "Dear Billie." I haven't read it yet because I'm waiting to get home, so I can read it all and cry. It's incredible.

    What's on your wishlist this year?
    A Rolex! Nobody is going to buy me a Rolex but I'd like one. I [also] want some free time, that's what I want. What's my dream relaxation day? Honestly, just like a huge field with horses, and it's cold, but not too cold; and then there's a bunch of beans on the table.

    Do you have a favorite holiday tradition?
    I love Christmas. I love Halloween too, actually. Like all of November and December, it's just the greatest, but that's because it makes me feel really happy. I think Halloween is probably my favorite holiday, and favorite season just because I love dark stuff, and I love scaring people. But on Christmas Eve, one of my best friends who I really don't think of as a friend because she's more like a part of my family, her and her family always come over on Christmas Eve and we all have dinner. It's really fun.

    What's your proudest moment from this year?
    I'd probably say my first headlining show, which was in London, which sold out. It was the most incredible experience because it was the first of everything, and I'd never experienced playing for that many people that actually wanted to see you, and were there for you, and all sang along louder than I was singing. That happens at pretty much every show now, which is weird that I don't really think about it that much because it's always happening, but the first time it's just such an insane experience because it's like, "This is the song that I wrote with my brother in this little tiny room in our house in LA, that is in this little town that nobody knows of." 

    It's just insane that people can love the art that you make because you love it, as much as you love it. It was just me and my brother on stage with a bunch of songs that weren't out yet because the EP wasn't out. Even the fans sang every single word that was on set or out, which is crazy because there were little videos, little snippets on the screens. Just wild.

    What are your hopes and dreams for 2018?
    I really just want to get out there. Not that I want to become more famous... What I'm saying is I want to become more known so that people who are feeling what I'm feeling can feel it with me, because I have a lot of problems and issues and I write about them, and I can write about them. There's a lot of people that can't, and they have those issues, and it's hard to not have a way of getting [the feelings] all out. If somebody hears a song of mine, it's like, "Wow, that's exactly how I'm feeling. That's my situation." I don't want them to think that it can't be [their song], because if it's yours it's yours. If you hear a song and it's like, "Oh, that's my song." It's okay, yes, it is. I really want to just be out there in the world, and I really want to direct videos, and have a fashion line. It's all coming.

    Read more about Billie's charity, Red Bucket Rescue, here