Billie Eilish’s Ukulele Journey Begins with The Beatles

by Madonna

Los Angeles, CA – Billie Eilish, renowned for her emotive and genre-defying music, has left an indelible mark on the contemporary pop landscape. From her breakthrough hit ‘Ocean Eyes’ to her evocative collaborations with her brother, Finneas, her work delves into the intricacies of human emotions and relationships, often navigating territories that defy description. While songs like ‘Bad Guy’ and ‘You Should See in a Crown’ showcase her penchant for grand productions, Eilish’s connection with the ukulele reveals a more delicate and sensitive side to her musical artistry.

Eilish’s journey with the ukulele commenced at the tender age of six. She began experimenting with melodies on this humble instrument, crafting tunes that bear an uncanny resemblance to her present-day compositions. When asked about the first songs she ever learned, it all traces back to the legendary rock band, The Beatles.


However, it’s worth noting that The Beatles never featured the ukulele in any of their official recordings. While George Harrison did adopt the instrument in his later years, The Beatles were known for their opulent and elaborate musical arrangements. Their repertoire included avant-garde compositions like ‘A Day in the Life’ and orchestral suites on the latter half of ‘Abbey Road.’


Nonetheless, Eilish’s introduction to the ukulele came courtesy of The Beatles’ ‘I Will,’ a love song from ‘The White Album.’ Penned by Paul McCartney as an understated ode to Linda Eastman, this track boasted one of the most minimalistic productions on the double album, with only a handful of percussion instruments and McCartney himself playing the “bass” by singing the bassline close to the microphone.


Though the song’s mechanics may seem straightforward, capturing the final version on tape proved to be a challenge, with The Beatles recording over 60 takes before McCartney was satisfied. While Eilish may not have invested the same level of effort in mastering her first tune, The Beatles served as her gateway to songwriting.

In their formative years, Eilish and her brother Finneas, barely teenagers at the time, received invaluable musical education from their mother, Maggie Baird. She believed that The Beatles held the key to understanding the structure of songs and meticulously deconstructed classics like ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ with her children. Although Finneas pursued his own musical endeavors initially, it was their collaborative efforts that eventually gained traction.

While Finneas exhibited his musical prowess, it was Billie Eilish’s melancholic voice that resonated with countless young souls grappling with disaffected sadness. Her early releases featured a caustic approach to production, but it was in her follow-up work that The Beatles’ influence began to shine through.

Throughout her album ‘Happier Than Ever,’ Eilish explored various sonic dimensions within her signature style, mirroring The Beatles’ experimentation in the latter stages of their career. The album’s title track stands as a grand finale, where Eilish and Finneas harnessed the sweeping sounds of their childhood influences, creating an emotionally charged composition that defied conventional pop chart norms. As she expanded her musical horizons further with ‘What Was I Made For?’ from the Barbie soundtrack, Billie Eilish made it clear that she was only beginning to craft her masterpieces.


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