American singer, songwriter, record producer, audio engineer, and actor Finneas O’Connell has written and produced music for various artists, including his sister Billie Eilish, and has won eight Grammy Awards. Finneas is all set to release his debut studio album ‘Optimist’ through Interscope Records on 15th October 2021.
In his recent interview with Irish Times, Finneas O’Connell shared that he is absolutely fine with being the second most famous person in the family and does not desire to surpass his sister’s popularity. Finneas shared, "Billie is so famous that people that aren’t fans of hers at all are taking photos of her while she’s walking through a park so that they can show their friend in a photo that they saw her. Stuff like that, or paparazzi or articles, just makes your life way harder."
"I'm not as famous as the most famous people, I'm not as famous as my sister or some of our friends, and I think there's a level of fame that I truly would never want to dip my toes into", Finneas added. "I set out with pretty small goals," he says. "Although they didn’t seem small at the time. There is a venue in Los Angeles called the Fonda Theater. It’s 1,200 people, which is a perfectly large number of people. I swear to God, the biggest goal I had was to open there for a band. That was my goal. And I played three nights at the Fonda with Billie in 2018."
Talking about his debut studio album, 'Optimist', he shared that his album and working on Billie’s album and songs kind of overlapped, and he was writing songs for his upcoming album at night when Billie would go home. He mentioned that the fans could expect him to hear his album, which is quite different from the songs, or music that he writes with Billie.
He shares that the song and lyrics he writes with Billie have layers to them where the fans can spend a lifetime untangling the lyrics of her songs, but with ‘Optimist’, the creative genius is telling the world exactly what he is singing about. Furthermore, he stated, "I want everyone to hear every lyric that I’m saying as I sing it. Because of the story I’m trying to tell with lyrics."
Songs on the record producer's debut studio album 'Optimist' includes a hopeless romantic and optimistic lover with ‘A Concert Six Months From Now', a person dreaming of a better time be that in the past with ‘The 90s’ – or the future with ‘What They’ll Say About Us’, and the music obsessive coming to terms with the side-effects of success and fame with ‘Happy Now'.
Finneas and Billie joined Coldplay to sing ‘Fix You’ during the New York leg of last night's global event, which the songwriter describes as a ‘surreal’ moment for him. During his interview with NME, Finneas shared that "‘Ocean Eyes’ gave us something from nothing. I always have this profound gratitude for that song." Finneas was Spotify’s top songwriter last year, a reflection of how successful his projects are and the caliber of artists he works with.
The growing success of Finneas has had him on the list of the top collaborators, and he shared that he gets a lot of requests from the world’s biggest stars who like his work and want to collaborate. The record producer’s approach towards working with other artists feels delightfully ego-free; he describes his role as being in service to whoever’s name will be on the release. "I’m still passionate and opinionated, and I make sure they know what I think," he explains. "That, at the end of the day, is part of the reason I get hired – hopefully people trust me."
Finneas highly regards Billie and their creative bonding process and mentioned that despite all the successful collaborations he has had, there is no one who comes close to how creatively involved he is when he works with Billie. "I haven’t had a terrible experience working with anybody. But I think just the intimacy of a relationship with a sibling is impossible to replicate or duplicate", he added.
The 24-year-old creative genius starred in the final season of the musical drama Glee, where he played the role of a ukulele-strumming gay troubadour and talked about his experience. Finneas said that he was glad that it was the last season. He quoted, "I would never have left. If that show had been six seasons, I would never have done two seasons and thought, ‘I’m going to quit’. So I’m very glad it ended because it let me go off and write music."
Finneas won eight Grammy Awards and also co-wrote the theme song for the latest Bond movie, ‘No Time To Die'. Talking about this, Finneas mentioned that he would encourage anyone in any field, but especially music, to set small goals in order to achieve more. He explained his saying by quoting, "If I had written on my bucket list, ‘some day you are going to write a James Bond theme song or play Red Rocks or the Hollywood Bowl.’? Well, I’ve gotten to do that. What am I supposed to do now – quit?"
Finneas strongly believes that he has got the best of both worlds. He is moderately famous compared to his sister, Billie Eillish, who is practically a sensation across the world. He appreciates his success and is grateful and thrilled to have won Grammys and written for a Bond movie, but he is also appreciative of the fact that he can take a stroll in a park without being mobbed by fans.
"The spotlight is fun in smaller doses. Being as famous as Billie is or, you know, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, Jay Z-level famous – that all seems like a drag, " he says. "He makes records in a modern way. He’s seemingly always inspired. He’s created some really classic songs and there’s no naivety there. Let’s put it this way: [he and Billie] would have been able to hold their own in any era," said John Marr about working with the pair on ‘No Time To Die’.
Information Source: Irish Times and NME