Billie Eilish and Finneas Detail 'Big Fight' and Talk Overcoming Doubt While Making New Album 'Hit Me Hard and Soft'

Zane Lowe sits down with the dynamic duo to break down the personal growth behind 'Hit Me Hard and Soft.'

Video via Apple Music

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Video via Apple Music

While Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard and Soft is earning the 22-year-old singer glowing reviews, the personal and artistic journey behind its creation wasn’t without its hurdles.

In a chat with Apple Music's Zane Lowe, Eilish and her brother/collaborator, Finneas, spoke at length about their shared path making this album, and the individual struggles they each had to overcome along the way. This project marks the singer's third studio album and first since becoming a two-time Oscar winner.

Around 22 minutes into the insightful conversation, available in full above, Zane asked the prolific and acclaimed duo about album opener "Skinny," specifically its pondering on "the old me" and "the real me" in the first verse. As Eilish explained, this track actually stands as the "first full song" written for the album.

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"Our lives were really different and I was kind of going through something and we were in a very different place," Eilish said of the larger process behind the album, with Finneas adding that they were "out of sync" with each other at the time. In fact, at one point the two had a "big fight" that ultimately helped lead to a revelation about where they stood as artists.

"At the time, there was nothing to tell us that it was gonna be great eventually so we felt kind of like, what are we doing?" Eilish recalled. "I don’t know how we’re gonna do this, and I remember there was one night and it was raining or something and Finneas and I had a big fight."

Per Finneas, the fight, from his perspective, was centered on "context and subject matter." Elaborating further, he recalled feeling that Eilish wasn’t being forthcoming about what she was writing about, at least not at first.

"I felt, and again I’ve been proven wrong over and over, but this was the jag I was on that night. I was like, subject wise, I’m not being led into what you’re actually feeling," he said. "I think there are real guards up. Oftentimes in your life, you’re going through the thing that you’re gonna write about later and that was for sure happening to Billie at that point in time."

In short, Finneas wanted Eilish to be more direct about how she was feeling, though Eilish also pointed out that her brother was dealing with his own issues at the time. From her perspective, it felt like their usual working relationship roles had flipped, notably during a period where she was "finally enjoying the process" of making music.

"Not to throw you under the bus, but Finneas was like, 'I don’t like doing this anymore. I don’t wanna write music right now,'" Eilish said. "This was really scary for me at the time, because as you know I used to be, like, hate making music, don’t wanna make it, don’t like making it, it’s frustrating, it’s irritating. I love having made it. I love performing it. I love when it’s good. But I really have always struggled with the process and this was when I was kind of finally enjoying the process and Finneas was like, 'I would rather be doing anything else right now.'"

Thankfully, both Eilish and Finneas were able to find their way to the other side, resulting in Hit Me Hard and Soft, which is currently projected to give the nine-time Grammy winner her biggest opening week yet. If the album debuts at No. 1, it will be Eilish's third straight release to do so.

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