“It will cool off, and people won’t act like you’re Bigfoot when they see you”: The advice John Mayer gave to Billie Eilish to cope with sudden fame

Once a blues guitar heartthrob – now a fame consultant.

[L-R] John Mayer and Billie Eilish

Credit: Getty Images

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

From Ocean Eyes going viral when she was 14, to becoming the youngest ever Grammy Album Of The Year winner at 18, every year of Billie Eilish’s adolescence has been lived under a microscope. Slowly, the world has watched Eilish evolve from a moody neon-headed teen to a mature, Oscar-winning superstar.

But what is it actually like living your adolescence in the public eye? Terrifying, Eilish reveals.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Eilish admits how worldwide fame has left her afraid of going outside. “I’m afraid [and] for a fucking good reason,” she explains. “I’m afraid of people, I’m afraid of the world. It’s just scary for somebody like me. Even if it’s not scary, it means being ‘on’, being vulnerable, being seen, being filmed…”

While Eilish has gradually adjusted to accept the attention she receives nowadays, that wasn’t always the case. When Bad Guy skyrocketed Eilish to global fame in 2019, it was a total shock to the system. Luckily, none other than John Mayer had some helpful advice for her.

“I remember him saying, ‘It feels like it’s going to feel like that forever, but it will go away,’” she recalls. “‘In a way, you want to take it in because [one day] it will cool off, and people won’t act like [you’re] Bigfoot when they see [you].’”

Mayer’s words were exactly what Eilish needed to hear. “That really stuck with me, because I was like, ‘no, it is going to feel like this forever,’” she says. “‘Everywhere I go, people are going to look at me like they just saw a ghost.’”

While people still do treat Eilish like Bigfoot, she’s realised that being ‘mysterious’ has made her incredibly lonely. “I loved the idea of people feeling that way, but then I thought, ‘Oh, here I am sitting alone in my room… I’m not enjoying anything in my life at all,’” she says.

Initially, Eilish also took a perverse joy in her newly anointed enigmatic fame. “That used to be a thing I would strive for,” she admits. “I used to be so obsessed with this mysteriousness, and I think that’s 100 per cent why I didn’t make any friends, because I didn’t want anyone to know me, because I wanted everyone to think of me as this mysterious, cool person.”

But recently, she realised it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. “I hit a turning point,” she reveals to Rolling Stone. “I had this moment of like, ‘Oh, my God, I haven’t had fun in seven years.’”

She’s now making changes to normalise her presence in everyday spaces. “I have been choosing to do the thing that scares me more,” she reveals. “I am biting the bullet and existing in the world for once.”

Her brother and producer, FINNEAS, explains it best, likening it to regularly attending a local fast-food joint. “If you go four times, somebody in the store is going to go, ‘Oh, my God, I recognise that person,’” he tells Rolling Stone. “Then they’re going to say that to their friend, and their friend’s going to be like, ‘Yeah, they’re here all the time.’ You normalise yourself, which is the right way to do it.”

Billie Eilish’s third studio album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, is set to drop 17th May 2024. While she wont be releasing any singles in the lead up, she has played a teaser of track CHIHIRO on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music podcast.

Related Tags


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.