Once in a while, a true pop sensation comes along and takes the world by storm, and Billie Eilish is exactly that. With hundreds of millions of YouTube views, her unique and unusual flavor of music has brought an army of fans and admirers. Plenty of people want to emulate her, and want to know how to sing like Billie Eilish, which is what we cover in this post.
Eilish has been an inspiration to people all over the world. Not only has she achieved so much at an incredibly young age, but she’s also a strong and confident young woman with a huge presence on social media. Her voice is iconic already. Whenever you hear one of her songs on the radio, you know exactly who is singing. What gives Billie her signature sound? How can you emulate this and take the best parts of Eilish into your own singing career?
First, let’s delve into Billie’s singing voice and what makes her such a huge sensation. As we’ve already mentioned, she’s got quite an unusual voice in some respects. This goes with her unusual style of songwriting, as the music spans a number of genres and uses some unusual songs.
Her voice has to be quite versatile, as she spans from gentle and soft piano songs, to pop songs that are influenced by Hip Hop and even dance music. Billie can play a number of instruments including piano, which features heavily on her albums. Though versatile, the voice used by Billie Eilish is usually soft.
Billie uses a gentle voice for a lot of her songs, which sounds extremely mellow. This can be juxtaposed with a number of different instruments to sound good, or played with a gentle piano melody.
Vocalists are often discussed because of their ability to “belt” out the songs. This isn’t something that Eilish really does. Instead, she keeps things softer, but still controlled, and, in its own way powerful.
The depth of Billie’s voice also makes her sound older than she is. She’s incredibly young to have such a mature sound in her music.
So how can you practice singing like Billie Eilish?
The first thing we recommend when trying to achieve this sort of tone is to practice singing very gently. Don’t overstretch yourself while you are singing. Billie’s songs almost sound like they could be recorded on an ASMR mic, with the sensitivity to show each and every nuance of her vocal tone. You don’t need to shout.
If you have a tendency to sing loudly, make sure you go through some vocal exercises and tutorials trying to deliberately sing softly. You’ll notice that there is an art to this, and you need to still sound impactful without your voice becoming too weak and feeble.
You have to practice this aspect as well especially if you have a loud voice. Billie Eilish has become known as the queen of “whisper singing”. This is not a technical term, but it brilliantly describes the softer tone.
“Sing from your chest” is something that vocal coaches have been saying for as long as time! Billie Eilish is very good at this. It involves a good breathing technique and focusing your voice through your chest and mouth, rather than your nose, as this can end up with a nasal sound that is nothing like Billie.
Billie has a brilliant way of combining this chesty singing with a breathy tone. This can be practiced by breathing out gently while you sing. This helps with the softer tone.
When you take vocal lessons either in person or online, you will need to practice switching between higher registers and lower registers. This can be described as “above the break” and “below the break” in your voice. Billie Eilish is a soprano singer, meaning she has a higher than average register, but Billie can reach some lower notes when she needs to. The chesty singing technique definitely helps with this.
Vocal fry is something that we all go through. If you wake up in the morning and you have a croaking voice then you know what vocal “fry” is. The crackling sort of sound that is made comes from the fact that overnight, your vocal cords have been relaxed, they loosen up.
Eilish is very good at controlling this sound. If you listen to “Bury a Friend” you will notice the croaking. You can practice this, and get good at singing using this kind of vocals. They almost have a haunting sound, which works well in Billie’s more dark and brooding songs. If you are able to relax your vocal cords a little when singing, it will help you to access this “fried” tone in your own voice.
Practice at every opportunity. Singing can be practiced way more easily than any instrument, and you can practice pretty much anywhere. The car, the shower, it’s up to you. If you want to, you can go all out and get karaoke microphones. The internet is full of Karaoke versions of songs, that you can use to find Billie Eilish songs and backing tracks that you can sing along to.
It’s a good idea to know your singing range. If you aren’t a soprano naturally then this can be quite a difficult thing to master. Your voice will be naturally much better at singing in a range that is specific to you. Work with a vocal tutor, or use a piano or keyboard in order to work out which notes you can comfortably sing.
Get good at listening. This is something that a lot of singers do not do well. One of the best things you can do is to learn how to recognize good singing and what is in tune and not in tune. Learning how to sing is partially about learning how to listen. You should be able to listen to yourself, too, even if it means learning how to use a simple microphone setup. Critique your own singing, and when you are comfortable enough, you can show other people your own singing.
While Billie’s voice is not easy to replicate, it is certainly achievable, especially if you are already good at singing in soprano tones. You don’t have to constantly challenge yourself by singing at high volumes or with complex melodies, Eilish is more of a subtle singer.
Learning how to sing like Billie Eilish involves learning how to use techniques such as a breathy voice and even controlling the cracking in your voice you may have otherwise wanted to avoid. Gentle songs with subtlety are a big part of Billie’s catalog, and this is definitely attainable.