Here’s what the 17-year-old “Bad Guy” singer had to say…
On starting out and being told her music was “too dark”: “I didn’t realize that I was saying and touching on aspects in life that were deeper than the average song. I didn’t try to do that — I just did it. When I was starting out, one of the only things I heard was that the music was too dark, too sad, too depressing, that it wasn’t happy enough. There was this period where all I was hearing was ‘Smile! Talk about how much you love yourself!’ — and I was literally at a time when I didn’t love myself. Now I can, but then, I was a little 14-year-old. I didn’t know anything about self-love or self-care. All I knew was the stuff that I knew, and a lot of it was bad and negative. That’s what I wanted to write about, and that’s why people relate to it. I mean, even The Beatles
On her meteoric rise to stardom: “I was not prepared for it. I just liked music, and I didn’t know that I had to have a whole …” She gestures at the accouterments of touring life around her. “It was a really weird thing to be put on me when I was 15 years old.”
On her relationship with her fans and their criticism: “I forget sometimes that they’re not literally my friends. It’s weird, like, that’s probably the biggest con in it all: that people I’ve never met think I’m really close friends with them. And then they forget that I’m not, and sometimes say stuff at meet-and-greets or post things that are joking or sarcastic about how bad I look in [a certain] photo, and I’m like, wow, that’s so mean. But then I remember that it’s just part of being friends — you make fun of your friends as a joke, and they make fun of you back — so it’s all love, and I really, really don’t want it to change.”
For more from Billie, head to Variety.com.