Billie Eilish: ‘Teenagers know more about the country that we’re living in right now than anybody’

"We're being ignored and it's so dumb. We know everything"

Billie Eilish has spoken up for the voice of youth, arguing that they should be better represented as the future belongs to them.

The 17-year-old rising star was speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read, after being named among the NME 100 of the best new artists set to dominate 2019. During the interview, Eilish spoke up for young influencers in the US such as herself and guns-rights activist Emma Gonzalez, proving themselves tech-savvy and politically aware.

“Bro, teenagers know more about the country that we’re living in right now than anybody,” Eilish told NME.

“The world is ending and I honestly don’t understand the law that says you have to be older to vote, because they’re going to die soon and we’ll have to deal with it. That doesn’t make any sense to me, but to see young people taking part in peaceful protests and not obeying is beautiful.”

Speaking of expectations of her and Generation Z, Eilish added: “People underestimate the power of a young mind that is new to everything and experiencing for the first time. We’re being ignored and it’s so dumb. We know everything.”

The NME 100 covers everything from drill to indie via punk and metal – with a little flamenco for good measure. Former NME Big Read star Slowthai made the cut, as did rapper Headie One, Dublin punks Fontaines DC, British singer-songwriter Jade Bird and reggaeton hero Bad Gyal. And there’s a lot, lot more where that came from.

“This year’s list is undoubtedly the strongest and most diverse we’ve had yet,” said NME New Music Editor Thomas Smith. “From drill rappers ready to go mainstream to the bands and pop stars that’ll be seeing dominating festival season, it’s a good representation of the artists ready to make 2019 so damn exciting.”

He continued: “We’re most excited about Billie Eilish, the teenage pop star who we kicked off the NME 100 with on Friday. In our Big Read, we spoke to her about the upcoming year and her debut album, which is going to make her one of the biggest names in game. She’s leading the charge, but we’re pretty certain that plenty of the remaining artists in the NME 100 won’t be far behind in making some of the most boundary-pushing and exhilarating music this year.”

Editor Charlotte Gunn added: “NME has always been a champion of new music and as we enter 2019, we are overwhelmed with the amount of emerging talent. A list of five or ten acts just wouldn’t cut it, so we’re proud to unveil the biggest and best new artist list in music. We challenge you to not find something you love.”

Check out the full NME 100 here