- Finneas O’Connell is a 24-year-old singer, songwriter, producer, and eight-time Grammy Award winner.
- He is best known for writing and producing two No. 1 albums with his younger sister, Billie Eilish.
- He has also cowritten or coproduced songs for artists like Justin Bieber, Kid Cudi, and Halsey.
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The Norwegian singer-songwriter coproduced the song with Matias Tellez and O’Connell, who she said brought “fresh ears,” “extra energy,” and “weird suggestions” to the song.
She also told NME that O’Connell played the song for his sister, who called the lyrics “bonkers.”
By criticizing him with lyrics, “he has to answer those questions to everyone and not just me,” Lovato explained to CNN.
“I think people underestimate the bravery it takes to put out a song like this when your platform is as large as Demi’s is,” O’Connell wrote on Instagram when “Commander in Chief” was released. “It was an Honor to produce this one for the wildly talented Demi Lovato.”
“When I was approached about producing ‘I Can See The Change,’ I was thrilled. I have been lucky to produce songs for a few artists who I think will never go out [of] style and Celeste is certainly on that list.”
He told Rolling Stone that he wrote the demo “at the start of quarantine” with Michael Pollack over FaceTime.
“When we finished and saw we had something very special, I brought it immediately to Finneas and asked if he might be willing to produce,” Platt said. “He elevated it and lifted it without overpowering the lyric and the storytelling. He’s magic.”
O’Connell agreed that he “instantly” felt a connection with the power ballad.
“I think the sentiment is one I needed to hear and I imagine it will bring comfort to many others as well,” he said.
“We met for coffee in the summer of 18, talked for 2 hours, I got horribly sunburnt and we started writing songs whenever we were in the same city,” he continued. “Every day I spend with Bruno feels nothing like work and I am so proud of this song we wrote together. Hope you love it.”
“I started writing this one with Finneas. He’s so creative and so musical; I was refreshed and inspired,” Stella told Apple Music.
“The song started with the idea of you moving on faster than somebody else. It’s a lighthearted take on ‘I’m not trying to make you jealous, I’m just moving on and I’m feeling good, and it’s not an intentional, calculated thing to hurt you.'”
Both new tracks, “Bikini Porn” and “Passion and Pain Taste the Same When I’m Weak,” were cowritten and produced by O’Connell. He even appears in the music video for the former.
“I’ve been a fan of Tove Lo since the minute I first heard ‘Habits’ in 2014,” he wrote on Instagram. “Sometimes you can tell instantly that a songwriter or singer is going to have a lasting impact immediately and that’s exactly how I’ve always felt about tove. Writing with her proved me right. Bar for bar, she’s brilliant and ‘Bikini Porn’ was exactly the song I dreamed of producing for her.”
“Camila Cabello is one of my favorite artists,” he wrote on Instagram when the album was released. “She’s also a friend of mine now which makes me feel VERY COOL!!! I stood in the crowd at lollapalooza last summer and watched her set in awe. I texted my managers/publisher right then that I would die to write with her.”
He added: “I love this album so much and I could NOT be more grateful to be a part of it!”
Eilish is signed to the same label as Gomez, and O’Connell was offered a chance to add some flourishes to the song when it was nearing completion. He says he added some “textural stuff,” like string plucks and overtone synths, to “make the production feel a little bit more alive.”
“He just added that final touch, and it just really made a difference from the second chorus into what he did in the bridge,” Gomez told Sirius XM. “It was really awesome.”
“He heard the song, the original demo, which was just the piano and our voices,” JP Saxe told Front Row’s Rob Herrera, “and there was something about the piano vocal that felt really powerful to everyone. And I think Finneas had a reaction to that, and liked it enough that he wanted to accentuate what it was about it that he already liked. And I loved that that was the approach he took.”
“I still don’t really know what happened, but they were like, ‘Here, it’s for you,'” McRae told BBC.
“Tear Myself Apart” became the teenager’s first official single and was included on her debut EP, “All the Things I Never Said.”
The single, which O’Connell coproduced and cowrote, soundtracked a memorable scene in Netflix’s “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.”
“Finneas and I, I remember us being like, ‘We really believe in this record. We think this record’s going to be important for my career,'” Ashe told Insider.
“When it didn’t do too much, we were like, ‘Oh, man. I guess we were wrong.’ So when it started to take off, we were like, ‘We were not! Wrong!'”
“I remember hearing it from the other room or something and, like, he was like, ‘Billie come here I just wrote this fucking crazy song,'” she told NME. “I feel like the melodies in that song get you, you know what I’m saying?”
O’Connell also wrote Eilish’s “My Strange Addiction,” but she contributed production to the song, which was partially inspired by her obsession with “The Office.”
“We were just hanging out and I started playing the piano in the tiny recording studio we were in, and the chorus that ended up being ‘The Ending’ came out and we came up with that first line. The song just flew out in the last hour and a half of us being there,” O’Connell told Atwood Magazine. “It was a really fast writing process and produced the whole thing around it over the course of the next month.”
He also landed a feature credit by providing backing vocals — and if you listen closely, you can also hear Eilish’s voice floating in the background, even though she’s not featured.
However, O’Connell cowrote the fourth track on Black’s 2017 EP, “RE/BL,” before he and Sulewski had met or begun dating. The song was rereleased as a single in 2018.
“Finneas heard it and really liked it and he showed it to Billie and she really liked it and then we ended up working with Finneas,” the band told The One in January. “We had like three or four days together, writing songs together. Now, both of them are the biggest things in pop music at the moment.”
“But what was crazy is that at that time,” they continued, “Finneas was writing the Billie Eilish album and he was telling us all about it and he said ‘This record is gonna change the world.'”
Most notably, O’Connell is featured on Current’s 2017 single “Come to Think.” You may recognize it from a home video of a young Eilish performing the song alongside her brother.
“In a unique and fantastic instance, everything about the verse happened all at once,” he told Ones to Watch. “I sat down at my piano, played and sang the entire first verse at once. The rest of the song took some time to get right but I knew where it was going.”
Finneas originally wrote “Ocean Eyes” for his high school band, but he “knew it was meant for Billie” when he heard her sing it.
“She brought life to it that I couldn’t believe,” he told OTW. “She might be the most convincing singer I’ve ever heard. I’ve never doubted a single word she sings. It’s such a gift. Her voice is like a Stradivarius violin.”