Finneas O'Connell facts for kids
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O'Connell at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards
Finneas Baird O'Connell
July 30, 1997
|Relatives||Billie Eilish (sister)|
Finneas Baird O'Connell (born July 30, 1997), also known as Finneas (stylized in all caps), is an American songwriter, record producer, singer, musician, and actor. He has written and produced music for various artists including his younger sister, singer Billie Eilish. He won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Non-Classical and the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for his work on Eilish's debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019). Finneas has released several singles as a solo artist, and his debut EP, Blood Harmony, was released on October 4, 2019. As an actor, O'Connell starred in the 2013 independent film Life Inside Out. He is also known for his role as Alistair in the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee.
Finneas was born in Los Angeles to actress and screenwriter Maggie Baird and actor Patrick O'Connell, both of whom are also musicians. Finneas has mainly Irish and Scottish ancestry. In 2010, at age 12, he took a songwriting class with his mother, and began writing and producing songs, purchasing Logic Pro.
Songwriting and producing
Finneas said his experience with portraying characters helped in writing music for his sister Billie Eilish, as he writes from her perspective and for her vocal range. He stated: “Being able to hear an artist and emulate them has been a huge part of being successful as a producer and co-writer". When he writes for his sister, he wants to "write a song that I think she’ll relate to and enjoy singing and empathise with the lyrics and make her own", and when he writes with her he tries to "help her tell whatever story she’s trying to tell, bounce ideas off of her, listen to her ideas."
"Similarly to other artists, if you’re writing and you know that someone else’s voice is going to be the voice telling the story, it should be a language that fits them. ... Everybody has a different vocabulary, a different way of putting sentences together, and the easiest way to tell if a song wasn't written by someone is if it doesn't fit their vernacular, so I try to match whatever I’m helping them make to whoever they seem to be. A lot of that also ... is asking an artist how they feel about it. If you come up with a line, even if an artist really likes it and is like 'That’s a really cool line,' it’s like 'Yeah, but can you wear it? Is it a thing you’d feel comfortable with singing every time?'"
Finneas had written and produced the song "Ocean Eyes" originally for his band, and gave it to Eilish when her dance teacher asked them to write a song for a choreography. They posted the song on SoundCloud, garnering praise from various websites. Finneas's manager reached out to him in November 2015 to talk about Eilish's potential. Finneas then helped Eilish sign to the A&R company Platoon. He co-wrote and produced Eilish's debut EP Don't Smile at Me (2017), which peaked at 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200. Finneas also served as producer and co-writer on Eilish's debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019), which debuted at number one in the U.S. and U.K. charts. He won 2020 Grammy Awards for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical; Record of the Year and Song of the Year for Eilish's "Bad Guy"; and Album of the Year and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
He produced the 2019 Selena Gomez single "Lose You to Love Me", which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and two tracks on Camila Cabello's 2019 album Romance. He also produced "Moral of the Story" by Ashe, and collaborated with John Legend on an unreleased song.
Solo music career
Finneas is the lead singer and songwriter of the band The Slightlys, which played the Warped Tour in 2015. His first solo single, "New Girl", was released in 2016. The music video for the single was released in 2019, was directed by Emma Sydney Menzies, and stars Finneas and Yasmine Vega. He released the single "I'm in Love Without You" in 2017, and eight singles in 2018: "Break My Heart Again", "Heaven", "Life Moves On", "Landmine", "Hollywood Forever", "College", "Luck Pusher", and "Let's Fall in Love for the Night". At the start of 2019, Finneas played his first, sold-out, headline shows in New York and Los Angeles.
His debut EP, Blood Harmony, was released on October 4, 2019. The EP's first single "I Lost a Friend" was released on June 25, 2019, the second single "Shelter" was released on August 22, 2019, and the third single "I Don't Miss You At All" on September 20, 2019. In October 2019, he embarked on his first headlining tour, in five cities in the US, in addition to a performance at Austin City Limits.
In 2011, Finneas played a student in the comedy film Bad Teacher. In 2013, he co-starred in Life Inside Out, written by and starring his mother Maggie Baird. He had recurring guest roles on Modern Family and Aquarius, and portrayed Alistair in the final season of the musical-comedy television show Glee in 2015.
Billie Eilish has stated that she and Finneas both have synesthesia.
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