Exclusive: Finneas Is Up For Best New Artist Grammy, But He’s Rooting For Olivia Rodrigo
Finneas, best known for producing and co-writing with his sister Billie Eilish, enjoys keeping his solo career low-key, along with his personal levels of fame. So he says, half-jokingly, that he has mixed feelings about his solo Grammy nomination for Best New Artist — which, along with Record of the Year and Song of the Year (both for Billie’s “Happier Than Ever“), and Album of the Year (for Billie’s Happier Than Ever, and Justin Bieber’s Justice, on which he co-wrote “Lonely”), means that he stands with Olivia Rodrigo as the only nominees in all four top categories.
“I am standing on the edge of the ceiling of where it is fun to be famous,” Finneas says in an interview for an upcoming episode of our Rolling Stone Music Now podcast. “And any further off is no fun. You know, kids say sweet stuff to me when I go out, and that’s lovely. And they come to my shows when I play them. And that’s amazing. But otherwise, I’m not a Beatle. I don’t get chased around the city. I can go anywhere. And it’s really nice. So yeah, this kind of blows my cover, doesn’t it?”
So does that mean he’s rooting for Rodrigo in the Best New Artist category? “Yeah, I mean, I’m rooting for Olivia in this category, regardless,” says Finneas, who released his debut solo album, Optimist, last month.
Billie and Finneas talked on the phone right after nominations were announced. “It’s always disbelief,” Finneas says. “We’re always like, ‘Man, that’s crazy.’ To go back to last year, when we won Record of the Year …we were sitting that audience, certain it was going to be Megan Thee Stallion, and even more certain that it wasn’t going to be us. So, you know, there’s footage of us winning that last year. And it looks like we watched a jump-scare in a move, you know? You should use some sort of realism and not expect to be nominated and win Grammys all the time. And we definitely don’t. So, it’s always a shock to be nominated. It’s always an honor.”
Finneas says he and Eilish are looking forward to kicking off the Happier Than Ever tour next February, especially after their last tour was cut short after three dates when the pandemic hit. “We got three shows into the When We All Fall Asleep arena tour. And it was a blast. But we just have twice as much music now, and so we get to build, you know, a set I’m that much more proud of now.”