Earlier on Oscars night, Billie Eilish revealed that writing a song for the James Bond franchise had been a longtime dream for her and her brother, Finneas, who used to practice writing “Bond songs” just to see what they could come up with.
All of that practice paid off when the pair took to the stage to perform their 2020 song “No Time to Die” — a classic, string-laden noir ballad — which minutes later snagged the Best Original Song Oscar over Beyoncé’s “Be Alive,” Sebastián Yatra’s “Dos Oruguitas,” Van Morrison’s “Down to Joy,” and Reba McEntire’s “Somehow You Do.”
“I should’ve known, I’d leave alone,” Eilish sang, her hair in a jet-black Sixties bob. “Just goes to show that the blood you bleed is just the blood you owe.” Finneas’ piano lines wove around Eilish’s dazed falsetto. They may be the youngest composers to write a Bond song, but this performance was proof they understood the assignment.
“It’s so weird,” Eilish said speaking backstage after the victory and performance. “There’s no confusion at all about Bond. It’s been such a big part of our lives for so long, that the fact that we are involved at all was unbelievable. And the approach was very, very exhilarating and like, peak life. And also scary. And we just had so much pressure we put on ourselves. We just wanted to be perfect and represent Daniel Craig’s last film – and all of his films, and how much he put into it. It just was the most amazing experience ever.”
Finneas said he spoke to former Bond theme writers Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith before taking on the daunting gig. “I just asked what the process was like. Again, it was just such an ambition of ours. Really, just like picking their brains about it … It was really important to us that it felt like a Billie Eilish song and a James Bond song at the same time, and not one or the other,” Finneas said.
“I really wanted to pay my respects to every aspect of Bond and it’s, you know, I’m from the US, I’m American, and I didn’t want to take away from anything,” Eilish said. “I just really wanted [Daniel Craig] to love it. I wanted him to feel like it represented his years and his last film. I wanted him to be happy. He’s James Bond.”