Billie Eilish may look like she would appeal more to teenage goths than fans of ASMR but one YouTube video seems to have changed all that. Gibi ASMR uploaded a tribute to Eilish’s debut album and it was an immediate hit with her followers.
ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, is a sensation that people experience often in response to certain sounds. It can feel like a tingling sensation on the back of your neck. The triggers are different for everyone but there are some common factors such as sounds that are quiet or soft.
Billie Eilish is a popular singer for those who follow ASMR anyway due to her wispy vocals. However, the tribute that Gibi ASMR posted took things to a whole new level as her songs were spoken rather than sung. She also carries out other actions that appeal to followers of ASMR such as making small taps on a mirror and drawing in a sketchbook.
The video that Gibi has produced lasts for over half an hour and it has already received over one million views. YouTube is a popular place for fans of ASMR to seek out new content. There are over 13 million videos on the site dedicated to ASMR and this number is growing all the time.
YouTubers such as Gibi can be considered stars of the ASMR world and when they promote an artist, people really do start to take notice. She was approached by Polydor Records, who are the distributor of Eilish’s music in the UK and was asked if she would be interested in doing a read through of the album. She accepted the offer immediately and received merchandise and concert tickets as a thank you for doing so.
Gibi is not the only ASMR YouTuber that has been captivated by Eilish’s music. Her songs have also been covered by other stars such as Darkling and Sophie Michelle who are both known for their ASMR work. Fans of ASMR may have first come across Billie Eilish thanks to videos such as these and this may have led them to seek out her music for themselves.
The way that Eilish records her music is very similar to the way that ASMR is produced. She does not use a professional studio, and all her music is recorded in her bedroom. Her vocals are quite quiet and the way that she sings is calm and tranquil. When watching her videos you can see that her facial expressions also portray this calmness.
Opinion seems to be divided amongst fans of ASMR whether Eilish’s music produces the tingles that are associated with this phenomenon. There are some people that say they are reminded of aspects of ASMR when they listen to the music but it does not produce the sensation of ASMR in them. However, there are others that do say they do get the tingles when the music is playing. Like all aspects of ASMR, the things that trigger the sensation are often very personal which would explain why her music affects some people more than others.
Most people seem to agree that it is the vocals on Eilish’s songs rather than the music, that appeals to them from an ASMR viewpoint. Studies of ASMR show that it is quite rare for music to be a trigger. Triggers are often sounds that other people would find mundane such as tapping, paper rustling or plastic being unwrapped. People who are triggered by Eilish’s music have said that it is the intonation of her voice and the way that she almost whispers the lyrics that appeal to them the most.
While Billie Eilish may have been the first pop star to benefit from a growing interest in ASMR, she is not the only one. Stars such as Eleanor Friedberger and Cardi B have produced songs and music videos that have been inspired by ASMR. It has even spread to the world of comedy with an album of jokes by Brandon Wardell being released where all of the jokes are whispered. Even if it is not ASMR in the strictest sense of the word, pop songs with acoustic music and whispery vocals are becoming very popular, and this is something that fans of ASMR will appreciate, even if they do not experience any tingles.