Nobody Can Believe Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ Samples Sydney’s Pedestrian Crossing Sound
Eilish snuck a little bit of Sydney into the massive song.
Forget Satanic messages — now, thanks to Billie Eilish, the cool thing to hide in your songs is a little bit of Sydney’s traffic light sounds.
See, when Eilish and her brother, the musician Finneas O’Connell, were on one of their many trips to Australia, they fell in love with the sound that crosswalks make when they’re telling you it’s safe to get across the street.
And who can blame them — it’s a crisp little beat, all jagged and manic, and exactly the kind of thing that you’d expect to have found in a hundred songs by now.
Inspired, Eilish recorded the sound and saved it as a voice memo on her phone. Shortly thereafter, O’Connell chopped it up into ‘Bad Guy’, hiding it just under that extremely iconic chorus and pitch-shifting it just a little.
You can watch the pair talk about the entire process in a hugely informative video interview from Rolling Stone:
It still blows my mind that the winning song & record of the year at this year's #GRAMMYs and winner of the #Hottest100 samples the manic beeping sound that the traffic lights make in Sydney. pic.twitter.com/dvzHewgTM9
— Tim Duggan (@timduggan) January 27, 2020
In fact, this news has been out there for a little while now — the clip first made the rounds on Twitter at the end of last year. But with Eilish back in the spotlight after topping the Hottest 100 and winning a shedload of Grammys, it’s not so surprising that people are once again celebrating the fact that a little piece of Sydney will be contained forever in one of the biggest songs of the year.
It’s like an insect trapped in some particularly commercial amber.
When the biggest thing the city of Sydney has given to music in quite some time is a pedestrian crossing beep sample on a Billie Eilish song
— Sose Fuamoli (@Sose_Carter) January 27, 2020
bad guy topping hottest 100 is actually an australian song topping hottest 100 considering the chorus is billie eilish literally sampling the sydney pedestrian crossing green light noise
— emily (@emily_pdf) January 25, 2020
Long live Billie Eilish, is what I’m saying.