The industry standard is that usually an upcoming artist covers a hit song by a veteran artist. However, veteran rapper Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) had the least care for tradition as he covered “ocean eyes” single by upcoming sensation Billie Eilish.
“ocean eyes” is Billie Eilish’s debut single and the song that made her an overnight sensation. “We put it on SoundCloud with a free download link next to it so my dance teacher could access it,” recalls Billie Eilish. “We had no intentions for it, really. But basically, overnight a ton of people started hearing it and sharing it. Hillydilly, a music discovery website, found it and posted it and it just got bigger and bigger. It was really surreal.”
Being an important song for Billie Eilish and her now stellar career, it makes sense that MGK chose to cover this track out of all the massive hits she has produced thus far. Machine Gun Kelly released the cover on May 14, 2019, almost 4 years after the original was released.
Machine Gun Kelly strays largely from his usual aggressive, hyper-active and rap persona for this cover. The rapper resorts to a sullen mood to get in par with Billie Eilish’s original style.
Listen to the “ocean eyes” cover by Machine Gun Kelly below.
Billie Eilish confesses that the lyrics to “ocean eyes” was written by her brother FINNEAS. However, she claims that she made the song very much personal to her. The same effect resonates through this cover by MGK. He truly made this cover a version of himself.
The cover ends by MGK muttering “Fuck, I can’t get that high,” reflecting on the high pitches Billie Eilish touches on the original.
Let us hear what you think about this cover by MGK? Could a collaboration spawn out of this tribute? Drop in your thoughts in the comments below.