Finneas O’Connell’s down-to-earth presence — he apologizes for running precisely “four minutes late” to meet me at a Highland Park cafe in Los Angeles — contrasts with the high-octane year he’s had: He co-wrote and produced the explosive debut album by his younger sister Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, then joined her for a world tour. And it doesn’t seem things will quiet down for O’Connell anytime soon. He’s nominated for three Grammys (album, record and song of the year) alongside Eilish, and scored two major nods on his own: best engineered album, non-classical and producer of the year, non-classical (for which, at 22, he’s the youngest solo nominee ever).
Whether or not he collects a statue, O’Connell is building a profile in the industry as much more than Eilish’s super-talented sibling. His debut EP, the moody Blood Harmony, came out in October 2019, and he recently expanded his circle of collaborators to include Selena Gomez (he co-produced her comeback single, “Lose You to Love Me,” which became her first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1) and Camila Cabello (he co-wrote two tracks on Romance). And then there’s his next big project: launching a publishing company. “When I started, I felt that there was this incredible amount of doubt of my ability as a producer,” he says, sipping something called a Mexi Mocha. “I know there’s some 17-year-old who is destroying out there, and I just want to help.”