The public have responded negatively to Billie’s new song, NDA. They are saying that this is her flop era and that she is just another problematic celebrity. The song is underwhelming, tacky and another big miss.
Billie’s fans are torn on their opinion towards NDA, some are calling it genius and others are calling it the worst song she’s ever released. Let’s explore this.
Inside the song
The song has a very basic structure and is seemingly uncomplicated and simple, but I think there is much more to it than what is presented to you on the surface. NDA stands for Non-Disclosure Agreement, which can be very toxic and the lyrics relay this idea further as Billie sings about the struggles of NDA’s and how it affects her life.
There are a lot of clever tricks in the music to convey this message. The beginning starts with a sharp, uncomfortable loud noise which is a classic horror trope. This instantly sets the tone to a dark one. From that point, the music is almost entirely made up of percussion with Billie almost talking the lyrics over the top. This is one of the reasons why fans think this is her worst song yet because it feels very uncreative, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The percussion and talking is very formal and emotionless, almost like she has been limited to what she can disclose – similar to how it would be after signing an NDA.
The bridge and chorus have much more of a melody, and Billie begins to sing a lot more clearly. This is when the lyrics become more focused on the emotions rather than the facts, showing the toxic side of an NDA.
Her use of autotune has been criticised by some fans because it is typically thought to be used by those who want to correct their pitch. This opinion is a strange one because Billie has proven her vocal ability time and time again, so this has to be a creative choice. Especially because it makes her voice sound like it’s cracking, creating the idea that she is crying.
Is the problem actually with NDA?
I think the problem doesn’t lie with the quality of the song and rather the sourness the fans have towards Billie after last months release. Lost Cause is thought to be a song about her ex-boyfriend Q, but the music video consists of Billie and some other women acting ‘provocatively’ and feels very sexual. The artist was called out because she has previously stated that she is straight and her fans feel like she is queer-bating, this feeling was reinforced because the song was released in pride month. Her fans are accusing her of trying to capitalise from pride month by creating a ‘fruity’ video.
Think before you cancel...
There are many reasons why this is problematic. Billie has barely turned 19 and she has faced backlash since she hit adulthood. She’s grown up in the spotlight and it has meant that she can’t put a foot wrong. Her feature in Vogue was criticised because she was seen to be sexualising herself and her fans called her a sell-out. Lost Cause faced backlash because her fans called it queer-bating, even though she has said previously stated that if she was to fall in love with a girl, she would be happy and captioned her Instagram post of Lost Cause ‘I like girls’. Although it isn’t anyone’s business how she presents herself and what her sexuality is, it is clear that she is experimenting with these ideas and it is irresponsible and insensitive for her fans force her into explaining this.
NDA is just another string in Billie’s bow and I have no doubt she will continue to pave the way for popular music, but we need to give her space to grow and not force her to admit anything she’s not ready to. I’m sure this would be a different story if she wasn’t a female child-star…