Singer Billie Eilish Explains The Office Sample In "My Strange Addiction" Song
Eilish secretly works for Michael Scarn.
Musical sensation Billie Eilish has sampled an iconic bit from The Office for her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, revealing that she's not only a big fan of the series--like many of us are--but also willing to show her love for the NBC comedy in her own work.
The sample appears on "My Strange Addiction," the ninth track off her latest full-length LP. Agent Michael Scarn, a recurring personality of the always-eclectic Michael Scott, opens the track and, interwoven throughout, are voice samples of Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling), Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner), and Ryan Howard (B. J. Novak). The cast is all talking about Threat Level Midnight, an action movie penned by Scott in the sitcom. The audio samples are plucked out of episode 17 of The Office's seventh season, which is also titled "Threat Level Midnight."
In the show, Scarn performs the "Scarn Dance" to what The Office's song producer, Eve Nelson, recalls as "a real authentic disco, Seventies sort of sound."
Eilish, talking to MTV News about the song's creation, said the "My Strange Addiction" beat reminded her of "the song they play when they do the Scarn dance." She explained further: "I thought that was really funny ... so we literally just ripped the audio from Netflix and put it in the song, not at all thinking that they would say yes to it and we’d be able to put it out. Also, it’s about strange addictions, and The Office is mine, so…"
While Eilish and her team had to get approval to use the cast's voices, writer and executive producer B. J. Novak was cool with it. "I was fine with it regardless, but I was like, 'Wow, bonus: This is a banger.'"
Co-executive producer of Season 7, Daniel Chun, had no idea who Eilish was but loved the song anyway. "It was a real double whammy, learning someone's existence and then learning that they used [the episode]. I looked at the song and I loved it. It's great."
Nelson, a big fan of Eilish's music, was ecstatic. "She is, to me, one of the finest young artists of today. She takes risks. She's herself. She marches to her own drummer. I love what she did with that. I thought it was brilliant. I could hear that she got slightly inspired by the beat. I respect and admire her so much. I'm honored that I have anything to do with inspiring Billie Eilish."
Reports began circulating in December 2017 that The Office is getting rebooted, slated for the 2018-2019 TV season. Simultaneously, surrounding the reports was news that Steve Carell wouldn't reprise his role as Michael Scott. Carell said the show's revival wouldn't be a good idea in October 2018. "Apart from the fact that I just don't think that’s a good idea [to bring back The Office], it might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept it the way it was accepted ten years ago," he told Esquire at the time. "The climate's different. I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior."
It's been reported that NBC has reclaimed The Office, meaning the show will leave Netflix and air exclusively on NBC's yet-named streaming service, slated to launch sometime in 2020. The Office will remain streamable on Netflix until January 2021.
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