Billie Eilish’s song “My Strange Addiction” is as original and unique as all of her other songs are, but this time Eilish thought to herself why not add some audio from “The Office” in there because that’s my strange addiction.
“Threat Level Midnight” is an half-hour episode from “The Office.” The episode aired in February of 2011 and is about a meta-exercise in which the characters watch a fake movie they made themselves. The movie they made is about a fictional secret agent named Michael Scarn, played by Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell. It’s filled with seventies disco music, Will Smith-esque pop-rap and coordinated dances. Airing the episode was a bold move for the show but it paid off because now its part of a Number One pop album.
Billie Eilish decided to sample some of the weirdest moments of the episode in her song because the music from episode, and her song, ended up sounding alike. “When we made the beat for ‘my strange addiction,’ it reminded me of the song they play when they do the Scarn dance,” Eilish told MTV News. “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…”
Before Eilish was allowed to release the song with “The Office” audio clips she had to get approval from all of the cast members that were featured on it.
B.J. Novak, writer, executive producer and the actor who played Ryan Howard, says he already had Eilish’s song “Bury a Friend” on his playlist before the request to sample his vocals came in, but he wasn’t that familiar with the rest of her work. “I was fine with it regardless,” says Novak, “but I was like ‘Wow, bonus: This is a banger.’”
Daniel Chun, co-executive producer of Season 7, was even more surprised. “Until you told me about her, I didn’t know who she was,” he says. “It’s not a knock on Billie Eilish, it’s more a commentary on how old I am. 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.”
Eve Nelson, “The Office’s” song producer, who composed the music for the episode was ecstatic! She is a big supporter of Billie Eilish and was genuinely shocked that she would be inspired by her work. “Can’t say enough about that girl,” she says. “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.”