In a new interview with “The Julia Show,” Billie Eilish discussed how her Barbie ballad “What Was I Made For?” freed her and Finneas from serious writer’s block.
LISTEN NOW: Billie Eilish on ‘The Julia Show’
Billie Eilish was not considering cinema when songwriting in December 2022, that was until she had heard of the Barbie movie. During talks of writing a ballad for the movie, director Greta Gerwig sent her unedited scenes. “The conversation arose, and um, it was like the craziest inspiration I’ve ever felt, in a way,” she said of those movie clips. After watching and discussing Gerwig’s and Mark Ronson’s overall hopes for a single, Eilish told Audacy host Julia that the song was immediately in the works.
Yet, that was the first time in a while that she was truly impassioned about writing. “I’ve said this before but, it was in a period of time where, like, my brother and I were very uninspired in general,” she said of co-songwriter, brother, and producer Finneas. “We’d been making a lot of music but it just was not, we were just not getting somewhere. And that had been going on for a good, solid chunk of time.”
As if struck by lightning after watching those scenes, Eilish said that the song “just happened” and they were free from an unyielding writer’s block. The song is a heartbreaking ballad that describes an overall loss of innocence and hyper-awareness about the world, which Eilish told Apple Music directly mirrors her own feelings and experiences.“This song, and what we wrote it about, and everything that was given to us to create this song, just made it happen” she recalled.
And while a soundtrack single might be treated as a ‘throw away’ song by some musicians, Eilish is quite proud of “What Was I Made For?” and the creative catalyst that the Barbie movie became for her. “I’m so glad that it happened because, it was such a weird time of just being uninspired and not creative, and as soon as we got that inspiration it was just, we immediately wrote the song. You know, wrote almost the entire thing in two hours in one night… which is not how it usually goes for us.”
To hear more about the making of the single, and how Billie Eilish nearly added onto its viral misheard lyrics TikTok, check out the full interview above!