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Billie Eilish: ‘Finneas and my love for making music for film, it just shows itself more and more’

Mr. Nimbus | 07/13/2023

Billie Eilish joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 for an in-depth conversation about her contribution to the ‘Barbie’ film soundtrack, entitled “What Was I Made For”.

In the conversation she tells Apple Music about how she and FINNEAS became involved in the project, being invited by Greta Gerwig to see an early cut of the film, the origin and creation of the song, how the process pulled her out of feelings of self doubt after a period of feeling uninspired creatively, what Barbie means to her, her love of contributing music to films, how she’s feeling creatively at the moment, what the future holds, and more.

Billie Eilish on How She and FINNEAS Became Involved in the ‘Barbie’ Film Soundtrack…

God, it’s so funny that it’s all out now or coming out now because it’s been such a secret for so long. At some point at the end of last year, Finneas was like, “Dude, would you want to make a song for Barbie?” And I was like, “What?” I was like, “Where did you get that question? Why did that come into your brain?” And he was like, “Well, I was talking to so-and-so, and it came up. And talking to Mark and Greta,” and da, da da. And he’s like… there’s some random day in December Finneas goes, “We’re going to …” No, no, no, I get a text. It’s like a group text and it’s me, Finneas, and then two other numbers. And suddenly Finneas is like, “Hey, this is Billie’s number.” And I look, and I’m like, I don’t know what the hell is going on. There’s no pre, I don’t know what’s going on. And then it’s like, “Hey, this is Greta. Hey, this is Mark.”And I’m like, oh, okay. So then they basically send a couple, I don’t know, they explain stuff. Greta explains some things about the movie. I had heard of it when the internet heard of it like a year ago, and they were shooting and everyone was like, oh my God, it’s Margot Robbie and it’s Ryan Gosling, and it’s all this stuff. Anyway, Finneas goes at one point, Finneas is like, “At 3:00 PM today, we’re going to call Greta and Mark.” And I’m like, “Cool.” No team, no anything else. That was it. And we got on a call with them. Greta explained to us the movie, and it was just the sweetest, most pure thing in the world. And of course, Finneas and I went into this honestly in a very selfish way of, we totally might not have anything to do with this movie, but I want to see it. Show me. I want to see it.

Billie Eilish on Being Invited By Greta Gerwig To See An Early Cut of the Film…

Greta was like, we want you to see the movie. So come to wherever, we’ll show you as much as we have…and it’s just me and Finneas. And we went to Warner Brothers, and it was literally me and Finneas and Greta, and a couple of her producers. And she was going to have a baby in five days. And she was like, this is just the craziest thing. I went into it being like … I had no idea what to expect. I went into it not thinking that anything would necessarily come of it. I was like, I just want to see this movie. This is so cool. I’m honored to even be thought of, whatever. I really had no idea what to expect. And again, I was really nervous for her. She played us the first 30, 40 minutes of the movie. A minute in, Finneas and I looked at each other like … Whoa, this is insane. She’d play a scene and she’d walk in front of us and she’d go, “So, in the next part, what I want it to be is I want it to really feel like this,” and she’d do her Greta Gerwig-ass thing and she’d come up and she’d show us her passion and tell us all. And she kept getting up and walking all the way down to the front of the theater to tell us about the next part and explain it. And she was just like, “It’s so scary to show anybody this. It’s like my baby.” She wanted to really explain it and give it all of the context that it needed… She was literally like, “I don’t care. Please just, if you’re inspired, make something. And if you’re not, that’s fine. It’s fine. It would be my dream.”

Billie Eilish on The Origin and Creation of “What Was I Made For”…

…literally the next day, we were working and we were writing something, I don’t know, it was kind of a dud of a day. Nothing was really made. And it was late. And I was like, “All right, well, I think I’m going to go. We’ve done enough. We’re done for the day.” And Finneas was like, “Should we try to write a Barbie song?” And I literally was like, “Dog, no. What? We’re not going to make, come on.” I thought about “No Time to Die”, that was months of thinking and talking and coming up with different melodies and stuff. That was also one of my favorite processes of all time.But very different. And I was like, “We can’t recreate that. How are we going to do that?” And we truly sat down and Finneas started playing piano, and… those first couple lyrics, “I used to float, now I just fall down,” just came right out…”I used to know, but I’m not sure now what I was made for.”

The start of writing this song, the first day of writing, Finneas and I, especially me because it’s from my perspective, we were purely only thinking about Barbie. I did not think about myself once in the writing process. So that’s full first verse, pre-chorus, chorus, maybe second verse, all in one night. Didn’t think about my own life. Didn’t think about how I feel. Didn’t think about anything. I was purely inspired by this movie and this character and the way I thought she would feel, and wrote about that. And then, over the next couple days, I was listening and I was like, girl, how did this … honestly, and I really don’t mean this to come off a conceited way at all, but I do this thing where I make stuff that I don’t even know is … like I’m writing for myself and I don’t even know it. It is one of the most incredible things I get to experience in my life. Dude, the next week I was playing it in the car all day and playing it for everybody. And I was like, “This is exactly how I feel. And I didn’t even mean to be saying it.” It was truly the trippiest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I was like, oh, I absolutely was writing about myself, but I was thinking about myself from a third person. And I was thinking about myself objectively, which also made me feel really connected to her, me.

Billie Eilish on How “What Was I Made For” Pulled Her Out of Feelings of Self Doubt After a Period of Feeling Uninspired Creatively…

We’d really been having, both of us… Usually, it’s just me with the writer’s block, but not even writer’s block, but just the frustration in writing. And Finneas has always been the one that’s like, “No, no, no, let’s write. Let’s write.” And honestly, we were in a period of time where we were both … like through this last winter, we’ve both been incredibly uninspired. And we’ve still been working and trying to make stuff. And honestly, that song was the first thing we’d written in a minute. Even though we were coming up with ideas and coming up with this and that, I remember after we wrote that first half, I go, “I think we still got it.” We were really in a zone of feeling like we lost it and feeling like, man, I don’t know if we can do this anymore. And we were like, I was 15 years old, 16, 17, and he’s a teenager, you can imagine my thoughts of doubt. Like, oh, I can’t do this anymore. And Barbie and Greta just pulled it out of me, I don’t know.

Billie Eilish on What Barbie Means To Her…

Oh gosh. Well, Barbie was my childhood. Truly, Barbie was my everyday as a kid.It’s a beautiful doll, please. She’s everything, too. She’s everyone. There’s so many Barbies and there’s so many different versions and different… all my Barbies had their own personalities and opinions and thoughts, and styles and ideas of the world. And I was just a little kid talking for them, but they still had personality to me.

Billie Eilish on Her Love of Contributing Music For Films…

Something I think is really special about this whole experience that I’ve been thinking about a lot is Finneas and my love for making music for film, it really just shows itself more and more. Like I said, we were really uninspired in this period of life, and we were so uncreative and not coming up with anything, and nothing was inspiring. We had many hours of conversations about I’m not inspired. I don’t like stuff right now. There’s something about film and TV that makes me, and I don’t want to speak for Finneas, but I’d say Finneas, have this feeling of, I don’t know, it’s something, I was going to say, something we’re made for. It really feels like that…it gives you guidelines. And I’ve always said like that, I love writing from perspectives of other people and from different stories that I’ve heard. I find it really hard to write about my exact feelings in my life. And so “What Was I Made For” would never have ever been written, even though it is, every single lyric is exactly…How I feel. Exactly how I feel. Every lyric, exactly how I feel. It’s exactly how I feel. It’s about my life. Anyway, sorry. But, “What Was I Made For” would not have been written because I wouldn’t have thought to write it.

Billie Eilish on Directing The Music Video for the Song…

It’s special. It’s special to me. I don’t know, I love all my videos, and some of them of course have aged poorly, but I still really love them all. But this one, I think, I don’t know, I feel really proud of it. I feel like in the first conversations with the team about what I wanted the video to be, it was one of those things where I was like, all right, you have any ideas for the video? And of course I’m like, no. And then I’m like, oh, yeah, I do. I don’t even realise that it’s there. And it wasn’t the full plot, it was literally just an image. It was just me turned to the 45 degree angle, left profile, blonde Barbie wig, yellow dress, kind of sage green background, desk. Doing something on the desk, don’t know what it is, that’s all I see. And that was the idea. And then it was more of a discussion of, what am I doing at the desk? What the hell is the video about? Let’s figure it out.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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