Billie Eilish and her brother FINNEAS had not disclosed their struggles with depression and writer’s block when they agreed to write the Oscar-nominated Barbie song, “What Was I Made For?,” according to producer Mark Ronson. In interviews, Eilish has openly discussed how she was feeling miserable and depressed during the songwriting process. However, Ronson, who collaborated with the siblings on the song, revealed that their initial meetings were focused on creating a song for the Barbie movie without mentioning their personal challenges.
Ronson shared that during their Zoom meetings with director Greta Gerwig, Eilish, and FINNEAS, there was no indication of the difficulties they were facing. He recalled their enthusiasm for the project, saying, “They’re like, ‘Yeah, cool. We’re excited to write a song for the thing.'”
Laughing about the interviews where Eilish and FINNEAS later revealed their writer’s block and emotional struggles, Ronson mentioned that he only learned about it afterward. The siblings’ creative process was ultimately successful, leading to the creation of “What Was I Made For?” which received a nomination for Best Original Song at the Oscars.
Despite their initial challenges, Eilish has expressed that writing the song played a significant role in her life. She mentioned at the Golden Globes that “writing that song kind of saved me a little bit.” The emotional impact of watching the Barbie movie also deeply affected Eilish, as she felt a sense of being seen and unexpected connection.
The Oscars, where “What Was I Made For?” will be competing for Best Original Song, is scheduled to air on March 10, 2024, on ABC.