Billie Eilish Says She Couldn't Have Been "Less Inspired" Before Writing 'Barbie' Soundtrack Song

It unblocked something for her.

Billie Eilish attends the World Premiere of "Barbie" at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on July 09, 2023 in Los Angeles, California
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Billie Eilish' song "What Was I Made For?" from the Barbie soundtrack is a hit.

The mournful track spent 10 weeks on the Billboard Top 100, and reached number one on both the Hot Alternative Songs and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs charts.

But when Eilish and her brother and collaborator FINNEAS were given the task to compose this song for the blockbusting movie, they were at a creative impasse. Thankfully, it sounds like this was the missing piece to unblock their inspiration.

"We wrote it in a period of time where we couldn’t have been less inspired and less creative. That day we were making stuff, and were like, 'We’ve lost it. Why are we even doing this?' Eilish confessed in a new cover interview with Allure.

"And then those first chords happened, and 'I used to float / now I just fall down' came out and the song wrote itself. I have the whole video of us writing the song, and the first thing we wrote were those lines in the first 10 minutes."

While the song's narrative was based on the Barbie character arc portrayed by Margot Robbie in the film, Eilish realized after the fact that it was actually really personal to her as well.

"We wrote most of the song without thinking about ourselves and our own lives, but thinking about this character we were inspired by," she said.

"A couple of days went by, and I realized it was about me. It’s everything I feel. And it’s not just me—everyone feels like that, eventually."

The song's lyrics allude to the sense of not knowing our purpose, what we were "made for," and the existential sadness that can come along with that.

"The way the song has been heard and seen by women is so special to me," Eilish added.

"All the videos are devastating. I go on TikTok, and it’s video after video of how hard it is to be a woman, with that song playing."

The Barbie movie was widely praised for addressing the difficulties that come with being a woman, culminating in a rousing and memorable speech by America Ferrera's charsacter.

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.