Billie Eilish reveals Barbie song pulled her out of ‘dark episode’

Billie Eilish, who created a song for the Barbie soundtrack, wears a blue jacket, glasses and a pink beanie with a neon star pattern on it

Billie Eilish said that Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster Barbie really “resonated” with her and has revealed that being able to work on the blockbuster’s soundtrack helped her come out of a “dark episode”. 

Speaking at the Palm Springs Film Awards while accepting an award from Gerwig on Thursday (4 January), Eilish opened up about her mental health journey and how Barbie helped her pull out a particularly hard time while she worked on the song “What Was I Made For?”

The multi-award winning singer-songwriter recalled being in a “dark episode” where she felt like “things didn’t make sense”, and she didn’t “understand what the point was”.

Then, Eilish’s life took a turn when she watched the “beautiful” Barbie film, and the process of working on “What Was I Made For?” changed her outlook on life. 

“[I was] questioning everything in the world, and, honestly, going to see the movie and being shown the small amount we were shown … I was just watching Barbie, like, say and feel things that I really resonated with and felt,” she said. 

“I felt so seen, and I did not expect that, and I think this movie is the most incredible, most empowering, beautiful, funny and unbelievable piece of art in the world, and I’m so honoured to be a part of it.”

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She dedicated any recognition that the song gets to “anyone who experiences hopelessness and the feeling of existential dread and feeling like, ‘What’s the point and why am I here and what am I doing this for?’

“I think we all feel like that occasionally,” the “bad guy” hitmaker said. 

“If somebody like me with the amount of privilege that I have and the incredible things I get to do and be, and how I have really not wanted to be here – sorry, it’s kinda dark, damn – but I’ve spent a lot of time feeling that way, and I just want to say to anyone that feels that way, be patient with yourself and know that it is, I think, worth it all, and I think that it’s good to be alive now.”

Billie Eilish has spoken before about being in a difficult situation while working on the Barbie soundtrack hit with her brother-collaborator, Finneas O’Connell. 

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in November, Eilish admitted she was “concerned” that “it was over for me” before she began working on “What Was I Made For?”, which has been nominated for five Grammys since the film came out.

“We’d been trying and it wasn’t doing what it usually would do in me,” she said. “I was honestly like, ‘Damn, maybe I hit my peak and I don’t know how to write anymore?’”

In a separate chat with Allure, Eilish described writing the Barbie song when the sister-brother duo were feeling “less inspired and less creative” than ever before. 

“That day we were making stuff, and were like, ‘We’ve lost it. Why are we even doing this?’” she recalled. 

“And then those first chords happened, and ‘I used to float / now I just fall down’ came out and the song wrote itself.”

Eilish has credited Gerwig with ‘saving’ her by asking her to work on the Barbie soundtrack.

“Greta saved me, really, honestly,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “It brought us out of it and immediately we were inspired and wrote so much more after that.”

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