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If you haven’t heard Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” somewhere around 100 times in the past few months, have you even doom-scrolled on TikTok and Instagram? The singer’s surprise song for Barbie has gone absolutely viral since its release over the summer on social media specifically, with the TikTok sound inspiring over one and a half million videos on that platform alone and remaining a top trending tune on the Billboard charts for 10 weeks straight. But what does Billie Eilish think about the song becoming so immensely popular?
Eilish is, of course, no stranger to a big hit song considering six of her songs have surpassed over a billion streams on Spotify so far, but there’s something special about “What Was I Made For?” that has never happened for one of her tunes until now. Since Barbie’s release, the song has become inexplicably tied to being the soundtrack for people to share their feelings about the Greta Gerwig movie, but also expressing their thoughts on growing up and a range of personal journeys in their lives. Billie Eilish reacted to its success by saying this:
The way the song has been heard and seen by women is so special to me. 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.
One could literally spend hours on TikTok watching “What Was I Made For?”-inspired videos. It’s clear tons of people have connected with Billie Eilish’s song on an even deeper level than it being in the background of the highest-grossing of the 2023 movie releases. During the recent interview with Allure, Eilish also shared how the song came to be:
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?’ 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. We wrote most of the song without thinking about ourselves and our own lives, but thinking about this character we were inspired by. 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.
More On Barbie
Billie Eilish wrote “What Was I Made For?” during a period of time for her when she was dealing with a lot of writer’s block around her music. The singer was invited by Greta Gerwig to watch a cut of the movie with hopes she might be inspired to write a tune for its stacked soundtrack, and the messages of the movie resonated with her so much the hit single just floated out of her. While the lyrics are clearly pulled from the journey of Margot Robbie’s Barbie throughout the film, Billie Eilish later realized they also very much reflect her own feelings about life.
Following the success of “What Was I Made For?” it’s quite possible that Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell could be on their way to another Oscar for Best Original Song. The sibling duo have already won for the Bond theme “No Time To Die,” but show me a 2023 song from a movie with more impact than “What Was I Made For?”.