Two months after “I’m Just Ken” debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, writer and producer Mark Ronson explained the making of Ryan Gosling’s breakout song during a “The Music Behind” chart appearance. Barbie” event in Los Angeles.
Accompanied by Barbie soundtrack producers Kevin Weaver and Brandon Davis, along with music supervisor George Drakoulias, revealed Wednesday at the Grammy Museum that Greta Gerwig initially came to him with the idea for two main songs.
“She sent me this funny PDF that she and Noah (Baumbach) had scribbled, like Barbie’s song is supposed to be about the world is perfect and everything is great and there are no shadows and everything is great because everything is always great and that will be great are. Like all these silly lyrics,” the producer said. “Ken’s song said, ‘I love horses, but they also make me angry.’ And it had hit songs by Barbie and Ken, which is always funny to send to a songwriter: “Just give us two hit songs.”
He recalled reading the script and coming up with the lyrics, “I’m just Ken, anywhere else I’d be a 10,” and said, “I didn’t think about it, that’s funny; I felt like a poor guy, which sucks. Never a parody or never a meme.” Ronson sent a demo of the song to Gerwig, who then played it for Gosling. “The next thing I know, she says, ‘Ryan wants to sing the song.’ And I thought, ‘Really?’ She says, “Yes, he said it affects him very deeply.” And I thought, ‘Is he being ironic?’ And she said, ‘I don’t think so.’”
Ronson also revealed Gosling’s reaction to his chart success, noting, “He kind of feels like someone who doesn’t get caught up in the hype from the little bit I know about him now,” noting that he would send updates on the major milestones “I’m Just Ken” achieved. “Even he would say, ‘This is so surreal, I don’t even know what to tell you.’ I think he’s a real musician, he loves music, and I think that really touched him, like when Slash played on it, you know? So there are certain things that I think he’s really excited about,” he said.
The conversation also touched on the album’s other breakout songs, as Weaver said, “We had so many artists that wanted to be a part of this that we ultimately couldn’t find places for all the artist cues for all the artists that wanted them.” involved.” Billie Eilish was of course one of those artists who made it, with her hit ‘What Was I Made For?’
Ronson joked that after showing her and Finneas some of the film, Eilish “sent this really sweet, innocent text that said, ‘Wrote a song today’ with a winking smiley.” We had no idea that a week later we would receive the most devastating ballad. The producer also told the audience that Gerwig and Margot Robbie both burst into tears when they first heard the song.
Another of the biggest songs on the album is Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj’s “Barbie World,” which was in danger of not happening if Gerwig wasn’t directly involved.
“From the very beginning, we felt like Nicki, who is Barbie at heart, would be a part of this. We kept digging into the idea of having her do the version of “Barbie Girl,” and it’s just interesting because there were a lot of moments where she did it and there were a lot of moments where she didn’t do it. and it happened and didn’t happen,” Weaver recalled. “We got to a point where Nicki actually broke the record and it was incredible. We knew we loved it and Greta loved it, it completed the end of the picture (but) we had a hard time getting it done.
“We went to Greta and asked Greta if she would write a letter to Nicki, and Greta wrote this beautiful note to Nicki and basically said, ‘You are Queen Barb and when I was planning to make this movie, as I thought artists, you were the first artist that really came to me as someone who I thought would be a key collaborator and contributor to this,” he continued. “I sent that letter to Nicki and the next morning Nicki called us back and said she was 100 percent for it.”