On Thursday’s Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, producer and songwriter extraordinaire Mark Ronson gave some insight on how the Barbie soundtrack came together, including which artist he called first and why he thinks it brought Billie Eilish out of a creative slump.
Along with an A-list roster of artists, the soundtrack features a score from Ronson and frequent collaborator Andrew Wyatt, who together have worked with artists such as Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa
And speaking of Lipa, it turns out she was the first call Ronson made when he was hired by director/writer/producer Greta Gerwig to produce the soundtrack.
“The first song that we wrote was ‘Dance the Night,’ because the first thing that Greta had told me about was a big dance number that they were doing,” Ronson said. “So I instantly thought of Dua because she’s fantastic, and we’ve worked together before.”
Ronson also discussed how the reinterpreted version of the iconic “Barbie Girl” song came together with Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, called “Barbie World.” He said that because Minaj’s fanbase is known as the Barbies or Barbz, she has helped keep the brand relevant.
“We knew she had to be on it, and Ice Spice was just blowing up as well,” Ronson said. “And we managed to get them. I mean, the fact that we have them over this ‘Barbie Girl’ thing is… it’s just insane.”
Cohen also asked Ronson why he thinks working on the soundtrack helped pull Billie Eilish out of an admitted creative funk. She contributed the song “What Was I Made For?,” produced by her brother Finneas O’Connell.
“You know Greta and I kind of played the movie in different forms for all the different artists. And Billie and Finneas saw about 20 minutes of the film and they seemed to be really inspired,” Ronson said. “And then a week later Billie sent us the most gorgeous ballad, like one of the most gorgeous ballads we had ever heard. So I think the movie just really inspired her, I think emotionally and what not.”
And finally, Cohen wanted to get Ronson’s take on one of the few high-profile negative reviews of Barbie that came from Bill Maher, who called it “preachy” and “man-hating.”
“I just was kind of like, ‘Chill out, it’s a movie,’” Ronson said.
Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen airs Sunday through Thursday nights on Bravo.