'What Was I Made For?': Finneas O’Connell on recording the <I>Barbie</I> hit
February 5, 2024

'What Was I Made For?': Finneas O’Connell on recording the Barbie hit

Warner Bros.’ Barbie received eight Oscar nominations for the 96th annual Academy Awards, including two in the “Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)” category. “What Was I Made For?" features music and lyrics written and performed by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell. 

O’Connell (pictured) says that when the recording process started, the goal was to keep the recorded sound as similar to the original voice memo as possible.


“We mic’d up the upright piano that I have in my studio,” he recalls. “I just have a stereo set of mics…Billie sang her vocals into a Telefunken 251 microphone, and then she comp’ed it herself, and then we built kind of everything around those two tracks.”

O’Connell adds that he’s very fond of the song’s structure too. 

“The reason that I say that is that it separates the kind of idea of ‘hook’ from ‘chorus,’ because I think the chorus of this song is: ‘I don't know how to feel, but I wanna try. I don't know how to feel, but someday, I might,’ but the hook of this song is: ‘What was I made for,’ and that happens at the end of each part of the verse. There’s a part one, part two of verse one, and part one of verse two, and then there’s a verse three, and they all end with ‘What was I made for’ as a hook.”