“I didn’t want to give them some generic dance sh*t”: Mark Ronson on producing for Barbie

“You have to turn off all the things you know about making pop and rock and soul music”

Mark Ronson with Andrew Wyatt and Ryan Gosling

Image: Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Mark Ronson has reflected on the process of curating the soundtrack for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, and the importance of “serving the picture”.

The new film, which sees Margot Robbie star as a Stereotypical Barbie who finds herself becoming more human-like in a strange turn of events, landed last Friday (21 July) accompanied by the Mark Ronson-produced soundtrack.

The soundtrack features artists such as Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice (with a sample of Aqua’s Barbie Girl), HAIM, Tame Impala, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Lizzo and more. Ronson has produced tracks for a range of movies throughout his esteemed career, including box office smashes such as A Star Is Born (2018) and Suicide Squad (2016).

Speaking to NME, Ronson explained how he tried to serve the new unapologetically pink film, without being generic or predictable: “I wanted to get the job, but I also didn’t want to just give them some generic dance shit. I wanted to do something I’ve never done before.”

Ronson later adds, “You know, I’ve been asked to do songs for movies before, and they just say, like, ‘hey, we’re doing a Ghostbusters reboot! Just make a song!’ Like, sure, you can go make a song but your brain goes 1000 different ways.

“No offence to the Ghostbusters reboot, but they ended up with, like, 11 interpolations of the original Ghostbusters song on that movie…”

He continues to explain, “The thing I learned very, very quickly doing the score for Barbie is that you’re always serving the picture. You’re always serving the emotion. You have to turn off all the things you know about making pop and rock and soul music for the last 30 years. Yes, it needs to be beautiful, but sometimes you just need to get the fuck out the way.”

Listen to the Barbie soundtrack below:


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