Ronson said it took him and Wyatt two days to write, “But we needed the entire year to make it what it was,” he added. I'm Just Ken recently made it to the Billboard Hot 100 at 87, a first for Gosling.
Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt on Ken's blonde fragility
The song is currently rumored to be a contender for an Academy Award original song nomination. I'm Just Ken is a half power ballad and half dance-off song. with lyrics that poke fun at toxic masculinity, “Is it my destiny to live and die a life of blonde fragility?”
Ronson and Wyatt had at least four or five different versions of the song.
“We had it pretty quick, but then Greta asked for the bridge hit,” Ronson stated.
Once they saw a rough cut of Barbie, Ronson asked to also score it. On the soundtrack are musicians such as Wolfgang Van Halen, Slash and the Foo Fighters' Josh Freese.
I'm Just Ken went naturally viral and has been parodied on SNL.
When Ronson was asked how he and Wyatt decided to make the song in the style of an old-school metal power ballad, he replied, “That's what the song called for.”
“We wrote the song very simply, on a piano. When you write the chorus, ‘I’m just Ken,' your brain can’t help but go there,” he explained.
“That era of the late ’70s was about we’re so cool. We can do anything, and that matches his headspace,” Wyatt added.
It also helped that Ronson's stepfather is Mick Jones, guitarist for the British-American rock band Foreigner.
And as for the Kenergy, he further explained, “We had written all of it. So where it goes, ‘I am no dreamer,' and before it goes back to the dance, it goes back to ‘I’m just Ken.' That’s how we wrote it. And Greta said, ‘I have one more thing I need you to write, it’s going to be this crazy dance off, and it’s this white space.' The song to us was already pretty maximalist. So, we asked, ‘Is this more?” and she said, “This is everything you’ve got?'”
“At that point, we were wondering how do we go more? Do we take the tempo up? Andrew and I didn’t want to write a parody song. We wanted to write an earnest song with a few lines that maybe had some humor in it. I just remember having such a good time and the time that I really allowed myself a lot to laugh was when Andrew was in the booth singing, ‘Can you feel Kenergy?' Ronson continued.
However, the singer, in some cases, does make or break a song. Wyatt and Ronson didn't need to worry, though.
“Ryan [Gosling] put in a f***ing shitload of emotion and phrasing. I watched him record the vocal, and he was backing away from the mic because he was using his entire body to sing the song,” Ronson said about Gosling's time in the recording booth.
He continued, “Whether he was envisioning what it was going to be like to perform in front of the camera in character and he was already entering that zone or it was a subconscious way that he was getting the entire Kendom-ness-land of it all, he brought his whole performance to the song.”
And if the song were to be nominated at the Oscar's, Ronson already has a visual of what the performance would look like. “All of it; Slash with the wind machine, Ryan, unicorns running across the stage, just a full Greta Gerwig-directed spectacle is what I’d love to see.”
“That sounds totally in line with my fantasy. The wind machine is what really got me,” Wyatt added.
That really got me, too. And Ryan Gosling and the rest of the Kens with unicorns. That will definitely do justice to the maybe Academy-Award nominated song.