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Aqua Discusses Song’s Legacy and Absence from “Barbie Girl” as It Turns 25

Aqua’s “Barbie Girl,” a novelty hit for the ages because to its helium-pitched vocals and corny lyrics, is still going strong 25 years after it first became popular worldwide. Any discussion about Greta Gerwig’s upcoming “Barbie” movie inevitably revolves around the candy-colored video’s more than 1.1 billion YouTube views and if “Barbie Girl” will appear on the soundtrack.


That’s a no to the question. Which is not shocking considering that Mattel sued Aqua in the 1990s and lost, but many people are nonetheless disappointed. However, the Danish-Norwegian bloc is distinctly unimpressed.


According to Lene Nystrm, incorporating “Barbie Girl” into the film would be “cheese on cheese” or overtly obvious. The once-spiky-haired Sren Rasted finds the whole thing amusing: “We should say we turned it down. Ryan Gosling is insufficient! In the end, they are anticipating the movie. Nystrm continues, “I can see why they didn’t use it, but it’s going to draw a lot of attention to us anyhow.”


Aqua is prepared for it. On September 23, the band published a special 25th anniversary version of their debut record, “Aquarium,” and they have plans to increase their touring. Additionally, Aqua is completely at ease with their particular place in popular culture, unlike some artists who distance themselves from their background.


The hitmakers from Scandinavia are ecstatic about “Barbie Girl” and are happy to relate a story about its infamously high pitch. Rasted notes, “You couldn’t do autotune at that time.” So you simply had to strike it. Which Nystrm didn’t take too kindly. She laughs, “I don’t know how many headsets I broke. I was enraged for several months. It took the singer a while to realise it, but once she did, she said, “It made the whole tune wonderful.”


As much as critics have interpreted “Barbie Girllyrics “‘s throughout the years, Aqua only intended to write a catchy song. Rasted admits apologetically, “We had the sentence, ‘C’mon Barbie, let’s go party,’ and thought it was terrific. We were influenced by the frequent news stories regarding plastic surgery at the time, but our main goal was to create a lighthearted song. We didn’t give it a lot of thought. The hook simply did an excellent job.


Aqua had a sneaking suspicion they were being targeted from the start. Just how huge they did not know. When “Barbie Girl” was released, “something amazing happened,” claims Nystrm. “Overnight, the entire globe burst.” Rasted recalls the song’s American debut. The phones at Z100 in New York lighted up when our label delivered it there,

Even though they relished the high of international renown, there was a drawback. When asked about the anti-feminist criticisms directed at the song, Nystrm states, “We weren’t prepared for all the harsh reactions.” Reading all of that was a little difficult to take in, but you know in your heart what your objectives were.


She also well recalls the Mattel case against the band, which was ultimately dropped. You always had to be careful what you said because occasionally our comments were misinterpreted.


Although Aqua is fairly open about their brief period of success, they do take offence at the term “one-hit wonders.” The third band member Rene Dif recalls that “Doctor Jones” and “Turn Back Time” also achieved No. 1 status in the United Kingdom. It demonstrated that we were not one-hit wonders, which was a popular theme at the time. He frequently disregards the description, though. You sound quite strange when you attempt to claim, “No, I’m not a one-hit wonder.”


What was their formula for success? Dif attributes success to the songs’ duet format, in which he and Nystrm alternated lines, and the memorable films that were shown in “Aquascope.” Rasted argues that they were “bigger than life” due to their catchy tunes and unforgettable music videos.


Aqua is both distinctly from the 1990s yet oddly timeless due to its cartoonish style and the fact that the decade is currently popular. Just don’t anticipate them to release any new music soon. Every so often, we go into the studio, Nystrm says. We made some incredible songs during Covid, but we haven’t finished anything.


Rasted acknowledges that the band’s lack of focus on album production is evident. Live performances are our primary focus, he claims. The “icing on the cake” would be releasing an occasional track.


They will continue to play their hits in the interim. Rasted says, “‘Aquarium’ became the soundtrack for a lot of people’s youth.


A good melody never dies; it only keeps providing, says Nystrm. And “Barbie Girl” is the ideal illustration of that.

Udit Ghosh

Udit Ghosh is a Journalist at Flaunt Weekly.

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