“She’s incredibly talented, I think, and her brother as well”: Hear Paul Weller covering Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For?

Billie Eilish Paul Weller
(Image credit: Petros Studio, Lorne Thomson/Redferns/Getty Images)

Having recently revealed that he thinks Billie Eilish is “fucking great”, Paul Weller has now paid her the ultimate compliment and performed one of her songs, What Was I Made For?

Asked to play a cover by Jo Whiley for one of her Sofa Sessions on BBC Radio 2 (skip to 1:21:00 for the performance), Weller chose the track that Eilish contributed to the soundtrack to the smash-hit 2023 movie, Barbie.

“Everyone’s going to know this… I heard it through my youngest daughter, Nova,” he says by way of introduction. “She’s a big fan of this next artist, and it’s a Billie Eilish tune and it’s called What Was I Made For?”

Weller’s version is pretty faithful to the original, but hearing it sung by one of rock’s elder statesmen lends it an even greater sense of pathos.

Paul Weller - What Was I Made For? (Sofa Session, 12 June 2024) - YouTube Paul Weller - What Was I Made For? (Sofa Session, 12 June 2024) - YouTube
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“She’s incredibly talented, I think, and her brother as well,” Weller says after his performance. “That’s such a beautiful song and the melody’s incredible - and the words. I think it’s just a great tune.”

This isn’t the first time Weller has expressed his liking for the song. In an interview with Mojo last month, he said: “I’ve got to say, man, Billie Eilish is fucking great. What Was I Made For? is an incredible tune. It’s lovely to see my little girl playing the record on vinyl and singing along to the words because I’m thinking: that was me and The Beatles. Those early inspirations stay with you for the rest of your life.”

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.