This post was written by Esin Aydingoz.

I'm a '90s child, and I loved my Barbies growing up. I actually still have them at my parents' place. My absolute favorite Barbie was one that had brown hair and a 101 Dalmatians t-shirt on. I loved that it was a constant reminder to me that brown hair is also beautiful (most Barbies were blonde) and that she shared my love for Disney with me.

I looked nothing like her in terms of her body and overall beauty, but I so wanted to be her when I grew up.

When Jennifer Smith called me about this project, I was thrilled because I love writing music for meaningful projects that I personally connect with. Clearly, Black Barbie: A Documentarychecked both of those boxes, and I got to collaborate with Jen.

I joined the project quite late in the process. There were a lot of licensed tracks that were already approved, and our director [Lagueria Davis] was particularly passionate about one of the licensed tracks. I created different variations for them. I wrote around those and make sure that what I do would still be cohesive with what already was there in terms of the overall sound.

As for my original music, there are a lot of scenes where the interviewees open up about their feelings. Those vulnerable moments always need some extra love from a composer who scores to picture in my opinion. I'm so happy I got to be the one.

It is quite mesmerizing how there is zero acting throughout the interviews in the film, yet there is so much emotion. The interviewees are simply being themselves and naturally getting emotional as they reflect on their childhoods, insecurities, and experiences, which gives the crew a whole other layer of responsibility to be as authentic as possible.

My music in Black Barbie is more about respect and empathy than storytelling but in a light and fun world!

Esin_ozlem_aydingoz_0Composer Esin AydingozCredit: Courtesy of Esin Aydingoz

I am often a one-woman music team, so I love it when there is someone else to laugh with and get excited with when creating music for a project. I love all the stages of music-making with Jen. From our initial phone calls to our more in-depth Zoom meetings with our "Badass Lady Music Team '' spreadsheet where I upload all my work and we eventually color code the revisions and approvals and monitor the whole process together.

A particularly memorable moment for me was when I got this note for two cues in a row from Lagueria: "OMG this is beautiful... I love it, it's so good -- no notes!"

As composers, we are so used to being asked for revisions, so quick approvals are always memorable.

I also really enjoyed that my reference tracks weren't just backgrounding instrumental music, but killer Beyoncé and Diana Ross songs. Research and analysis can be a big part of the creative process and having empowering and inspirational anthems definitely helped me be in the right creative mood.

I am very fast with writing for piano, so my classical piano background always influences my film projects in a very positive way. The fact that Jen and I have worked together before is great because we now know each other's preferences about things which makes it a very smooth process. Other than that, the more I accomplish, the easier it gets to earn directors' trust.

I'm very thankful for any and all projects that convinced Jen and Lagueria that I was the right fit for this project.

This post was written by Esin Aydingoz.