Family, Nashville, and Bringing Booty Back: My Interview with Meghan Trainor

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By: Harrison Giza

Meghan Trainor gets my vote for song of the Summer. Her song “All About That Bass,” a pop-infested booty riff with a message, has gotten four million Youtube hits in just over a month. I sent her an email a few weeks ago, immediately after I listened to “Bass” for the first time.

One of the best things about her, that I find at least, is her personality coming through the music she sings behind. The “skinny bitches” line is golden, not to mention the fact that one of her best lyrics includes the most brilliant romantic booty sentiment I’ve heard since Bubba Sparxxx. Trainor is more lover than fighter, showing appreciation for her mother, father, and family every second she can. Her parents are practically her best friends… and that is a good thing to hear nowadays. “All About That Bass” is a female banger in a time where anthems are convoluted and convulsed with sex, money, and “work bitch” swagger. Meghan is just writing fun music. Every inch of it as fantastically free and lovely as she is.

Even before her upsurge of popularity, Meghan had been delivering quality tune after quality tune. Her father gave her a ukelele when she was in high school. She learned her chords and wrote “Baby Doll” with friend Aly Holland. To me, that song is pure happiness… almost in a Ingrid Michaelson meets Norah Jones’ funnier friend kind of way. She sounds so great because she doesn’t need anything else but that voice. It carries the guitars behind her ballads and erupts every time she strikes an instrument. She doesn’t fail.

I got to talk with Meghan earlier this week, learning about her biggest influences, favorite songs, and discussed our mutual love for the magical land of Massachusetts. To say she’s great is to only say the least. Expect to hear her name for a long time.


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HG: First off, I want to say thank you for bringing booty back. It hasn’t been around for awhile and I was starting to get worried. I want to know, where were you when you had the idea for “All About That Bass?” How’d that idea evolve to a million hits on Youtube?

MT: I was in Nashville on a songwriting trip. I had a session one day with writer/producer Kevin Kadish, it was my first time meeting him. I remember I walked in and told Kevin I didn’t want to write for any specific artists that day, I just wanted to write a great song for the world. He actually had that title “All About That Bass” and told me no one had written it with him yet and I immediately thought “we could compare bass to booty/thickness”. He started making the beat and I started writing the rap and we knew it would be a big girl power song.

HG: Who was the first artist that you were ever obsessed with?

MT: I remember my mother playing Wilson Phillips in the car everyday. Their harmonies and catchy melodies really inspired me. It was almost like music lessons everyday. My mother played their album and also Jackson 5 and I then learned rhythm and how to put catchy melodies to dope rhythms.

HG: How do you feel being a performer with a message in an era where sex sells at the highest it’s ever been? Do you think young girls have any artists to learn from? Who?

MT: I always thought I would have to lose a bunch of weight and be a “sexy” artist in order to make it, but when they told me I could be myself and sing my songs I pretty much cried tears of joy. I like artists who are honest and real. Lorde made a big difference and spoke the truth and is very relatable. Ed Sheeran is a real artist who sings from the the heart and writes from his soul and  when you hear his music you think “that’s how I feel”.

HG: Tell me about your mom. She seems amazingly sweet.

MT: MY MAMA IS THE GREATEST MAMA EVER. Her and my Aunt Lisa Toney are my best friends in the world. I can tell her anything, and I mean ANYTHING and she will be there for me. She has supported me since day 1 and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her and my loving father. She always tells me I’m beautiful and don’t worry what people think. I call her maybe 8-10 times a day and she ALWAYS answers.

HG: Who made you want to be a musician? Your mom mentioned a “Bob LaPalm?”

MT: Bob LaPalm was my mom’s uncle.  He was an amazing guitar player and was in some bands in the 60’s and early 70’s.   One band Bob was in was The  Wildweeds with Al Anderson (who then went on to NRBQ).  The freaky coincidence is that,  I met Al Anderson at The Durango Songwriter’s Expo, he liked my music and brought me to his publisher, Big Yellow Dog Music. Even though I never met Bob, it’s so cool to know that someone in my family opened for Janis Joplin. It is special for our family that Al and I have written songs together, including Can’t Blame a Girl for trying by Sabrina Carpenter ( Chris Gelbuda is also a writer on this song).

(Pause)

  My father is the main reason why I do what I do. He is an amazing musician and always supported me and provided me with any equipment I needed to produce and write music. My favorite thing in the world is to send my parents a new song and making them proud! Also my aunt and uncle, Lisa and Burton Toney Have been performers in Trinidad and Tobago and have taught me everything I know about performing. They have given me a deep love for Soca and all Caribbean music.  They are my best friends and I’m forever grateful for them as well.

HG: Describe your perfect breakfast.

MT: Let me place an order..two eggs over light with wheat toast and sausage 😉

HG: What can your fans expect when seeing you live?

MT: people say Im funny when Im on stage, probably because Im nervous…and they can expect to dance and have fun!

HG: Tell me about the fan art. I’ve seen some of the stuff on Facebook.

MT: ITS THE COOLEST THING IN THE WORLD. I love my fans and they surprise me every morning with more art work. I don’t think they know it but I use their artwork for my background on my iPhone (laughs)

HG: What is your guilty pleasure song? Any favorite albums?

MT: T-PAIN UP AND DOWN. I’m the biggest T-pain fan. A lot of people laugh when I tell them but I can’t help it I’m obsessed with his writing skills and melodies.

HG: Tell me about how you create a song. What is your writing process like?

MT: The lyrics come last. I always start with melodies, it really depends on the track or if we start from scratch. “All About That Bass” was created from scratch. The other day I heard a new beat and immediately had melodies and words flowing out of my mouth.

HG: We’re both from Massachusetts… but do we both love Massachusetts?

MT: Heyyyyyy we must be twins! Yeah I LOVE MASS. i miss the cape and islands and the beaches! Pretty much my entire family lives on Nantucket so Ill always return to my home town.

HG: What do all good songs have?

MT: Catchy hooks.

HG: I want to know about your earlier songs. How do you feel about “Only 17” now?

MT: (laughs) great question. To me they are old songs that lyrically don’t make sense but have beautiful melodies and when I listen to it now a days I’m almost impressed with my little 17 year old self for the production and concepts.

HG: “Baby Doll” is a great song. When did you start playing the Ukelele?

MT: My father bought me my uke when I was 15 years old. They day he handed it to me I wrote an entire lullaby and produced it that day. I wanted to show my dad how grateful and happy I was that he got me that uke.

HG: Please tell me another album is coming out soon. What are future songs going to sound like?

MT: YES! there is going to be a couple different genres and very catchy hook with truthful, fun lyrics that everyone can relate to.  There are a lot of upbeat tracks so get ready to dance. There are also two killer ballads that I hope will be in movies one day! I hope my fans will love the album and be able to relate to these songs.

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For more on Meghan, CLICK HERE: http://www.meghan-trainor.com

Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter: @Meghan_Trainor

Blue Harvest Beat:

Email: blueharvestbeat@gmail.com

Twitter: @cokedupharry

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlueHarvestBeat

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