Thanks to an addictive retro R&B beat, lyrics about a healthy body image, and an equally viral music video, Meghan Trainor's “All About that Bass” became an unexpected hit of the summer. Not bad considering Trainor is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Nantucket, Mass., who got her start penning tracks for country music stars Rascal Flatts. Yet, if the record industry had its way, no one would have heard her debut single.
“I wrote the song and started pitching it for like four months and no one wanted it,” Trainor says over lunch. When she couldn’t find a home for the record she decided to keep it for herself. With the demo version intact, she released the single in June — taking only a few months to climb to the No. 2 spot behind Taylor Swift on the Billboard Hot 100.
While the meteoric rise may seem lucky, it shouldn’t be so surprising that Trainor’s song scored with fans. Her sound, while fresh, is clearly a study of previous hit artists before her. Trainor cites Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz, and T-Pain as her biggest influences. “Everything is upbeat and happy; there’s no ballads and it’s catchy,” Trainor explains when asked what makes theses artists chart-toppers.
While she now has a record deal with LA Reid and is focused on producing an album, it hasn’t stopped her from continuing to write for other artists. According to Trainor, she can write a song in 45 minutes, so she should be able to find time to do both. The problem with producing records for other artists, however, is that there are so many restrictions. “Like, would she ever say this or would he ever want to talk about that or would she want to sing this part?”
And for Trainor herself, there are no rules. “I have to think, do I want to be that girl that’s known for drunk texting at 3 a.m.?” she asks to no one in particular. “And I was like, ehhhh it’s honest.”
With her new digital EP, Title, she’s showcasing more of who she is thanks to three new tracks, “Title,” “Dear Future Husband,” and “Close Your Eyes.”
“I think my follow ups are better than ['All About that Bass'],” the singer admits. With this EP, Trainor is showing fans she’s more than a viral hit. “First album, you show them what you can do and then the second album, you can do whatever you want. And that’s what I’m gonna do.”
Trainor's debut digital EP, Title, is available now on iTunes.