Meghan Trainor Interview
With two Top 10s, including the #1 “All About That Bass,” and “Lips Are Movin'” and Top 20 tune “Dear Future Husband” all breaking the airwaves in less than a year, Meghan Trainor is the rare overnight sensation in pop music. What’s more, the 21-year-old singer-songwriter just scooped up two Billboard Music Awards from nine overall nominations, was recognized for Grammys (Record of the Year and Song of the Year nods) and has performed duets with music’s best including Miranda Lambert and John Legend with a highly-anticipated collaboration coming with Jason Derulo as well as a newly-confirmed song with One Direction’s Harry Styles. Meghan Trainor is simply a girl on fire – in one week, the Nantucket native played the BBMAs with a performance on “The Voice” 48 hours later, and in that same week performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to wake up hours later for the kick-off of the Today show’s summer concert series. Trainor embarks on “The MTrain Tour” this month around the country with a July 31 date at New York City’s JBL Live at Pier 97. Trainor’s high-energy live show is a combination of colorful visuals, choreography and an impressive troupe of musicians, not to mention Meghan’s sincere yet powerful vocals. New York City Monthly was honored to speak with her recently…
NYCM: One could probably say Nantucket/Cape Cod and New York City are complete opposites. What did you like about growing up on a small, somewhat isolated island and how would you compare it to your experiences in New York? Do you have any favorite activities or choice indulgences while visiting?
MT: They are completely opposite. I have an aunt who lived in NYC since I was little. Nantucket was awesome ’cause of the beach and everyone knew each other. We used to make trips to New York to visit my aunt. The zoo was my favorite part, my favorite childhood memory. And we saw “The Lion King” and that changed my life. I just love that music, the feel of it, it’s kind of like Caribbean and African and big – and seeing it performed live and how they can put on a whole live show made me fall in love with it. It was my first Broadway ever.
NYCM: You’re playing a large outdoor space in New York at Hudson River Park – your largest live NYC performance to date. What is it like performing in New York and what are you most excited about performing songs from your #1 album “Title” for audiences here?
MT: New York is great cause it’s closer to home so I can have my family come out and jam with us. The crowd is good in New York which is strange cause people say LA and New York are the hardest to get excited but my crowds in New York and LA are especially bumpin’. They screamed really loud. I always get excited. And the majority of my label that works with me is there, so we get to hang out.
NYCM: Your performance of “Dear Future Husband” had a fun surprise on “The Voice” finale – you played it on ukulele with just one other guitarist. How did you decide to go acoustic and what was it like appearing multiple times on a national show with Blake Shelton, offering advice to aspiring musicians?
MT: As a new song for everyone, people may say “she doesn’t really sing but she can write hit songs.” I wanted to make sure people know I sing. I’m a singer first, writer second. I wanted to do an acoustic breakdown of it, and to show people I could play instruments in addition to vocals. I’ve been performing since I was 13 and even younger at church. I thought it was cool that they wanted me to help out these kids. I’ve had some training and I have experience performing in front of big crowds. As someone who was terrified going out in front of crowds, I knew walking in as a coach – they are adults – but I wanted to make sure to get across if you want to be here you have to show them. It was incredible hugging one of the guys I coached at the finale.
NYCM: Your music has ushered in a whole new respect for doo-wop and similar soul throwbacks. In addition to being respected by major stars across genres, what is it like for you to align yourself with other up-and-coming artists like Charlie Puth who is your duet partner on “Marvin Gaye” (not to mention a new #1 hit-maker)? You’ve written for many other artists – is it different or more exciting one way or another to write a song for someone else or for yourself?
MT: It’s exciting. Whenever I hear the song from Fifth Harmony like “Sledgehammer” or “Brave, Honest, Beautiful” I yell “I wrote this!” Writing with new artists like Charlie Puth, I get extra excited about that ’cause I know how special and talented this person is, and I can’t wait for the whole world to know how talented this person is. He wrote and produced it.