Meghan Trainor: From Indie Acoustic Songwriter To Top Of The Pops
At [GTR] we are missional about helping equip songwriters. While artists like Meghan Trainor seem to explode out of nowhere, this is not always the case, especially with Meghan. We love her story because it reminds us how important it is for kids to play music, that music needs to be taught in public schools, and that we can break preconceived notions about what women have to look like to be commercially viable in the music business.
MUSIC STARTS AT HOME
Meghan Elizabeth Trainor was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1993. Her father was a musician, and with his encouragement she got her start singing at church. After “messing around” with piano when she was seven, Meghan wrote her first original song when she was eleven.
MUSIC IN THE SCHOOLS
Noting that she had her first hit by the time she was twenty, it’s no surprise that Trainor used her High School years to seriously hone her craft. Megan played in the High School Jazz Band, studied guitar with Johnny Spampinato of NRBQ, and did four years of club gigs with a local band. She also started writing and producing music in GargageBand on her laptop, and went on to release three self-produced records before graduating. The below video was shot when Meghan was a sophomore, and you can already hear her signature sound taking shape.
Not content to let summers pass her by, in 2009 Meghan studied Pop and R&B vocals at Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program, returned in 2010 to study Jazz vocals, and was a finalist in their songwriting competition.
During this period Meghan also entered various songwriting competitions, and in 2009 she won the Best Female Artist at the International Acoustic Music Awards. Other awards at the 2010 New Orleans Songwriter’s Festival and the 2011 Tennessee Concerts Song Contest. Meghan leveraged these experiences to develop her craft as a performer and gather feedback on her songwriting.
At the Durango Songwriter’s Expo, Meghan had a chance to perform for Big Al Anderson, Johnny Spampinato’s former bandmate in NRBQ. Anderson was so taken with Meghan that he introduced her to Carla Wallace from Big Yellow Dog Music, who signed Megan to a publishing deal. In the following video Megan visits the Expo and shares how one handshake changed her life.
After finishing High School, Meghan traveled around the country producing and singing on songs she’d penned with various artists. In 2013, she met producer Kevin Kadish with whom she co-wrote all the songs on Title including “All About That Bass”
Rumor has it that numerous labels turned the song down, so Kadish arranged for Meghan to perform it on ukulele for former Epic Chairman L.A. Reid in early 2014. In a few short months the single was released and rocketed its way to the #1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100. More singles followed before Title was released, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Title bumped Taylor Swift’s 1989 from the #1 spot, sold over a million copies, and set the stage for three Grammy nominations. Meghan deservedly won the Grammy for Best New Artist, and in her acceptance speech had this to say about Reid, “I have to thank L.A. Reid for looking at me as an artist instead of just a songwriter.”
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP HERE
It appears Meghan was paying close attention in High School, as her second album “Thank You” charted and sold quite well. She also recorded a single, “I’m A Lady” for the film “Smurfs: The Lost Village”, and continues to tour, write and be an encouragement to us all. Thank you Meghan!
– By Doug Doppler & Bruce Adolph GTR
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