Meghan Trainor on Success, the Grammys, and Her Next Album

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(photo: Getty Images)

If you think Megan Trainor is only “All About That Bass” you are sadly mistaken. Since that breakthrough hit topped the charts around the world, with eight weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100, and became one of the best-selling singles of all time, Trainor has kept the hits coming. She’s currently in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 with “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” featuring John Legend; that followed previous hits “Lips Are Movin’,” which peaked at #4, and “Dear Future Husband,” which made it to #14. Title, the album that spawned those tracks, recently passed the million-sales mark. And then, of course, are the awards shows. Trainor is now the frontrunner for the Best New Artist Grammy this year, and this week she’s in the spotlight at Logo’s New Now Next Honors (airing Monday, Feb. 1 at 10 p.m. ET). We had a few minutes to catch up with Trainor to ask about the NNN show, the Grammys, her next album, and more.

YAHOO MUSIC: So let’s talk about Logo’s New Now Next Honors. Is it live, or has it already been taped?

MEGHAN TRAINOR: It’s already been taped. We just got back from Aspen. I’m a little sick. I’ve been going nonstop, but it was like the best trip I’ve had ever. I got perform with my best friend Who Is Fancy [she and Arianna Grande are featured on his single “Boys Like You”]. We got to do four songs and everyone was so kind and welcoming. It was in beautiful Aspen, so I took my entire family with me. It was my little brother’s birthday, so we made it a birthday weekend for him, too.

The event was held during Gay Ski Weekend. Do you have a lot of support from the gay community?

Absolutely. I even won an award that night. I think it was "The Coolest Person on the List.” It’s just amazing. It’s in my bedroom now.

So speaking of honors, the Grammys are coming up. You must be pretty excited. The next few weeks, you’re all about the awards shows…

MEGHAN TRAINOR: Yeah, I’m going to the doctors today, so I’m like, “Yo, fix whatever’s happening. I gotta go to the Grammys.”

How are you feeling about your chances of winning Best New Artist? Rolling Stone said Vegas odds are 2-1 that you’re going to win.

That’s crazy. I don’t believe it’s real. I keep forgetting about it, and when I think about it my stomach drops and I get all excited. I’m just excited to go and that I get to go, and I can’t wait to bring my dad again.

So you still get excited about awards shows?

Absolutely. I was just totally getting off on the Kids’ Choice Awards – that was one of my favorite ones – but the Grammys is the Grammys. No matter what you hear about awards shows, this one means something to everybody. Everyone knows about the Grammys.

(Meghan Trainor performs onstage during the Logo New Now Next Honors. Photo: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for Logo)

And you said you’re taking your dad again. Why your dad?

Because he’s the reason why I’m here. He’s the one that bought me equipment and encouraged me to produce when I was 12 years old, and if it wasn’t for him I would be in music today. I want to show him how much I appreciate that.

How about the other people nominated for Best New Artist? Are you familiar with them?

Yes, I know Tori Kelly as a friend. I know her very well. I’ve never met James Bay, but I’m his biggest fan of all time. Literally, I know his entire album that he put out. We listen to it every day on tour. And of course, I lived in Nashville for a year, so I’ve been hearing about Sam Hunt for years now. And I’ve just learned about Courtney [Barnett]. I wasn’t familiar with her work, but she’s badass. I just hope I can meet all of them.

Speaking of awards shows, you got a lot of attention at the AMAs for that kiss with Charlie Puth. Were you surprised about how much attention that got? How’d that come about, and how do you feel about it now?

We knew it was coming. We’re good friends, but we’re not dating. We talked about it. At the time “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” wasn’t as big of a hit, and “Marvin Gaye” certainly was not. I knew we were going up against “Focus” with Arianna [Grande] and “Sorry” with Justin Bieber, so I was wondering, “How can we shock the world and let them know that we’re also on the stage?” So I thought in the “Marvin Gaye” song, the dancers are making out; we should make out, too. At first we were both like, “Nah.” Then we agreed that the performance would be talked about, besides us killing it. It happened, and it was cool.

I’ve got to tell you, just last week I was swimming at my gym and a woman who was teaching an Aquacise to some senior citizens had “All About the Bass” playing, and she was singing along like she meant it.

Wow. That’s amazing.

Almost two years later, that song still means a lot to some people. Did you ever expect it to have such longevity?

Never. Everything was a surprise. I didn’t think anyone would ever hear it at all. What you hear today is the demo that we shelved for, like, nine months. I was a songwriter, but no label wanted the song. They all loved it, but they were like, “We don’t know who can sing it.” And [Epic Records chairman] L.A. Reid was the only one who said, “Whoever’s on the track deserves to sing it.”

I’ve read that Beyoncé and Adele passed on it. Is that true?

Not them personally, but we shopped it to Columbia, their label. And they were like, “It’s not what Beyoncé’s doing now. She’s doing ‘Partition.’ Swaggier things.” And I understood that. I knew that it was a longshot.

When “All About That Bass” first started to blow up, was there ever a concern that it was getting too big and you might be perceived as a one-hit wonder?

I was never used to hearing about charts. I was never a charting artist before that song. So it was just kind of like a regular thing where I’d wake up and they’d say, “Hey, it’s #1 again.” And I’d be like, “Oh, cool.” And then when I put out other songs, I realized how difficult that is to achieve and how rare it is. Every day with that song – “It’s #1 for the seventh week. This never happens.” I went, “Oh, OK.” But I understand it now. I didn’t feel like I was a one-hit-wonder. But then I got a little scared because everyone kept asking me “Hey, are you a one-hit wonder?” in interviews. I was like, “No, I have a whole album and I’m confident I have more hits, and I can’t wait until the world hears them.”

And now you have your fourth hit now, with John Legend. You’ve done a few collaborations. Do you like doing them?

I love collabing. That’s what songwriting is all about, too. I was literally writing in my bedroom alone, and when I started growing up and started writing with other people I learned so much. I would take what I learned from each writer. In the collabing world, even if you don’t write the song together or if you’re not in the same room, I just love hearing the artist and their gift and I love hearing what they can do with my song. On my new album, I do like random features that you guys will see. I even have my mom on one of the songs, just talking. I love doing features. I think it’s so cool.

Any other collaborations on the new album?

So far, it’s my mother featured on it and I have a collaboration with R. City. They were working before, so for this album I asked them if they’d sing on this song, because I like their hit that just came out. I’m a fan. They have a song [“Locked Away”] with Adam from Maroon 5.

What else can you reveal about your new album, Thank You?

The new album is a new level and it’s a new Meghan Trainor. And it’s about to pop off and it’s about to get wild. It’s obviously still Meghan Trainor songwriting, but it’s with new people that I’ve worked with, and you can tell it’s a new sound and my voice has gotten much better. It’s just next-level stuff that don’t know everyone is ready for, but I’m ready.