Making You Look (with Meghan Trainor)
When I met Meghan Trainor, I found out she mixes her own songs on top of writing, performing, and generally being amazing. What you don’t see behind her greatest hits is just how hard she’s worked. Meghan talks about how she went from performing in a cover band with her family to being world famous. We also chatted about filming an acapella version of “Made You Look” together, which is out now! Watch it here.
Please note, Funny Cuz It’s True contains mature themes and may not be appropriate for all listeners.
Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.
Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium.
Thanks to the show’s presenting sponsors of JVN Hair, hers, and Athletic Greens:
- Visit jvnhair.com/ELYSE or use code ELYSE20 for 20% off.
- Visit forhers.com/ELYSE to get started for $25 for your first month then $85 after that or $49 a month for 3 months.
- Visit athleticgreens.com/ELYSE for a free 1-year supply of immune-supporting Vitamin D and 5 free travel packs with your first purchase.
Click this link for a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows: lemonadamedia.com/sponsors
Elyse Myers, Meghan Trainor
Elyse Myers 00:00
When did I realize that I was never going to be a pop star? Great question. I would love to tell you 2011 Mr. And Mrs. Bruin pageant, my high school had a pageant for seniors to compete in where you got the opportunity to display all of your skills for all of your friends in a huge auditorium. Now a crucial piece of information here was that I was already secretly the school mascot. It was like a whole thing at my school. And contrary to what you might assume, it was actually pretty cool to be the mascot. I’m not just saying that it actually was a promise. So I was coming into this pageant with a level of confidence. I had no business feeling simply because I had a cool secret. I think that made me feel as though my lack of preparation and very limited forethought, were all going to be made up with the magic of me secretly being the mascot. A detail that had absolutely nothing to do with this pageant. I chose to sing a Lady Gaga medley, originally written and performed by Sam Sweet on YouTube. I saw it like one time in middle school, and it altered my brain chemistry for the rest of my life. Every day after that day, I was just looking for the opportunity to perform that specific medley and Mr. And Mrs. Bruin felt like the right time right place. I put some serious work into choreographing the dance that my three male backup dancers would be performing behind me under a disco ball and vivid neon lights. I have been singing this medley for years at this point, I could sing it acapella to a backtrack in a bar for karaoke backwards at a bonfire. There were a million variables to this performance, but me knowing this song was not one of them. Should it have been Yes, but that’s just coming from somebody whose brain is fully developed now. So my backup dancers were locked down. Every move was perfectly planned and executed. Their costumes were neon leggings with like white tank tops and some type of masquerade face piece we bought last minute. As for my wardrobe, I selected a figure skating costume. I had one in a white elephant gift exchange fishnet stockings in some five inch platform Doc Martens that sparkled just like my figure skating costume. Oh, and don’t forget the kiss makeup I had on my face because I had no clue what I was doing, or really what genre I was even performing in with this medley and I figured Lady Gaga wouldn’t mind me taking some creative liberty on her look, she’s all about just like making it work. And so I figured she’d understand. Now all these details adding up confident is ever after 10 rehearsals in a few weeks, that crown was as good as mine. We wait our turn to perform our talent portion of the pageant. And then before I knew it, we were getting ushered on the stage. To begin, I’m getting pushed up to the very front of the stage by the stage manager with a little mic and a clipboard. And while we’re making like the long trek to the mic at the front of the stage, I see one small amp on a cart with wheels ready to amplify my very small guitar throughout this ginormous auditorium. I am now realizing in this very moment that out of all 10 rehearsals I held with my backup dancers. Not one time did I stop and think you know what, I should probably practice playing an electric guitar. Do you have any idea how different playing an unplugged acoustic guitar is from playing an amplified electric guitar? Legally, they shouldn’t even be allowed to be called the same instrument because they’re not.
Elyse Myers 03:16
The stage manager abandons me at like the very first sign of oh my God helped me flashing across my face. That was a power move. If I’ve ever seen one. I looked down at the amp and I think that’s a lot of knobs. I hope I don’t need to use one of those knobs. I take the cord that’s like draped over the top of the amp. And I assume that’s what makes my guitar loud. So unfortunately, I was correct. With the amp fully on and fully hot. I plugged my guitar in. And I sent the loudest pop through the auditorium to the point where the host of the pageant, ducked behind the podium he was announcing my name from joke’s on him if he thought that was loud. Imagine being 1.5 inches away from the amp and staring directly at it to make sure it’s working as the pop happens. I can’t hear a thing, can you I can’t feel my eyebrows. I tried my best to wait until the ringing went away that was conveniently drowning out the sound of the crowd in front of me who was like shouting random song suggestions and hopes that I would just get on with my performance you set me free. I realized I wasn’t going to be getting my hearing back anytime soon. So I might as well just start singing. I took my first strum of the guitar and I started singing the medley. This is going to be the longest minute and a half of my entire life. First drum on the guitar was also my last because it was so loud. It felt like it was melting the left side of my face off. Apparently this is an acapella song. No, well, you’re bad romance. At least my backup dancers are killing it right. Well, I look back and the dancers are even more confused than I am. It was just three men in white tank tops. neon leggings, staring at a girl and a sequins jumper with fishnets and kiss makeup on, we are screwed. I am singing into a dark abyss because the lights are so bright on my face, I cannot make a single person out in the crowd. And on top of that, I can hear my backup dancers dancing, it is so quiet in that auditorium, I can hear the sound of their shoes squeaking on the floor of the stage. It is quiet chaos. I managed to hold it together long enough to get to the first of like six choruses. And then I bailed as soon as I possibly could. I’m not sure anyone even realized we started by the time I was quitting. And that would have been bad enough if it ended right there. But then, you know, you have to do the walk of shame to the podium where the spotlight just like awkwardly follows you. And the host does that thing where they try and make small talk about your performance. The host leans into me and says on mic. Well, that was something else. And then he puts the mic in my face as if that’s a question that could possibly be responded to and not an insult. I leaned into the mic and I said, Yes, it was as matter of fact and unemotionally as I possibly could. I blacked out the rest of the 32nd conversation and needless to say, I was not crowned Miss Bruin that evening. Thank you.
Elyse Myers 06:31
Okay, actually, can you just pretend that you’re listening to a fully complete theme song here, I got really in my head. And I tried to make it perfect. And I couldn’t. So this is going to be the theme song right here. Hello, and welcome to another episode of Funny Cuz It’s True. I’m Elyse Myers. Today I’m talking to award winning singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and very good friend Meghan Trainor. She sold out three world tours and multi-platinum hits for artists across pop and country. And she’s received countless industry awards and nominations coming up in the new year, Meghan and her brother are relaunching their podcast working on it with Lemonada. So go ahead and add podcaster to that long list of accomplishments. Okay, so two things that are funny because they’re true. I became friends with Megan through the internet as you do. And number two, Megan mixes all of her own music when I was there in her house recording with her. I watched her behind the desk just make magic happen with her music and it was so powerful, like genuinely she is so good at what she does. Okay, let’s get into it. Hi, Megan. How are you?
Meghan Trainor 07:43
I miss you. How are you?
Elyse Myers 07:46
I love this Christmas sweater that you’re wearing. You look so festive. Oh my gosh, dude, I’m like, I’m sweating for you. It’s like 20 degrees out in Nebraska right now. And I’m like, wearing short sleeve. And you’re like, here’s my turtleneck. I can’t believe we connected from me dancing to your song. And now we’re like actual friends. But I just want to go through that for people that probably missed like 12,000 chapters. So I did myself, you danced, we connected. And then you were like, Hey, you should come meet me in my house. And then you’re like, hey, we should do an acapella version of this song made you look and then we danced and we did Christmas sweaters. How do you feel about it? Are you excited about it?
Meghan Trainor 08:23
Oh my god, I’m so excited. I’m nervous because like, I did a lot of the work at my house. Like I literally edited this a first music video, I edited it on my laptop.
Elyse Myers 08:33
I thought you were joking. When we were on set, you were like someone’s gonna teach me how to use iMovie. And I was like, That’s a funny joke.
Meghan Trainor 08:40
Nobody taught me I did Final Cut Pro dude, I downloaded Final Cut […] nobody taught me I just did it. Just from like when I used to make little music videos on my MacBook.
Elyse Myers 08:50
I cannot tell you how much I relate to this. All of my editing has been self-taught. And I’m usually the one doing it myself. I just I’m not an instructions person. I’m also not an ask for help person. It’s I’ve just accepted that about myself. I usually load up a YouTube video and watch like five seconds of the full 15 minute video. I get tired of listening to someone give instructions. And then I just hop over into the software that I’m trying to learn and figure it out as I go and make all of the mistakes. It’s not efficient. It takes forever but it’s kind of the fun of it was. It was crazy because literally so when we went down into your recording studio, and like for anybody listening, Meghan has a beautiful studio downstairs and I’m laughing because your bathroom has all of your awards in it?
Meghan Trainor 09:36
The plaques are in the bathroom because if you notice the rest of the studio has fabric on the walls. Yeah for sound. So I at the end of them building it. I was like So where can I like hang stuff and they’re like, well not on these walls. And I was like, oh no. My dad was like we’re gonna hang them all up in the bathroom. I was like, great. It’ll be art.
Elyse Myers 09:56
Jonas laughed so hard to be like Meghan like would hang. He’s like, just play It was platinum, right? Or is it the record?
Meghan Trainor 10:02
It’s like each song because it means you sold a certain amount and your song is cool.
Elyse Myers 10:06
What’s the amount that you have to sell for that?
Meghan Trainor 10:08
What’s the amount for platinum, million? It’s 500,000. And for platinum, it’s a million. Bass was diamond. And then it was a bunch of admin. I was like, yeah, when they go pee, let them know. You know?
Elyse Myers 10:21
I mean, personally, I’m not stopping for anything short of an EGOT. But you know, that’s just me all display it in my bathroom. I just think that’s really funny. But you were behind the desk, like mixing it and recording it and like, have you done that your entire life with your music? Or is that your passion? That’s you do that with all your albums?
Meghan Trainor 10:40
Yeah, that’s what I’ve always done. And a lot of people don’t know that. So even songwriters and producers don’t know that. So when I work with a new person, they’re like, what, a woman behind the desk doing it herself. I’m like, okay.
Elyse Myers 10:57
Honestly, people don’t understand. It’s an entirely different skill than singing and writing like, watching you. I was like, You’re a powerful human being like you were a force. It was really inspiring.
Meghan Trainor 11:08
Thanks to my dad, my dad, when were when I was like, I want to record my music. He’s like, okay, but no one on this island that we’re from does this.
Elyse Myers 11:17
Okay, for those wondering, the island that Meghan is referring to is Nantucket in Massachusetts. I was wondering, so I asked later.
Meghan Trainor 11:25
Like, I can help get you the gears for your birthday or Christmas. But like, you’re gonna have to learn it all by yourself. And I did and was just like, it was just like, the most coolest thing ever, like the best fun passion project ever. And I just kept doing it. And then I was like, getting good. And then as I got better, I bought bigger programs. And I just didn’t, he was like, you can’t rely on anybody. You have to learn it yourself. And I was like, I love that. Because I’ve helped save my career in a lot of ways.
Elyse Myers 11:51
Did you learn everything by ear? Or did your dad help teach you music at all?
Meghan Trainor 11:55
My dad is a music teacher. But he refused to teach me because he said he didn’t want to fight, which was frustrating.
Elyse Myers 12:02
That’s fair. Honestly, it can be hard when you’re with family.
Meghan Trainor 12:06
Yeah, he’s like, I don’t want you to hate me. And I don’t want to be disappointed when you don’t do homework. And I was like, please, he taught me the circle of fifths, but like that was it. And then he would sit at the piano and be like, here’s chords, and that’s about it. And then I would learn the rest by ear. And then I found a guitar in the closet when I was really young. And I was like, dad, who’s is this, what is this? He’s like, oh, this is like my old guitar. I only know like three chords. And he showed me those three chords. And I figured out that I could play the […] show me the way to go home. Boom, boom, boom, […] and I want to go to bed. So I like learned that and performed it for him. He was like, oh, Jesus.
Elyse Myers 12:50
Did you use to put your own like concerts up when you were little?
Meghan Trainor 12:53
I was like a shy girl. But like for them? Yeah, I would sing a lot. And then at one point, like my dad was, was so proud of me that he like at Christmas, he would like sing for everyone. And I’m like, oh, I don’t want to do that. And he’s like, sing for everyone. I was like, I’m gay. And a lot of times he played the organ at our church, and a lot of times he would have me come in on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, and he’d be like, write a song for Mother’s Day come in and sing it was like, okay. But the whole time I was like, oh, he was just training me to be the best pop star. You know, I was like, if I didn’t have that, oh my gosh, I don’t know where I’d be.
Elyse Myers 13:28
Did you want to be like a pop star when you were little?
Meghan Trainor 13:30
When I was younger, I used to tell my dad, like, we need to get a tour bus. Like we’re gonna have to invest and like, we’re gonna have to travel.
Elyse Myers 13:37
Dad, we’re gonna need to invest in my future. While Meghan was busy asking for a tour bus for her big dreams. I was drinking bubbles out of the bottle. So we both got there in the end, just radically different paths.
Meghan Trainor 13:52
He would laugh. I mean, I was like, well, someone needs to drive the bus. It must be you like we’re gonna do this.
Elyse Myers 13:59
Does your dad tour as well?
Meghan Trainor 14:01
He was in a cover band with like one of his first wives. My mom is the third wife. So yeah, he was married three times. And one of the first ones I don’t know which one. They were in like a cover band and would tour all over the US and just do little gigs.
Elyse Myers 14:17
Did you ever sing with your dad like in a band or anything like that?
Meghan Trainor 14:20
Well, I sang with him at church all the time. And because I thought he was a superstar up there. I was like, my dad’s […] so I’ll sing with him. Of course. You’re like my dad’s famous. He’s famous. And we actually had a family band because I have an uncle who’s from Trinidad, who was like a famous soccer star over there on point. And my aunt sings as well. So it was like my aunt, my uncle me. My dad played the keys. And my little brother played bass and our friend was the drummer. And we had a family band and it was called Island fusion, because we would mix like island music with my pop music.
Elyse Myers 14:56
Okay, I had to do a little bit of like a deep dive on Soca Music Out After this interview because I was so curious and had no context for what she was talking about, so here is a little information. Soca Music is an Afro Caribbean scene that’s been evolving since like the early 70s. And it mixes traditional African Calypso rhythms with popular dance styles like soul, funk, and reggae. I’m super curious to know if Megan was thinking of like Soca Music when she wrote all about that bass, because it feels like it incorporates a lot of those same sounds. please tell me there’s like footage of this somewhere.
Meghan Trainor 15:30
There’s footage and these we burned. It was so embarrassing. And I was playing like bongos and I was like, doing the chimes I was playing most I was playing guitar piano. I’d go up and sing my songs come back.
Elyse Myers 15:42
Was it like I’m just imagining like you all playing in like a circle and like someone would come in do their moment leave and someone come in and do their moment? Was that kind of it?
Meghan Trainor 15:48
Yeah, it was like a real like a two band layout. Each person like my aunt would have her song and I would do harmonies while I was on the keys. Girl, my uncle would go out and be like, wave your […]. It was crazy.
Elyse Myers 15:59
You were born for this.
Meghan Trainor 16:01
I was trained. That was my Beyonce training, obviously.
Elyse Myers 16:06
So when did you go from like singing to actually like writing your music?
Meghan Trainor 16:10
Oh, I always wrote when I was really young, but I remember like, what are the lawnmowers that you could sit and drive, we had those and I was like I am a driver? Like I was so cool. And no one could hear me. So I would sing really loud on that. And there’s like an old song. What’s the […] I like change up the melodies and like rewrote it to be my song. Oh, and then I was mowing my lawn and being like, this is my song now.
Elyse Myers 16:48
Is that like your first song that you ever wrote?
Meghan Trainor 16:50
Something like that. Yeah, I would change like lyrics and melodies and be like, well, now it’s mine. And then I wrote a song for my aunt and uncle who got married when I was like, seven. I wrote over heart and soul, you know, […] I wrote like lyrics over that and was like, my auntie and my uncle, they work in down the aisle. Then I learned like, oh, you can make your own chords and write your own things.
Elyse Myers 17:15
I had a screen back in the recording booth when I was tracking and I could see what you were doing on your screen and like to watch you just bust this out so fast. Like, I wish I could explain to people like how you were as powerful like it was like, I was just like, […] Jonas behind you. Like watch you. I was watching him watch you and Jonas was like, she just like people need to see this all the time. Like noticing like you just need like a camera in your, like recording studio so that you can like show the process from start to finish. Because it’s so incredible.
Meghan Trainor 17:46
I know. I need to, like be better at filming it and no one knows about it. But it’d be a fun little secret that everyone finds out someday.
Elyse Myers 17:53
We’ll just I’m just going to start like slowly releasing footage for that day and being like here, the world needs to know.
Meghan Trainor 17:58
I’ll never get the best moment ever, when I looked back at you in tears were pouring down your face. And I was like, I thought you were joking. And I was like, oh my God, you’re crying.
Elyse Myers 18:09
Listen, you need to know this about me now. I’m a crier, okay. If it’s good, I’m crying bad cry neutral. Definitely crying. Why? I don’t know it. That’s just how my body responds to being alive. There’s so much that’s been going on for you that’s like viral and stuff right now on Tik Tok. And I feel like you’ve kind of been surprised by it because you’re like, you had so many hits. And then now they’re all coming back. And people are remembering you and like matching your face to the songs like even me. I’m hearing songs like there was a TikTok that someone did. That was saying like Meghan Trainor is responsible for all of these viral moments on TikTok. And it was like 14 back to back trends. And I was like, oh my god.
Meghan Trainor 18:52
I watched that and was like, oh my God.
Elyse Myers 18:55
How does that feel?
Meghan Trainor 18:56
It feels great. Because like, I’m coming up on like, eight years of doing this, like professionally, but I still feel like I’m brand new every day. I’m still learning and I’m still like, really hard on myself. And I’m like, I’ve accomplished nothing, you know, and then I go back, and I have those moments. And I’m like, Oh, my God.
Elyse Myers 19:15
You’ve accomplished so much. You have like 12 awards just in your bathroom. Do you remember even the first one that you accepted?
Meghan Trainor 19:21
Oh, so bass did 1 million copies. The day I performed on Ellen. I was pooping my pants. I was so scared. She handed the plaque to me after my performance. And I was like, like crying and I gave that plaque to my parents to put in their jewelry store because they’re still working forever while I was having..
Elyse Myers 19:42
I was like, you did it guys. You made a pop star.
Elyse Myers 19:42
They’re gonna cry. You literally got your plaque and turned and gave it to your parents.
Elyse Myers 19:51
That’s so beautiful. How long did your parents work in the jewelry store? Or like they kind of joined your team?
Meghan Trainor 20:00
They were in there for years. And I remember, I was so lonely and sick all the time from working so hard and I had no one to take care of me. And it was like Mommy, and she was on Nantucket in the winter and all their pipes froze. So she was peeing in buckets. And I was like, this isn’t where we’re supposed to be in life. Like, you should be with me. So I Yeah, eventually, I convinced them to, like they rent out their store now. But anytime it was like a real emergency, I was in Italy, and I was so sick. And I was like, Mom, I need you to come to Italy. Bitch dropped everything. She dropped work. She dropped like, she was like, I will be there in two days, because it takes that long to get there. And she did it.
Elyse Myers 20:40
Just like a boat to a ferry to a plane to a plane. Yeah, we got to take a quick break. But when we come back, Megan tells us about her inspiration for writing made you look. I know that you said that you wanted this when you were younger, but like now to have your family included in like, you’re literally just so famous like I don’t I feel like I don’t know, I my brain wouldn’t really be able to wrap my head around it like look at our escape. How do you really process this? Is there anything that you have to do to be like, this is my life? And like enjoy it? How do you do that?
Meghan Trainor 21:30
I have never, like ever felt famous except for when I’m in like big crowds. And it’s like I’m glammed up for a show that I’m doing then I’m like, whoa, whoa, all these people know who I am. Yeah. But yeah, I because I keep my family so close it. It humbles me so much to a level where, I don’t know, I just don’t believe that I’m a pop star, you know, sometimes, or think it’s like a joke, or, like, I’ll introduce myself, like, Hey, I’m Meghan, you know? But yeah, even when we went to award shows, like me, my brothers would go and we’d be like, look at this, like prom, you know, it’s like high school. It’s like, and I think I self-medicating myself a lot with weed with edibles. When I was first, like really super famous. And I remember, like, I would zone out and turn my brain off and just like go on YouTube and watch animals give birth or something. But then I would like, scroll through and see like, oh, yeah, I’m super famous. And then I’d freak out. And then I’d be like, phone off, put it over there. And like, we’d go to bed.
Elyse Myers 22:32
Did it take a while for you to feel like you could kind of come to terms with it. Like, did you did you like it? Or was it scary?
Meghan Trainor 22:39
It’s totally fine. It doesn’t feel any different, except for the little few scary moments where, and it’s mostly with my husband and my kid now. Like people come up to us with him in the stroller. And they go, can we get a pic and I’ll see Daryl push the stroller down a different aisle like to hide him. And I’m like, Oh, God, I forgot about this part. You know?
Elyse Myers 23:00
Your son’s name is Riley. And how old is Riley?
Meghan Trainor 23:03
He’s, I don’t know, he’s a year and a half. He turns 2 in February. So math, I’m not good with like, he’s 20 weeks or months or whatever. You know?
Meghan Trainor 23:13
He’s 2022 days.
Meghan Trainor 23:20
Elyse Myers 23:21
How has all of this changed with becoming a mom? Has anything changed? Or like, I’m just gonna do it all the same?
Meghan Trainor 23:27
Have a big conversation. I mean, I’m assumed you had a two with like, do we show our kid online or do we not? Yeah. And there’s so many people on my team that leak photos. And I did that and I was like, they’re gonna leak my kids someday. And then that’s going to be the picture that everyone takes. And so I was like, there’s no rules. You post what you want. Who cares? The kids out there gonna find them. Like, we’re gonna go on public. They’re gonna get pics. It’s okay. And I’m okay with that. I just like, there are weird moments. He’ll get recognize first, the baby will at the airport. They’ll look at the baby and go, is that Riley? And then they look up at us and go oh, you know? But like if I’m not glammed up especially before TikTok fame, fame, fame. No one would recognize me, they would recognize my husband, like he could wear a mask and they’d be like, are you in Spy Kids like, and he would give us away. But no one would recognize me to the point where I was like, am I a monster when I don’t have my like, why am I so different? Like, you don’t know who I am? Really. They would see my credit card and, you have the same name as Meghan Trainor and I would be like, she’s crazier than me.
Elyse Myers 24:37
I love Meghan, I love that girl so much.
Meghan Trainor 24:40
I noticed now because I’ll do TikTok’s when I don’t have makeup on, and I was in target the other day like disheveled, like just how to work out hair up bald spots everywhere. And this girl was like, like thought I was Santa Claus like died and was like so excited to meet me and I was like, oh, sorry, I look like this.
Elyse Myers 25:00
You have a literal song about it. You’re like I even if I’ve nothing, nothing on hoodie. I think like people hear that kind of content and they feel like, you’re right, I can look anywhere I want and like love myself. I just think that’s really powerful.
Meghan Trainor 25:18
I also get told a lot that like in my career, they’re like, you need to be more in fashion you need to get where you need to go to get your nails done with a full product outfit and call paparazzi and get their pictures so that people know you’re really good at fashion. And I was like, that sounds exhausting and miserable. They’re like, when you go to the airport, it needs to be a fashion statement. I was like, when I go to the airport, I’m gonna wear […] and I’m gonna wear a hoodie, and sweatpants. And no one can stop me. So I think that part in the song too was me being like, rebelling and being like, I can be a pop star and wear scrubs all day. It doesn’t matter. You know, I’m still hot.
Elyse Myers 25:52
I think that’s important. I think that like people need to hear that. I think that there’s been a different kind of narrative in music and in fashion and in social media, Instagram. People feel like they have to be done up to go anywhere. And like, I love that you can do both. I think that’s really cool. And I just kind of want to know, like, what goes through your mind when you’re writing those like, they’re like anthems? Like genuinely they’re like anthems for people to kind of like wash over themselves in their brains and like cling on to and is that intentional? Are you doing it for yourself and for other people? Like, what is that process like for you?
Meghan Trainor 26:22
Well, I’ve learned with bass back in the day, 10 years ago, I learned when I write stuff for me, other people feel the same, and it does something for them. And it’s like a superpower I have. Like my best friend said it best. She said, um, you say things that we all feel. But we’re almost too embarrassed to say out loud, or almost too shy to talk about it. So I write these all for me in these moments and songs I need to hear to pump me up like what would get me going. And I wrote me to look in the shower, like naked and trying to like relive my body all over again after having a baby and was like, my husband, and my grungy chest is like, You are the prettiest, sexiest thing there ever was. And I was like, where? How me. So I’m like, I want your eyeballs. And I want to see what you see. And I want to in a song and I want to sing it to myself. And that’s what made you look is and all myself love anthems are.
Elyse Myers 27:15
So you were writing kind of in Daryl’s perspective, that’s so beautiful.
Meghan Trainor 27:21
Because like, yeah, he’ll notice he’s the cutest guy in the whole world. He’ll note if I get my nails done and sit there for hours. He’s like, let me see. Like he’s like, let me see what you put yourself through. So you could be gorgeous. And I was like, he’s like, love these. And like, if I get my hair done, he’s like, your hair is stunning. And I’m like, thank you.
Elyse Myers 27:38
We loved and we need to protect Daryl.
Meghan Trainor 27:42
He needs to do a masterclass. He’s great.
Elyse Myers 27:44
Honestly, like, the idea of seeing yourself through your partner’s eyes. I kind of with Jonas, I’m like, I want to see myself the way you see me, I feel the same way. And you have to almost like fake it till you make it. I started doing this thing where like, I just decided I was hot. And like, it starts to work because you like to lie to yourself until you believe it is true. But it’s just it’s so fascinating to like, you’re not like creating lies and songs. You’re literally giving people like affirmations. Do you do those like at all with yourself?
Meghan Trainor 28:17
It’s the same with reverse psychology or whatever. It’s the reverse of like, how when you talk mean about yourself, your brain believes that. So you’re, if you’re like, I’m ugly, I’m this and your brain is like, well, 100% Like, you’re absolutely right. Perception is reality, like a negative thing you hear whether it’s from someone else or from yourself a repeats like 1400 times in your brain. Can you imagine? Like, what if you’re like, I’m so hot, you know? I’ve been saying like when I went to the AMA’s recently, I wore all pink and I was like I won. They’re like, would you when I was like best dressed. I looked at the greatest. I was like I was so good. And I walked around feeling like a bozos boot and I still look at that, like that’s one of my greatest looks I’ve ever had.
Elyse Myers 29:03
For the record. This works. How I found out by accident. I started telling myself I was hot and slowly over the course of a few months. I just started to believe it. Boom. I’m hot. Looked amazing. Were you nervous?
Meghan Trainor 29:16
Oh, so terrified. I’m been an award show and so long I’ve been invited in so long and I’m like, TikTok is working, I am invited.
Elyse Myers 29:23
Back to the parties you presented, which category did you present?
Meghan Trainor 29:29
That’s my other curse is an any if I’m doing the Grammys if I’m at any time, if you look it up, I always get the categories that make no sense to me. They’ll be like, best country duo and I’m like, why am I here? Okay, and like rock was a definitely a twist for me. But I was like, whatever I’m invited. Let’s go do this. Let’s rock it out. And it turned out to be one of the biggest moments of the night because Machine Gun Kelly came out and had a crazy ass speech and through the microphone, but I was like who have gone baby.
Elyse Myers 30:07
Moving forward a little bit, I wanted to talk about your new album, I wanted to know what your process was like going into writing your new album titling it, all of the things, share it with me.
Meghan Trainor 30:17
I know all my albums have; I’ve trapped myself in this T thing. The first album, I didn’t have a name for it. And they’re like, what’s the title? What’s the title, and I had a song called title. And I was like, it’s called title. So there you go. And then, and then the next album was I wrote a song called thank you. And I was like, oh, it’s gonna be called thank you as a thank you for letting the first one blow up so well. And they all start with teas; I’ve noticed and I was like teas for trainer for my family. So then the third item was treat myself. And then this fourth album, I knew I wanted to take it back to the doowop stuff. So I was like, we’re going to call taking it back. And it’s gonna be my tea album. And it’s gonna, we’re gonna give him some doowop stuff, but like modern and I’m gonna stop trying to chase radio stop trying to write for everyone else. I’m just gonna write, like, what I know TikTok would love and the do up stuff that everyone loves. I’m going to try to write those again. So I studied all about that bass. I kept listening to it. And I kept listening to why that album was so great. And it was like, funny and cute and, but like danceable and it’s something that like the parents could listen to, and the grandparents could listen to, and be like, oh, well, I don’t know what this feels like, you know, like, it’s a memory. The best part about music because everything’s been done right, is to just remind people of their good memories they had with good music, you know, that’s what I’ve been trying to do because it also keeps it timeless forever, but also given the new kids that modern pop kick and melodies and lyrics like I could have Gucci and Louie baton and so that they feel called to and they sing it you know?
Elyse Myers 31:50
What was a song that you wrote where you were like, oh my god, this is like gonna be great album like that. Like I’m doing it.
Meghan Trainor 32:00
I mean, I’m like all of the them the straight down and make it look easy was a second song we did. And I remember hearing that chorus I wrote the chorus on the way to the studio in the car, because I was I had all Riley’s like bouncy things in the car. He was like, months old, and I was like, trying to drag on. We were like that diaper. He’s got that died by A&R. And I was like, yeah, don’t we make this easy? This is horrible. And then I was like, oh, there it is the anthem for the mothers and try to make it love it. Then I heard it was like, oh, shit, here’s like a single this is great, even though it’s not a single, but it was a good one. And then final breath was one of the last ones I did. It’s the last song that closes the album. But it is it’s like the movie the notebook in a song. So it makes you SOB your eyes out. You should listen to that in bed with your hubby. Because you’ll cry. It’s like my fear of death is like, I don’t ever want this to end. If I could do it over and over and over again. I would. And the fact that I have like, my favorite person with me throughout this journey of life. Like I feel like I won every award ever and that I hope we died together at 112 laying in bed saying 123 I love you goodbye. You know? I tell them that’s how we’re gonna die together holding hands. You gotta listen to it dude.
Elyse Myers 33:24
I like joke with Jonas. But I’m like, I look at him whenever like a fun moment is happening and I will immediately ruin it and be like, don’t you die on me?
Meghan Trainor 33:34
Don’t you ever fucking die early or I’ll tell you like; I feel really dumb all the time.
Elyse Myers 33:38
It’s the weirdest way to ruin a very beautiful moment. Like, don’t you die?
Meghan Trainor 33:44
It’s real dude. It’s life is so fucking precious. And I honestly I haven’t lost anyone super, super close to me. And so every moment I’m like, it’s coming. You know, like I’m terrified to life is oh, but just also maybe it’s because I watch a lot of crime. True Crime, a lot of true crime. I fall asleep to Dateline every night.
Elyse Myers 34:05
Okay, let’s take one more quick break. But when we come back, Megan tells us how she’s learned to set boundaries in her career. So many of your songs are like so empowering. And I’m curious to know how you used to like take hard things and make them powerful anthems.
Meghan Trainor 34:32
I’ve had great therapy. I think there’s so much to do with it. But I’m learning I love I’m a nerd about like mental health and learning all about why my brain works the way it does. But also I think a fat chunk of it which sucks is like and I have the greatest parents in the whole wide world and but I think a lot of it is hearing how your parents talked about themselves. And my dad was always confident and goofy and great. But he would pick on others you know He would try to he, if he’s trying to help you out, which I do sometimes when people I’m trash, it was he trying to help you out, he would like pick on that part of you, and then would hope that you would fix it. And I was like, That’s bullying, you know. But I took him to therapy, and we worked on that. But my mother’s self-taught it is brutal. And it’s definitely like where I got mine from. And so now I’m at a place where I’m like, begging her to go to therapy, but she’s like, in a generation that’s like, I know what’s wrong, I don’t need to talk about it. I’m like, I’m sure. But like, my therapist is like what I can do now I can’t change what happened, but I can change for the future. For my kids, I could try to practice self-love out loud. And try to guide them like with Riley and like you are so smart. You are so beautiful. Like, just try to say all those happy things out loud. And we go to the mirror every morning. We’re like, who’s that? And he’s like, Riley, and we’re like, let’s get Riley a hug. We love Riley.
Elyse Myers 35:58
I was gonna ask if any of that changed when you had a kid because for me, my view of myself changed entirely when I got pregnant. And I was like, I am a different person now. It all changed for you?
Meghan Trainor 36:09
Yeah, I feel like I can accomplish the world. And I feel like nothing can stop me. I’m literally a superwoman. And but like, give me a challenge. If I can survive that. Everything else is easy, you know? Yeah. And then people go wait till they’re teenagers like.
Elyse Myers 36:27
Well, your career I feel like reflects that. Usually when someone has a kid, they’re like, Okay, it’s time to slow down. And like I’ve seen it firsthand, you get so much quality time with your family, and you bring them along with you like, that it feels like is the key for you guys to like, stay healthy, while you still are able to run as fast as you want. And yeah, it’s really inspiring, like you are, you know, no one can do it all, like 100%. So I know that there’s areas that give but like, you are just very intentional with where your time is going. And it’s showing your career is like taking off again, a million times over again. It’s crazy,
Meghan Trainor 36:59
Because I started so young at 19 I was doing this I burned and crashed so hard in my younger in my early 20s, that I could figure it out before the kids came. You know, like I did have two vocal surgeries because I was overworked and like, did too much. And I did have a full mental breakdown because I heard my schedule one day, and I over ate edibles. And it opened up a warm hole of anxiety. And I was in panic disorder, or my chemicals were rocked. So like for a month straight. I was be like Code Red Code Red, and I was like, but everything’s fine. And I like went to the emergency room a bunch to be like, I’m having an allergic reaction. My throat is closing just fix it. And they were like, so a panic attack is when and I was like, no, no, no, I’m allergic to steak. It’s so glare like. And I had to like learn what all that shit was. And yeah, I finally got medicine for it and cleared it all up and feel 100% Better than ever. And luckily, I learned all that crash and burn on my team learned that with me on the way. So they know like, you know what weekends are off? For the most part. We try. Yeah. But so I’ll have like a normal almost schedule Monday through Friday weekends off. It’s great.
Elyse Myers 38:10
Is that kind of like what your experience to the intro of like the music industry was like just realizing how busy it was like, what were some things you took away from that?
Meghan Trainor 38:18
It was a free day. It was a nightmare. It was it was all my dreams come true. With like all the brutal like I had no idea what was going on. And no one tells you what’s happening. You’re so young, I didn’t have management. I was literally alone. And they’re like, okay, it’s 5am you have to wake up because we’re going to do a 12 hour day of talking and I was like talking away for what to look for your song. I was like, okay, and would just show up and they’d hand me ukulele me like sing and I was like singing what? Sing the song? Okay, like shit like that. And I was like, should I tune it? Okay, it’s for YouTube. Are we at you? Okay, we’re at YouTube office. Here we go. Like no idea what was happening?
Elyse Myers 38:58
How old were you? When that was happening?
Meghan Trainor 39:00
19 is when it came out. So like 20?
Elyse Myers 39:03
What would like one piece of advice you would give to somebody that either is going viral just into the music industry, like someone that’s like on the uprise? What would be a piece of advice.
Meghan Trainor 39:12
Don’t sign anything, because you’re excited. Don’t sign anything. Like literally talk to everybody. Give it time. You don’t need someone right away to help you. They don’t need a manager right away. It’s hard to find great management. It’s like a partner that’s going to help you feel good and you don’t know them. You’re like, yeah, nice to meet you.
Elyse Myers 39:31
I think having safe people around you is genuinely like you feel like you’re the safety net behind you. You will go much farther and much higher and much faster. You feel safe. If you fall, people are there to pick you up.
Meghan Trainor 39:42
I did the Bass video without a manager. I got through it. I was fine. It got scary when it got more intense. But I’ve signed deals that like trapped me for years. Everyone does it. It’s like a classic thing of like, oh, you signed your shit deal. But like, I mean, start with a lawyer. Start with a really good person.
Elyse Myers 40:00
Everybody I’ve ever asked that question to has said that exact answer. Get a lawyer.
Meghan Trainor 40:07
Because people sign these deals, no lawyer, no parents, oh my dude. Somebody’s gotta look at this. And my parents are good people and they looked at these deals, and they were like, looks good to us. And I was like, this means I get $0 forever. Like, what do you mean, forever? We don’t know. We’re jewelers.
Elyse Myers 40:25
Oh my gosh, Megan, seriously, thank you so much.
Meghan Trainor 40:28
I worship you. Congrats on the number one podcast in the whole wide world.
Elyse Myers 40:33
Well, you know what, speaking into existence, we’re just speaking out.
Meghan Trainor 40:36
I’m telling everyone like it’s the top of the top, it’s the number one, top of the top. It’s humongous.
Elyse Myers 40:41
Well, I also can’t wait to see everybody’s reaction to the video. The acapella I just think it’s gonna be so great. I cannot wait. It’s gonna be a hit. Thank you so much, Megan. Have a great day.
Meghan Trainor 40:51
Okay, great. I love you so much.
Oh, my God, what a whirlwind. What is happening? I can’t believe I went from like, making a video with Meghan’s song on Tik Tok to like fast forwarding, like three weeks, and now she’s on my podcast and we’re like real life friends. I feel so lucky that like Meghan Trainor would want to share any bit of her life with me and it’s that sounds like we’re getting married. Thank you for sharing your life with me vegan. No, but for real. I’m just grateful that this is our situation. Oh my god. Okay, Elyse, formulate a sentence like a real sentence. 321 go. I think that there’s just something so powerful in hearing Meghan’s story and how she’s kind of navigated this new world and entertainment and really stayed herself throughout the entire time. I think that’s really inspiring. Also, it’s really funny because we become friends interviewing her in such a formal setting, like being on a Zoom call with her and having like a million people listening to our conversation felt really bizarre. I didn’t know how to like, I felt like I was like playing pretend the entire time. That was funny. I’ve never experienced that before on the podcast. So that was a really funny feeling. But I really enjoyed my conversation with Meghan, I hope you enjoyed listening. And as it turns out, I am actually in an acapella version of made you look with her. We recorded a whole music video, and a whole acapella song. And if you want to go check it out, I believe it’s out now. So please go listen to it. You will hear me and you will be like, Oh my god, she was scared the whole time. And you’ll be right because I was. Alright, that’s it for my conversation with Meghan Trainor. Thank you so much for listening. If you want more, Meghan, make sure to check out her podcast Working On It. There’s actually a brand new holiday episode out right now with Chris Olson and Maddie Grace Jepsen, that you can listen to wherever you’re listening right now. If you haven’t yet, tell a friend about Funny Cuz It’s True. Maybe they’ll like it. Okay, until next time, bye. There’s more funny because it’s true. With lemon auto premium. You’ll get access to all of Lemonada’s Premium content, including my five questions with Meghan Trainor coming out this Friday. Subscribe now in Apple podcasts. Funny Cuz It’s True is a Lemonada Media and Powderkeg production. The show is produced by Claire Jones, Zoe Dennis and […], our associate producer is Tiffany Buoy. Rachel Neil is our senior director of new content and our VP of weekly production is Steve Nelson. Executive Producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, Paul Feig, Laura Fisher, […] and me Elyse Myers. The show is mixed by Brian Castillo and Johnny Evans. Our theme song music was written by me and scored by Xander Singh.