By Annie Reuter
Meghan Trainor brought us “All About That Bass” last year and as a result, her single has been nominated for two GRAMMYs including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The self-acceptance anthem hit the Internet in July, and Radio.com chatted with the singer-songwriter to learn the story behind the song.
While 21-year-old Trainor has penned songs for other artists, including Rascal Flatts, she said when she stepped into the studio for the songwriting session that would come to be “All About That Bass,” she wanted to write for herself.
“I don’t know what happened,” she recalls. “Let’s just write an awesome song instead of pretending I’m Rihanna for a second. And then the song happened and it was amazing. We knew it was special, but we didn’t know how.”
Trainor said her mom’s constant positive encouragement helped to inspire the song.
“She always is telling me, ‘You’re gorgeous,’” Trainor says of her mom, who she calls her “bestie.” “Girls just destroy themselves in front of the mirrors, ‘I don’t look as good as everyone else, I can’t wear this,’ but she’s like, ‘You need to stop, you’re gorgeous.’ So I stopped.”
In the song, Trainor sings, “My mama, she told me don’t worry about your size/ She says boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”
“That’s your first song to say, ‘Hey, I’m a little chubby, but I love myself.’ That was a scary thing to do,” Trainor recalls. “I got a lot of support from a lot of people and it’s really helping me and my confidence.”
One of her biggest confidence boosters was her label head, L.A. Reid, who stressed the importance of Trainor singing the song.
“I knew I could sing a song like this, because I’m plus size, too, and have a big butt,” she says. With lines like “No I won’t be no stick-figure silicon Barbie doll,” the song soon became an anthem for all the girls out there who aren’t supermodel thin.
“I tear up all the time when I see young girls write about it,” she says. “It’s amazing.”
Another line, though, caused some controversy for Trainor. “I’m bringing booty back/ Go ahead and tell them skinny b—-es that,” she sings.
“I’m just going off on myself. I’m not writing a song to bash skinny people,” she says in defense of her lyrics. “I don’t know who would wish to do that. I did it for me to enhance my confidence.”
“All About That Bass” blends Trainor’s love for several genres of music, including doo-wop and reggae, which she was first introduced to at 7 years old by an uncle who grew up in Trinidad and Tobago and wanted to teach her about his culture. “That’s my pop music—reggae, soca, kaiso,” she explains. “That’s what I listen to every morning.”
Trainor is currently readying her debut album on Epic, Title, which will be released on Jan. 9.
“If you want to be an artist, you have to know how to write your own songs, not rely on someone else to do it for you,” she says.
And for Trainor, doing just that is going very well.
Watch the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 8 pm EST on CBS.
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