Meghan Trainor, Former Berklee Summer Student, Conquers Charts

Kimberly Ashton
November 20, 2014
Meghan Trainor, former Berklee summer student, dominates charts
Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor

Years before Meghan Trainor was all about that bass and dominating the charts, she was a Cape Cod teenager spending her summers working on her craft at Berklee.

Songwriting faculty member Melissa Ferrick remembers Trainor’s audition for the 2009 Five-Week Summer Performance Program. “As I am a Mass. girl myself, I had a soft spot for her. This would prove unnecessary as soon as she started to play because she was exceptional,” she says. Trainor played "One Chance," a song Ferrick says had remarkable melodic and arrangement maturity, and one that Trainor wrote the night she arrived at the program. 

Trainor spent the next five weeks focusing on performance and songwriting, with pop/R&B as her selected vocal style, and returned the next summer, this time focusing on jazz singing. She was one of the highest-rated singers in the program.

Mike Daly '94, an A&R executive at Disney, says a talent like Trainor’s is extraordinary. “There’s a lot of good in the world and very little great.” He happened across her at the 2012 Durango Songwriters Convention as he was walking through a conference room and heard her playing her song, “Can’t Blame a Girl for Tryin’.”

“I literally stopped in my tracks and asked the person I was with, ‘Who is that girl?’” he says. It was one of the only times in his life he’s had that reaction. “The song was so damn good and she had such a good voice,” Daly says. He approached her after her set and told her he loved the song and was going to get it cut for her. “I think I completely freaked her out,” he says. A little over a year later, the song was recorded by one of Disney’s aspiring artists, Sabrina Carpenter.

After her summers at Berklee, Trainor penned songs for Rascal Flatts and signed with Big Yellow Dog Music in Nashville. This year, she released her first studio album, Title, featuring her mega-hit “All About That Bass,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 on September 20, 2014 and then spent eight weeks at the top of the chart, going triple-platinum. It's the longest-leading No. 1 single in Epic Records' history, according to Billboard. For this song, Trainor has earned a Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year.

Trainor has also been nominated for a New Artist of the Year award by the American Music Awards, to be held November 23, 2014. Meanwhile, two other songs of hers have taken up residence on the Billboard Top 100, with one — "Lips Are Movin'" — jumping 20 spots in one week. 

"She's just that talented and the music's just that good," Daly says.