Meghan Trainor & Producer Ricky Reed Talk “No” & New Album ‘Thank You’: Interview
Today, the legion of fans of Meghan Trainor will say yes to the singer’s sassy pop anthem “No,” which ushers in not only a different era for the doo-wop diva — her sophomore album Thank You will be released in May — but also a new sound. That male voice you hear in the middle of the Destiny’s Child-esque “No” is none other than Wallpaper. mastermind Ricky Reed, who executive-produced Thank You along with Trainor.
“Hell yeah, bitch — you know it! I was like, let’s get a feature of Wallpaper. real quick,” Meghan says with a laugh over the phone while getting her hair prepped for the “No” video shoot, which also happens today. Trainor, 22, explains that she’s been listening to Wallpaper. since high school.
“I’ve been trying to work with him forever,” she says. “The fact that he is executive-producing my album is like my dream come true, and I tell him every time I’m with him.”
Meghan’s friend and pop peer Charlie Puth, who she famously locked lips with at last year’s American Music Awards, was the one who ultimately put her in touch with Reed.
“The first time we really met I was trying on a suit for the Grammys, but was only half way changed, thus wearing gym shorts and a Gucci jacket,” Reed recalls of his introduction to Meghan Trainor. “We were in with our mutual bestie LunchMoney Lewis and got super caffeinated and were off to the races. The first song we wrote in the room together was one called ‘Goosebumps’.”
Reed and Trainor hit if off so well that the singer began to began to picture him having a larger role in the making of her sophomore album.
“I knew this is some of the best stuff I’ve ever done,” Trainor says. “So any chance I could get, I went to him and I would start showing him my album. Even if I had sessions with other people, I would start showing Ricky. And eventually Ricky had six songs ready, and I said, ‘Will you executive produce this with me and figure this out?’ He was stoked and I was stoked.”
Following the massive success of Trainor’s debut LP Title and its hit singles like “All About That Bass” and “Lips Are Movin,” her label boss L.A. Reid wasn’t quite sold on the initial follow-up album she turned in to him. Particularly, he let her know he didn’t hear a single.
“I was like, ‘Are you stupid? There’s no way. Alright, I’ll go right now to Ricky’s studio and I’ll write it right now and you’re gonna love it.” And we did it,” Meghan remembers. It was this session that brought about “No,” her new single. “It was kind of the anger I had from that meeting, you can hear. Ricky was like, ‘You need to let it go’, and we turned it into a big woman anthem. When I played it for L.A. I was actually too scared to go alone, so I asked Ricky to come with me.”
Reed recalls, “It took us about seven hours to make ‘No’, from the first notion of the concept to the completion of recording. I remember that [another] session for the day had cancelled and I got a text from Meghan around noon who seemed to be in a weird state. It turns out our other mutual bestie L.A. Reid had just heard this body of work that she had been hard at work on for a long time and told her she had no first single. She was angry and rushed over to my space. I hit up the writer genius J Kash and the three of us simply harnessed all that fiery energy she was feeling.”
From there, the rest of Thank You fell into place. Trainor says there aren’t many features on her new album, though one very special special person makes a cameo on the deluxe version: Her mother, on the aptly-titled track, “Mom.”
“I called her and I didn’t warn her — I just kept saying, ‘I love you. I love you’,” Meghan explains. “She kept responding with, ‘Oh, that’s so sweet. Thank you. I love you.’ I recorded her and we stuck it in the bridge. Every time I play it for people, they all cry and it melts their hearts.”
You can hear Meghan’s new album Thank You in full when it’s released on May 13.