Justin Tranter Says Britney Spears Has “Really Cool” Song Ideas
Justin Tranter has crafted hits for some of pop’s biggest names, but his time in the studio with Britney Spears yielded some of the most surprising results. During an interview with Out Magazine, the songwriter reflected on his time in the studio with the pop icon while she was recording 9th LP, Glory. Justin and frequent collaborator Julia Michaels co-wrote several of the tracks on the album, but he revealed that the “Toxic” chart-topper was very involved in the process and brought some unique concepts to the table.
“Britney really surprised me,” he said, adding that she had “some really cool fucked up ideas for songs.” One example is the guitar-driven “Just Like Me,” on which she sings about walking into her home and finding her man hooking up with woman that looks just like the her. It was an oddly specific concept, and he was down. “I was like, ‘OK, Britney Spears. I’ll write that song with you. Let’s fucking do this.'” He and Julia also crafted the album’s second single, “Slumber Party,” and shared some love for Brit’s instantly recognizable voice.
The interview also featured a plea on Justin’s part for more representation of LGBTQ and female voices behind the scenes of the industry. The openly-gay musician got his start as the frontman of the glam-rock group Semi Precious Weapons, and he commented on the struggles of remaining true to his style while trying to achieve success. “I would be on a phone call or get an email or text message asking me to be less feminine or less gay because alternative radio was even more bro-y than pop radio, which is true. Alternative radio is nothing but white straight men,” he explained.
The struggle has carried on since he made the move to focus more on writing and production, and Tranter is doing his best to bring light to the situation. After accepting the award for Songwriter of the Year at the 2017 BMI Pop Awards he made an impassioned request for more representation. “I’ve always been political and vocal. But no one was listening until two years ago, so I’m glad I can put my money where my mouth is — and have my mouth be really loud.”