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How Meghan Trainor Mastered TikTok and Returned to Her Roots on Her New Album

Meghan Trainor sure makes a comeback look easy. During the months leading up to the release of her LP Takin’ It Back, Trainor has connected with a new audience of Gen Z fans on TikTok, many of whom have connected to her bubbly and relatable personality and gone back to her catalog.

Among the songs to take off again is her 2014 song “Title,” which has been used in over 11 million videos on the platform. Harnessing the new love for her old music, Trainor has built a solid following of 12.5 million “hype peeps” by simply using the platform as a “safe space where I can just be myself,” she says.

Trainor has perfected the TikTok formula, balancing music promotion with giving a real, intimate look into her personal life. It’s something only some artists have been able to do naturally: She posts silly videos about parenthood with her husband Daryl Sabara, skits with her TikTok bestie Chris Olsen, and TMI clips about “the MiraLax finally kicking in.”

“They accept me for that. And they love me for that,” she says. Put simply: “I feel safe there,” she says. “And I feel confident when I show them a new song.”

When Trainor went into the studio for Takin’ It Back, she knew she didn’t need to reinvent the wheel. After 2020’s underrated Treat Myself, which featured songs with Nicki Minaj and Pussycat Dolls, Trainor realized she just needed to go back to what’s worked for her before: the pop-meets-doo-wop that made her stand out on Title and Thank You.

“I stopped chasing radio and what I thought people wanted to hear and just wrote what I enjoyed,” she says. “I put my heart into each song. Sometimes my sad, broken heart and sometimes my happy, confident heart.”

Trainor describes the album as “Title 2.0,” and though it’s a return to her roots, it also reflects an elevated version of her, with a new confidence that’s connected to her experiences as a first-time parent.

Now, with three albums (and a Christmas record) under her belt, Trainor is already looking forward to what’ll come next after Takin’ It Back. “I need to make three babies ASAP Rocky,” she says with a laugh. “But also, my dream is to write a book about pregnancy, and eventually have my own TV show like Kelly Clarkson. She’s my idol.”

On FaceTime from her basement studio in L.A. before heading to Australia, where she’s working as a judge on Australian Idol, Trainor broke down several songs from her bop-filled LP.

“Don’t I Make It Look Easy”

“This song is about me feeling like an overwhelmed, boss-lady, bad-bitch mom, who has mom guilt. [I’m] constantly being interviewed and told ‘You are so happy and confident. You do it all’ — but I cry a lot. So I’m like, ‘Is that what I show on Instagram and social media because that’s wonderful?’ Because that’s not what it is all the time… I’m fooling you. Everyone posts only the good stuff, but try not to compare yourself, because they’re not posting the bad shit.

“As a famous person, it’s tough to even talk about any of the bad times because no one wants to hear it. When I became a mother, that same kind of ‘Don’t bitch, because this is what you always wanted. Don’t complain. Everything should be perfect. Just appear happy’… Even though it’s really, really hard. I thought that was relatable to everyone. My big thing nowadays is to talk about my feelings and not stuff them down and pretend like they’re not there.”

“Mama Wanna Mambo” ft. Natti Natasha & Arturo Sandoval

“We were looking at genres that were big in the Fifties. I grew up with a Trinidadian uncle, so we were listening to calypso. We were listening to the song ‘Papa Loves Mambo’ [by Perry Como] and I was like, ‘Yeah, but mama wants a mambo.’ I just compared it to dancing and going out and having fun. I was like, ‘God, I don’t remember the last time I did that.’ I bet every mom feels like that. I just want to escape and have a crazy wild night.

“We wrote this song so fast. It was the most fun day ever. I wanted a feature on this song. And I wished that it would be an icon, but also someone who’s a mom. We were talking about Natti Natasha, and we were like ‘She never would. There’s no shot!’ But the day the master was due, we got a phone call. It was like a movie scene, and they were like ‘Natti is down.’ And we’re like, ‘What? You’re joking.’ But it was real. She recorded a verse and sent it in, and it was magnificent. And I freaking freaked out.”


“I think this one is going to hit home for a lot of people. A lot of the women who’ve listened have said, ‘”Superwoman” made me cry. That’s, like, exactly how I feel. You nailed it.’ My best friend told me that one of my gifts in life is that I can explain how strangers are feeling but are not always open to talk about. They don’t know how to put it into words, but I have figured out how to put it into a song. That’s my number one goal when I go into the studio: I will make this relatable and make someone else feel not alone because I’m feeling exactly how they’re feeling. ‘Superwoman’ is one of those songs, where I just kept getting interviewed and asked, ‘How do you do it all, you’re so happy and positive and confident and love your body.’ And I’m like, ‘Whoa. Those are just things I’m working on. I haven’t succeeded in those areas yet.’ There’s work to be done. If I’m Superwoman, then I’m flying in the fucking rain, because this is a tough day, you know?”

“While You’re Young”

“This one’s super special. I wrote and produced it with Harry Styles’ producers Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson. I wanted a song talking to myself going through puberty, to the young awkward teenage me that was super uncomfortable and was growing into her body and was confused about everything. ‘I know you’ve been hurting for weeks/You stay up late and cry yourself to sleep.’ When I was younger, I didn’t go to college and make mistakes, but I did make them in high school, which I’m glad I did. Because I learned so much. There were some things I didn’t need to do, but I still did them. But now I look back, and I’m like, ‘Girl, that was your time and you lived it up, and I’m proud of you.’ I love that my therapist says that the younger you is always in you. When I get sad or upset or frustrated with myself, I tell my younger self, ‘You’re not taking care of me like you promised you would.’ So this song was for her. ‘You’re gonna get all the things you’ve ever wanted. Everything’s gonna come through.’”

“Final Breath”

“It’s the closing love song and it’s a good cry. It just felt like the end, like the last chapter of the book, where you’re like, ‘Fuck yeah.’ I wanted to write the biggest ultimate love song. Pretty much how I want to die with my husband, which I know is intense. But death is the biggest fear I have in life. The biggest thing I’m afraid of, because I love this life so much and I don’t ever want to leave. I want to die with my husband at 105, lying in bed and saying, ‘Ready, set. 123.’ That’s what we promised each other. And that’s what the song is. I can’t wait until we’re 105 and we look at each other and hold each other’s hands and go ‘Wow, what a ride. Wasn’t that amazing?’ I had to sing this all in one take with no music. I had to sing it raw and bare. So imagine that. And then after I sang my vocals with all my emotions, I played piano to my voice. It was really beautiful and vulnerable how we put this song together. I wrote the first half of it with my husband on the floor next to me. And he was crying.”

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