Meghan Trainor appeared on NBC’s Songland this week. Trainor, who started out in the music business as a songwriter herself, has a special appreciation for the show. It’s about time for songwriters to gain more recognition for their work, she says.
During the episode, Trainor meets four undiscovered songwriters: Brandin Jay, Kole, Zachary Kale, and Josh Wood.
Brandin is up first with his song, “No Money Alright.” Meghan thinks the song is a jam. Producers Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean, and Shane McAnally agree. Their only feedback is to improve the chorus a little and give the song a more modern feel.
Next is Kole, who shares her breakup song, “Hurt Me.” Meghan and the producers call the song ear candy but point out that the arpeggio conflicts with the notes, creating chords that pass over the melodies as Kole is singing.
Third, is Zachary Kale, with “All Over Again,” a love song he wrote about his wife. Meghan and the producers praise the song’s many incredible pieces. However, they think the song might be too bouncy and could possibly work better as a ballad.
Finally, Josh Wood pitches his song, “Alone.” Meghan and the producers say that the chorus has the potential to be a true hit chorus. Still, they want Josh to take advantage of song real estate and use the space in the song to tell a story.
Having heard from all four undiscovered songwriters, it’s time for Meghan to decide who will move to the studio round. She selects Brandin, Josh, and Kole.
Josh works with Shane to ramp up the storytelling and lyrics on “Alone.” Shane wants the lyrics to be playful and to pop more since he and Josh are facing some serious competition in Brandin and Esther and Kole and Ryan.
Ryan helps Kole tweak “Hurt Me.” They edit some of the lyrics, and Ryan tinkers with the production to make it edgier and sound more urban.
Ester and Brandin tackle “No Money Alright.” They play with the narrative and change the lyrics up a little bit so they don’t sound as dated. They also want to give the song more of “Meghan’s vibe.”
When the performance round arrives, Josh goes first with “Alone.” Meghan and the producers all like the lyric, “no joke, I hope I see you never.” Meghan also thinks the beat is cooler than before and says that song has definitely been upgraded.
Kole is next. Her song, “Hurt Me” has become dancy, and Meghan says Kole reminds her of herself.
Brandin sings last. His song has undergone a major transformation, complete with a new title, “We Got Us,” and new lyrics. After hearing him sing, Meghan says she has chills everywhere.
With each of the songs improved, Meghan now has to choose which one to cut. It’s a tough decision because she says she would record all three but she ultimately picks Kole’s “Hurt Me.”
Listen to Meghan sing “Hurt Me” on YouTube.
On next week’s episode of Songland, Aloe Blacc seeks a song for the new movie, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.