LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Christmas - it cannot come too early this year. We all need holiday cheer. And singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor, who used to be all about that bass, has just the thing.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WINTER WONDERLAND")
MEGHAN TRAINOR: (Singing) Sleigh bells ring. Are you listening? In the land, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight walking in a winter wonderland.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: She has released her fourth studio album, called "A Very Trainor Christmas." And she joins us now to talk about it. Welcome.
TRAINOR: Hi. How are you?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I am so great. People can't see you, but you're wearing a Christmas hat.
TRAINOR: I'm wearing a Christmas hat. I'm in my kitchen, where my Christmas village is already set up.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) I love it. It is impressive, I must say, that you were able to create this joyful collection of songs in 2020. Props to you. Where did you get your inspiration from?
TRAINOR: Well, within all the darkness, I was like, we need to spread some joy this year. I knew, like, as soon as we were going to stay home and being quarantined for more than three months - I knew, like, OK, this is our time. We did it in the hot July and August. It was very hot. And we did everything at my house. We're very safe, especially because I was pregnant. Did the whole photo shoot at home. Yeah, that was like the inspiration - is like, well, now's the time, I guess.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Now is the time. The album features holiday classics that we all know, like "Rudolph the Red Red-Nosed Reindeer," but it also includes some originals. Let's hear a bit of "My Kind Of Present."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MY KIND OF PRESENT")
TRAINOR: (Singing) Baby, yeah, don't say maybe 'cause I don't care 'bout your money. I been kind of lonely. I know that you want me. And, baby, I got you...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So tell me about this. When did you write this? I guess you must've been in lockdown. Tell me about the song.
TRAINOR: Yes, we were in lockdown, and we knew we were going to write this Christmas album. I wrote this with my two brothers. My younger brother produced the beat for me, and my older brother made sure my were are really cool. He's the cool guy. It was just like, let's just get a cute love song. And we've been saying Santa in every single song. So let's do, like, present.
TRAINOR: And then now this song to me means so much more. It's, like, my song to my baby. When I perform it live, I do a dance where I tap my belly and I'm like, (singing) you're my kind of present. And it's so cute because I'm so excited for my baby.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: When are you due?
TRAINOR: I'm due February, early February.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So it'll be just after Christmas baby. It'll be a New Year's baby. Any names yet?
TRAINOR: We found out it's a boy, but we had a name before we knew the gender. And we had a name, like, almost before I was pregnant. We've loved this name only because it's a person that - we both don't know anyone with this name. And it's not like some crazy, artsy name. It's just like a regular sweet name.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Which is it? Drum rolls.
TRAINOR: Oh, that's the only secret we have. Sorry (laughter).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, OK. All right. I thought I'd ask. Fair enough. Fair enough. So I want to talk about how your sound is sort of evolved on this album. You say your brother's the cool guy. What does that work like? Like, he's the one who says, all right, we got to bring some oomph into this?
TRAINOR: My older brother - he listens to a lot of, like, hip-hop stuff that I don't listen to as much. Like, I'm a big pop girl. With this music, you can go really cheesy really fast. And I love cheesy, but I need it to be cool enough where people my age want to sing it. And he came up with great stuff like "Naughty List." That's a song on our album. And he's like, why you put me on the naughty list? Maybe I was too good for you. And we kind of write it like a rap. And then I'll be - in five seconds, I'll be like, why you put me on the naughty list? And I make it like this pop cute thing (laughter).
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NAUGHTY LIST")
TRAINOR: (Singing) Maybe all my love for you was too nice. So why you put me on the naughty list? Maybe I was too good for ya, good for ya.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It is cute. Well, you do have some other big-name collaborators on this Seth MacFarlane, Earth, Wind and Fire and your dad, Gary Trainor. He played piano for you on "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." Let's listen.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS")
TRAINOR: (Singing) Through the years, we all will be together if the fates allow. So hang a shining star upon the highest bough...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I like all versions of the song, but this version is a great version. How is it making music with your dad?
TRAINOR: It's the best. I know he can always do it, and he's so cute and insecure still. He's like, I need a week to figure it out. I'm like, OK, you got it, man. And my mom will send me videos of him, like, practicing all night. What I love about his style - he makes this ballad sound like soulful and sassy. And you're like, oh. Like, it's a mood instead of just, like, an old spooky version, you know? And that's, like, the coolest part of my dad and what I try to bring to my music.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS")
TRAINOR: (Singing) So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What is your Christmas wish, Meghan Trainor?
TRAINOR: Oh, man, for things to get better (laughter). Like, to see my entire family without being terrified of getting anyone sick. I really miss my family, especially this year. Everyone's been waiting for this baby. This baby's already so loved. And the biggest fear is, like, who is going to see him? You know, who's going to get to see him first? Or, like, how long do we wait until I can share my family, like, moments with him? So that's what I wish for.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's a good one. Is there a Christmas song you didn't get to include on the album that you wish you could have?
TRAINOR: Yeah, I really love (singing) "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree," and I could've killed that one. But I also knew that Miley Cyrus just did that recently, and I loved her version. And I was like, I'm going to let her have this version for a while. And then they told me, too, because I was like, what if I missed something? They're like every year you can add something. Like, you just run Christmas for a minute. I was like, OK. And they're like, Christmas comes every year. And I'm like, oh, yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So it does. That's singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor talking about her new album, "A Very Trainor Christmas." Thank you so much, and best of luck with the baby.
TRAINOR: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOLIDAYS")
TRAINOR: (Singing) You got that look in your eyes. Call me for...
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