Talent Recap

Meghan Trainor’s ‘Songland’ Pick is a BOP! Here’s Our Episode 5 Recap


Reading Time: 5 minutes

After taking America (and the charts) by storm in the first four episodes, Songland is back this week with Meghan Trainor! She is looking for a catchy tune to be her next hit.

Will the pop star find what she’s searching for? Read our Songland recap below to find out!


Brandin Jay

Brandin talks about how he writes music to bring happiness. His song “No Money Alright” is about something he doesn’t have–money! He works at a coffee shop during the day and runs an entertainment company with his mom by night.

Brandin’s performance of “No Money Alright” was so fun and SO catchy! He definitely has a lot of energy. And the tune seems perfect for Meghan Trainor. She says he was “born to do this” and called his song a “jam.” Meghan wanted to improve the chorus so Shane and Ryan both suggested new lyrics. They also want to “dirty it up” by making the backtrack less gospel-sounding. When it came time, Brandin was paired with Ester Dean. He said Ester is his “spirit animal” so no surprises with this pairing!



KOLE is 22 years old from Tarzana, California. She talks about turning to music to get her through tough years of being ostracized in high school. KOLE likes writing quirky things with unique sounds. She calls her music “left of pop.”

Her original “Hurt Me,” was inspired by a breakup. KOLE mentions that when she wrote this song, she thought it would be perfect for Meghan Trainor. Well now is her chance to prove that! She had the sass of Meghan and a similar voice in my opinion. This is the vibe of her songs, including little spoken sections. Meghan squealed when she heard it, so clearly she’s a fan. Unsurprisingly, KOLE moved on and ended up working with Ryan Tedder after they all fought over the song.


Zachary Kale

This isn’t Zachary’s first time in talent competition television! Zachary was one of the co-writers for Gabby Barrett‘s recent song, “I Hope.” But for Songland, he is front and center. Zachary is from the South and likes writing music that makes you feel good.

To Zach, there’s no better feeling than falling in love. He said the first time he met his wife he knew he could marry her and he would be happy for the rest of his life. And that’s what his song, “All Over Again” is about. It has a little bit of a country vibe but still could work for Meghan Trainor. Meghan says the melody is amazing and she loves the lyrics about wishing you could fall in love with your significant other again and again. Then, Shane gets into some rapping to make it more her style. But after all the performances, he did not get to work with a mentor.


Josh Wood

As soon as Josh walks into the room, he is blown away by the talent in front of him. He says Meghan Trainor is one of his favorite artists! Josh Wood is from Northern California but now lives in West Hollywood. He works bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs every weekend to make money but he’s focused on his music career.

Josh’s song is called “Alone” and it’s about that a-ha moment in a relationship when you realize you don’t need this. He says it’s “saucy, not bitter.” Meghan tells him the melody is perfect for what the words say, but Ester and Ryan want more from the storytelling. Josh was paired with Shane McAnally, which makes sense because their focus is going to be on lyrics.


Josh Wood (with Shane McAnally)

Shane says that Josh’s melody is so perfect, but the lyrics need to be perfected to compete with the rest of the songs. He suggests lyrics but when Josh comes back with his own revisions, they go with those. They write a lot of lines that sound sassy and playful like Meghan’s other music. His second performance had so much more personality and darkness than the original. Meghan said it’s “upgraded” and “ready.”


KOLE (with Ryan Tedder)

Ryan says KOLE “knew what she was doing” when it came to this song. It’s a pop hit, but it needed to be edgier and more urban. They’ve also upgraded the lyrics to make each line fit better. Ryan is super involved in making every drum and element sound just right for the moment. And in her second performance, the backtrack lost the cheesy scales, giving it more depth. It was less cutesy and more of an anthem. Meghan says she “loves everything!” She also mentions that KOLE reminds her of herself. That is quite the compliment!


Brandin Jay (with Ester Dean)

Ester and Brandin start by jamming to the song. You can’t blame them! The song is so catchy. Ester changes around the lyrics to focus less on money and more on the fun and happiness. They FaceTime with Meghan to talk about which lyrics should be changed and what should stay the same. Ester and Brandin rename the song to “We Got Us” as well to reflect their changes. His revised version brings it to another level, hitting higher notes with the same fun energy. Meghan said she “got chills everywhere” from his performance!

Meghan Trainor’s New Single

At the end, Meghan Trainor had to make a decision. She said she would “cut all of these” but that’s not how Songland works (unless you’re will.i.am)! Meghan went with…”Hurt Me,” written by KOLE and Ryan Tedder! Honestly, from her initial reaction, I can’t say I’m surprised. But if it were me, I would’ve chosen “We Got Us.” Meghan even said she’s always wanted to work with Ester Dean.

That’s beside the point though! Here’s Meghan’s full version of “Hurt Me” from Songland.


That’s it for Meghan Trainor’s time on Songland! You can listen to her version of “Hurt Me” everywhere you listen to music. Tune in again next week when Aloe Blacc is the featured artist! They’ll be working on a song for the next Fast & Furious movie.

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