BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 14: Meghan Trainor arrives at the 2016 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring Irv
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Meghan Trainor has very effectively updated her sound with “Nø,” the lead single from her upcoming sophomore album, Thank You. Ricky Reed, who helmed “Nø” and executive-produced Trainor’s follow-up to Title, tells Fuse that the new single (released last Friday) hints at a big step forward for the “All About That Bass” star.

“It’s different for her, which will be the most obvious thing when you hear it,” Reed says of “Nø.” “It’s a very natural step for her. Meghan is a fan of funk music and gospel, so we really wanted to make an album that didn’t abandon her sound of Title but took a bold step forward, not just musically but in the messaging of the song. It’s a strong, woman-forward album.”

As Trainor confirmed to Fuse in a recent interview, “Nø” came together after the singer presented Epic Records head Antonio “L.A.” Reid with a bunch of new material for her sophomore album… and Reid promptly sent her packing in search of another potential single. That led to a studio meet-up with Reed, who had already been working on the new album with Trainor.

“She came over, almost in tears, and said, ‘I just played L.A. all of these songs and he says I don’t have a first single!’” Reed recalls. “She was all upset, and I go, ‘Well, let’s relax, take it easy, and harness this anger you’re feeling. Let’s not try to write a first single—let’s just try to have a good time and turn that frown upside down.’ We took that energy, and the song really wrote itself. Start to finish, it was about seven hours, and that was that.”

With “Nø” ready to go at radio, Reed is excited for fans to hear the rest of his work with Trainor on Thank You, which is due out on May 13. “We saw eye-to-eye on everything, and were finishing each other’s sentences,” says Reed of working with the singer-songwriter. “From there, we did a couple songs together before ‘Nø’ happened, and then ‘Nø’ changed everything.”

Click here to read Trainor’s thoughts on “Nø.”