Meet Writer-Producer Kevin Kadish, Meghan Trainor's Secret Weapon

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Producer Kevin Kadish and singer Meghan Trainor attend Trainor's record release party for her debut album "Title" at Warwick on January 13, 2015 in Hollywood, California.

Meghan Trainor's inaugural LP, Title, which debuted at No. 1 on the Jan. 24 Billboard 200 with sales of 195,000 ­copies (according to Nielsen Music), put a big Happy New Year exclamation point on the 21-year-old singer-songwriter's breakthrough in 2014. But the album also set up the third act in the unlikely career of Kevin Kadish, 43, the writer-producer behind 11 of Title's 14 tracks, including the singles "All About That Bass" and "Lips Are Movin'." "I figured out a long time ago," says Kadish, "that sometimes what you want to be isn't always what you're meant to be."

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Originally a front-line artist signed to a then-indie Republic in 1998, Kadish toured with Vertical Horizon and SR-71 in support of an album that never arrived. Five years later, he reinvented himself as a staff songwriter for Matt Serletic at Warner/Chappell, penning hits for Stacie Orrico and Jason Mraz that helped pay the bills but fell short of cultural ubiquity.

After going solo from Warner in 2011, Kadish spent three years pitching ­artists on a 1950s-revival sound that didn't connect until Trainor entered her first Nashville session with him. "I said, 'We should make an EP just for fun,' and I heard her sing and thought, 'Holy cow, this could actually be something,' " recalls Kadish.

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Since the premiere of its video last June, "Bass" has scored more than 500 million YouTube streams, 4 million-plus in digital sales in the United States and eight consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. And Kadish, nearly 17 years after trying to score a hit of his own, couldn't be more grateful.

"It's sort of crazy," he says. "I've been part of a bunch of hits before, but never with ­someone who came out of the blue like this."

This story first appeared in the Feb. 7 issue of Billboard.