If you turn on the radio, you're sure to recognize some of Justin Tranter's work. Some of the artists he's penned tracks for include Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Erika Jayne, and Gwen Stefani, to name a few. The one-time frontman for Semi Precious Weapons (who you may also recognize from their appearance in Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video) is now one of the biggest songwriters in the biz, with his most recent contribution to your party playlist coming in the form of Selena's "Bad Liar." Co-written with frequent writing partner Julia Michaels, the track is a sexy, sleek, and summer-ready jam which comes complete with a sample from the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer."
The Daily Dish recently chatted with Justin about the track — and working with the one and only Erika.
1. Selena Gomez, Bad Liar
He calls working with Selena "the dream collaboration" having already recorded previous jams like "Hands to Myself" and "Good for You" with the singer. But "Bad Liar" is definitely their most unexpected collab to date thanks to that Talking Heads sample. "She was already a fan and well aware of the whole thing. She's a really really hip girl and you know what's really cool with this song is — the couple reviews I've seen and the friends that I've talked to — it's so cool for the world to start seeing what I have always seen in her because I know her so well. And I know how unbelievable her taste is and I know how smart she is and I know how forward she wants to bring pop music. It's really cool that this song does that and everyone gets to see it."
As for that sample, well it seems to have gotten Talking Heads frontman David Byrne's seal of approval for using the iconic bassline from bandmate/bassist Tina Weymouth. "[We] sent David Byrne the song and he loved it and as you can see in his tweets. We were kind of nervous, but as soon as — 'cause we all felt the song was so special — [we were like], 'Well if he doesn't like it, we're screwed. Song over. So luckily he liked it and the rest is history... it was either pass or fail and we passed."
He added, "I mean how cool is that and now you look at Wikipedia and we share a writing credit with David Byrne — that's cool... I mean it's like all that's left is to share a writing credit with Ani DiFranco and then I'm just pretty much set."
2. Erika Jayne, How Many F***s?
Justin called The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills singer "queen of the world," noting that they met several years before the birth of "How Many F***s?" and hung out in Miami after being introduced by a mutual industry friend. He shared, "So I've known Erika Jayne for about maybe over four years. She was one of the first experiences I ever had of writing songs for other people. And so then when she takes over the planet on Real Housewives, you know, she hits me up to see if I want to work again. And I'm like 'Of course.' And so we wrote the very subtle, the very family-friendly 'How Many F***s?'... subtlety is my strong point. 'Cake By the Ocean,' 'How Many F***s?' just keep it real classy for the children."
The songwriter added there could be chance the twosome may someday whip up another banger. "We always text about it. We're trying to figure it out, but between both of our schedules it's not always the easiest thing. But yes, I'll work with Erika Jayne as long as she'll have me."
So, what could their next collab be about? "I got to see where the queen is at see, what she's thinking about. See what she's feeling and that's how we always do it."