Max Martin the Swedish Producer Behind Pop's Biggest Songs
Martin also co-wrote, co-produced nine of the songs on 1989, including Shake it Off, Blank Space, Style, Bad Blood, Wildest Dreams, How You Get the Girl, New Romantics, Wonderland. He is the executive producer of the album.
Martin was awarded Songwriter of the Year at the 2015 annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards for the most performed songs, Bang Bang (Ariana Grande, Jesse J, Nicki Minaj), Dark Horse, Roar, (Katy Perry), Problem (Ariana Grande) and Shake It Off (Taylor Swift). Martin received his first GRAMMY for the Non-Classical Producer of the Year award earlier in the year, having produced some of the top pop songs of 2014, including Bang Bang, Blank Space, Break Free, Dark Horse, Problem, Shake It Off and Unconditionally. Congrats to Max Martin for his dedication to the pop music industry!
We all have heard his genius work. He has written, co-written and produced many of pop's best selling songs. He writes and produces songs that propels artists to the top of the charts, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Keisha, Justin Bieber, to name a few. You may be like many who don't know that some of the quintessential mega-hit songs performed by Britney Spears, N'SYNC, Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion, Bon Jovi, Adam Lambert (Whataya Want From Me), Jesse J, Kelly Clarkson, Robyn, Pink, Usher, Leona Lewis, Taio Cruz, Will I. Am and many others all have one person in common with their success, Martin Karl Sandburg, known professionally by his name, Max Martin.
The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory
List of #1 Songs by Max Martin
Here is the list of 21 #1 songs written/co-written, produced/co-produced by Max Martin which made it to the top of Billboard charts!
..Baby One More Time / Britney Spears
It's Gonna Be Me / 'N SYNC
I Kissed a Girl / Pink
So What / Pink
My Life Would Suck Without You / Kelly Clarkson
3 / Britney Spears
Raise Your Glass /Pink
California Gurls / Katy Perry
Teenage Dream / Katy Perry
Hold It Against Me" / Britney Spears
E.T. / Katy Perry
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) / Katy Perry
Part Of Me / Katy Perry
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together / Taylor Swift
One More Night / Maroon 5
Roar / Katy Perry
Dark Horse / Katy Perry
Shake It Off/ Taylor Swift
Blank Space/ Taylor Swift
Bad Blood/ Taylor Swift
Can't Feel My Face/The Weeknd
XLN Audio Addictive Drums and Keys
Martin uses XLN Audio Software Addictive Drums and Keys. These tools help to give a clean, distinctive sound not only while recording but in the final production. The music software company is located in Stockholm, Sweden.
Max Martin Billboard Top 100 Hits 1995-2014
The Man Behind Pop's Biggest Hits
Max Martin, Denniz PoP and Cheiron Records
Born February 26, 1971 in Stockholm, Sweden, Martin has been pumping out some of our favorite club songs since the mid- nineties. He had his own band, It's Alive, (see video below of Sing This Blues) playing glam-metal during the late-eighties/early nineties. The band was signed to Cheiron Records, an affiliate of BMG, by Denniz PoP. While their second album didn't make the sales they expected, PoP saw Martin's talent for songwriting and brought him into the studio to start learning the basics of producing music. Leaving It's Alive in 1995, he started collaborating with PoP. They both worked on the second album by Ace of Base, Bridges, which has sold more than six million copies worldwide.
It's easy to say that since those early days of working with Denniz PoP, the road was paved, by hard work, for Max Martin to rise to the top with his songwriting skills, and his ability to know the magic formula to make a song a hit. In the mid 90's they were working with the Backstreet Boys, who made it big in Europe before returning to the United States with some of their biggest hits, including, I Want It That Way. Denniz PoP died of cancer in 1998 and Martin took over as head of Cheiron Studios and started working with the writer/producer, Rami Yacoub.
Let's take a look at some of his work since 1998-99, which were big years for him, working with the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. So, turn up the speakers or grab your headphones and listen to all that's going on in these songs. (If the videos don't play in your country, I have included different video links of the same songs in the comment section. )
If you've got Max Martin as your writer, you have a better chance of having a worldwide hit than with anyone else.— Simon Cowell
'Oh baby, baby, how was I supposed to know, that something wasn't right...'
... Baby One More Time- Britney Spears
- released Oct. 1998
- written by Max Martin, originally for TLC, who rejected it, then presented to Back Street Boys, who also said, nay
- a song about breaking up with someone and regretting the decision
- Spears most successful single, it entered the US charts at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100
- won 1999 Teen Choice Awards Single of the Year
- MTV Europe Music Awards Best Song
- sold over 26 million copies worldwide- one of the best-selling singles of all time
'Tell me why, I never want to hear you say, I want it that way...'
I Want It That Way- Backstreet Boys
- released April, 1999
- co-written by Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson, co-produced by Max Martin and Kristian Lundin
- hit #1 in 25 countries
- set a record for most weeks at #1 on Billboard's Top 40 Mainstream
- #10 on MTV/Rolling Stone List of 100 Greatest Pop Songs of All Time in 2000
- the album Millennium, on which it appears, sold over 1.1 million copies it's debut week.
- Martin co-wrote and co-produced 7 out of 12 songs on Millennium which has sold over 12,168,000 albums
Max Martin and Maratone- Mega Success
Martin started up a new production company in Jan. of 2001 with his partner Tom Talomaa. Cheiron Studios was closed and a new beginning was necessary to continue expanding and experimenting with new sounds. The production company, Maratone, is located in Stockholm, Sweden. He spends time with the artists, getting a feel for what they're like, what music they listen to, in order to capture the chemistry needed to make it their song. Martin has stated; "I want the input because that makes the chemistry of the song." Every song should get people moving, anyone, every kind of person, the woman at the cash register, the truck driver, the couple on the dance floor. It's impossible not to move when you hear his music!
Maratone is a team of talented professional, award- winning songwriters and producers including Martin, Shellback, (Moves Like Jagger/Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera) and Alexandra. There are two studios fully equipped with state of the art tools necessary to produce hit making songs. I have included a link to Maratone in the Reference section below which includes a complete listing of all production equipment used in the studios.
Martin quietly moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and continues to work with his A- list production team including Shellback and a young songwriter, Ilya Salmanzadeh. He purchased a famous Hollywood compound which he has transformed into a recording studio. He works closely with Savan Kotecha who calls him the 'master of his craft'.
'How can I put it, you put me on, I even fell for your stupid love song...'
Since U Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson
- released Dec. 2004
- written and produced by Max Martin and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald
- a song about feeling alive again after a failed relationship
- EuroPop funk beat hit #1 for 2 weeks
- remained in the top 10 for 20 weeks in the US
- Clarkson won a GRAMMY Award in 2006 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
- Clarkson's biggest hit
'SO what, I'm still a rock star, I got my rock moves and I don't need you, so guess what...'
So What- Pink
- released Aug. 2008
- written by Max Martin, Pink, Shellback; produced by Martin
- Pink's first #1 in US
- reached #1 in 25 countries
- #1 Adult Top 40 & Hot Dance Airplay in US
- 4X Platinum worldwide selling over 8,500,00 digital downloads/singles
'Dance, dance like it's the last, last night of your life...'
DJ Got Us Fallin In Love- Usher
- released June 2010
- written by Max Martin, Shellback, Kotecha, Pitbull; produced by Martin, Shellback
- synthpop, europop club song; 120 beats per minute/metronome (highly danceable!)
- reached Top Ten on 19 charts worldwide
- one of Usher's most successful singles
- #4 Billboard Hot 10
Max Martin Net Worth
It's estimated that Max Martin has a net worth of +250 million. Having started out as a musician/ songwriter, his move to songwriter/producer has proven to be one of the most successful career moves in music history!
Max Martin Quotes
"I record every part separately until the artist and I are happy with it."
"I can only speak for myself when I say writing the melody first gives me more freedom than doing it the other way around."
" Let me put it this way – songwriting and producing is 99% about confidence."
I don't consider myself a poet, I just write what I feel, sounds good."
"If they hear it once on the radio, I want them to like it immediately... it's the piano and 'oh, baby, baby'...that's what grabs you."
"Pop Music is always about NOW."
"I've never seen my daughter excited about someone I've worked with, and that's really saying something." (speaking about Ariana Grande)
Martin and Pop Music- #1 Hitmaker
Rani Hancock of RCA Records said, "He has an amazing sense of lyric and melody and he always comes up with these brilliant lyric concepts that are not only hits, but are very identifiable."
Louis Walsh is quoted as saying, "his songs are worldwide pop monsters". And they are. Few people realize how much of today's pop music is written and produced by this Swedish hitmaker. We identify this music with the artists who perform it so well, but behind these mega hits is a genius who wants every part of the song perfect.
"I'm excited to be co-executive producing with Max Martin, the person who kind of invented Britney..." Dr. Luke
Listen with a new ear if this is your first introduction to Max Martin, the pop music hitmaker. Turn up the speakers to get full effect! Personally I like to listen with a great set of headphones to hear 'everything.' The production is so clean. Pure pop bliss.
Max Martin fans, thanks for reading!
I didn't even know what a producer did, I spent two years day and night in that studio trying to learn what the hell was going on.— Max Martin - 03/19/2001
Max Martin's Awards
- Swedish Grammis Award - 1998
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 1999- Martin was the first non-American citizen to win this prestigious award.
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year - 2000
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year - 2001
- STIM Platinum Award - 2010
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year (tie with Dr. Luke) - 2011
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year - 2012
- HM the King's Medal (Sweden) - 2012 (outstanding work as a music producer and composer)
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year- 2013
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year - 2014
- GRAMMY Producer of the Year- 2014
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year= 2015
Martin is the first songwriter to receive this prestigious award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers three years in a row.
My advice to upcoming talent in this business is "work harder than everyone else." Max Martin
References and Additional Max Martin Mania
Britney Spears Interview- Making My First Album (includes Max Martin) This is a great (old) interview series with Spears which includes Martin discussing the making of her first album.
Pop Songwriter Purchases Oddball West Hollywood Compound Max Martin bought the famous compound once housed by Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe to transform into a recording studio.
Max Martin Speaks at the Backstreet Boys Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony 2013
List of Britney Spears Songs Written and Produced by Max Martin
All of these songs were written/ co-written by Martin. All were produced/ co-produced by Martin. Complete discography can be found at the Maratone link which I have included above in the Reference section. Four of her biggest hits have debuted on the charts at #1. Three of them have Martin's distinctive signature, (asterisks*). This makes Britney Spears the second artist in a 52 year history of having multiple debuts at the #1 spot!
- ...Baby One More Time- 1999 *
- (you drive me) Crazy- 1999
- I Will Be There- 1999
- Stronger- 1999
- OOPS- I Did It Again- 2000
- Can't Make You Love Me- 2000
- Don't Go Knocking On My Door- 2000
- Lucky- 2000
- Where Are You Now- 2000
- Bombastic Love- 2001
- Overprotected- 2001
- Cinderella- 2001
- I'm A Girl, Not Yet A Woman- 2001
- If U Seek Amy- 2008
- 3- 2009 *
- Hold It Against Me- 2011*
- Till The World Ends- 2011
- Inside Out- 2011
- I Wanna Go- 2011
- Criminal- 2011
- Up n' Down- 2011
- Seal It With A Kiss- 2011