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Max Martin's Secret Helpers

Updated on June 7, 2014
Max Martin at ASCAP Awards
Max Martin at ASCAP Awards | Source

Cheiron Studios - The Beginning

Denniz Pop and Max Martin worked together in the early-mid 90s as DJs. Over time, their mixes sounded more like original songs than the songs they were mixing. They moved on to writing and producing original music. Denniz started Cheiron Studios in Stockholm, Sweden in 1991 and recruited Max Martin a year later.

Denniz Pop - Martin's Predecessor

Denniz Pop, real name Dag Krister Volle, was the original mastermind behind some of the greatest pop music of the mid 90s. He worked with Ace of Base including writing "All That She Wants" and having a production credit on "The Sign." He also formed relationships with the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and other artists, writing and producing a number of songs for them. Tragically, Pop died of stomach cancer in 1998 at the age of 35. The Backstreet Boys paid tribute to him by dedicating their video for "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" to Denniz who had worked on the song in pre-production.

The Story of Cheiron

Rami Yacoub

Rami Yacoub, usually credited as simply Rami, worked on solo projects in the mid 90s. He was approached by Max Martin in 1998 who was looking for a new partner in production after the passing of Denniz Pop. Rami found his talent here, penning hits such as "Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears, "Larger Than Life" by the Backstreet Boys, and "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi.

Recently Rami has worked with One Direction on hits like "What Makes You Beautiful," "One Thing," and "Kiss You." He also wrote "Sirens" for Cher Lloyd.

Kristian Lundin

Kristian Lundin is my personal favorite of the old Cheiron crew. He worked on a number of songs, and well over 100 of his songs have been released by various artists. These artists include the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, *NSync, Celine Dion, and others. More recently he has worked with One Direction.

Some of his most notable hits are "I Want it That Way," for the Backstreet Boys and *NSync's "Bye, Bye, Bye." Interestingly, Max Martin is not credited as a writer or producer on "Bye, Bye, Bye" but still often gets credit from the public for this song.

Andreas Carlsson

Andreas Carlsson also worked with artists like Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and *NSync. One of his most notable hits is "I Want it That Way." One of his most recent hits was Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas."

Carlsson has pursued solo endeavors, releasing multiple solo albums over the years. In 2012 he was a judge on The X Factor in Sweden.

Alexander Kronlund

Alexander Kronlund, like most others at Cheiron, worked with artists like Backstreet Boys, *NSync, and Britney Spears. Some of his biggest hits are with Britney Spears including "Lucky" from 2000. He also co-wrote with Max Martin on Britney Spears' "If U Seek Amy" and "Till The World Ends."

Jörgen Elofsson

Elofsson is one of the few members of the Cheiron crew who did not work with Backstreet Boys or *NSync, however he did work with Britney Spears on "(You Drive Me) Crazy" and "Sometimes." He also worked with Westlife on songs such as "Fool Again" and "Evergreen."

Some notable hits of Elofsson's come from Kelly Clarkson. They include "A Moment Like This" and "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." The latter earned two Grammy nominations in 2013.

Per Magnusson and David Kreuger

Magnusson and Kreuger often worked together and with Elofsson. These two also worked on "Sometimes" and "(You Drive Me) Crazy" for Britney Spears. They work with many international groups. A number one hit of theirs is Westlife's "If I Let You Go."

Herbie Crichlow

Herbie, although born in England and raised in Barbados, lived and worked in Sweden. He is known for some of his hits with the Backstreet Boys like "We've Got it Going On," "Quit Playing Games With My Heart." and "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely." His songs have been nominated for Grammies 5 times.

Jake Schulze

Often credited as only Jake, Schulze had a string of hits in the late 90s and early 2000s. His biggest hit was "Bye, Bye, Bye," with *NSync, He also worked extensively with Westlife throughout the years.

Backstreet Boys - Millennium (7/12 songs by Cheiron Studios)

Britney Spears - Femme Fatale (executive produced by Max Martin)

Max Martin

It is virtually impossible to sum up everything Max Martin has done. He has worked with dozens of artists, maybe more. To name just a handful, these include Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, Pink, the Backstreet Boys, *NSync, Britney Speas, Westlife, 5ive, Maroon 5, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Taylor Swift, Adam Lambert, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Daughtry, Enrique Iglesias, James Blunt, Leona Lewis, Simple Plan, Carrie Underwood, Kesha, Taio Cruz, Usher, Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, and Chery Lloyd. Again, there are many others not mentioned above.

Martin has written 17 Billboard number 1 hits. When including all Billboard top 10 hits, Martin has nearly 50 at the time of this writing. These numbers are constantly growing as he is always writing and releasing more material.

Max Martin is a pop music genius. You would be hard pressed to find someone who did not have at least one of his songs on their iPod.

Max Martin at the presentation of the Backstreet Boys' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Max Martin at the presentation of the Backstreet Boys' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. | Source

Backstreet Boys "Don't Want You Back"

Unknown, but GREAT Songs By These Producers

Below are some album tracks, bonus tracks, or unreleased tracks written and produced by the people mentioned above. They are lesser known than the popular singles, but just as good if not better. If you are a fan of any of these producers, I highly recommend listening to some of these songs.

Backstreet Boys:

  • 10,000 Promises
  • That's the Way I Like
  • I Wanna Be With You
  • Don't Want You Back
  • Don't Wanna Lose You Now
  • Get Another Boyfriend
  • Not For Me
  • Everyone
  • I Still...
  • Siberia
  • In a World Like This

Britney Spears

  • I Will Be There
  • Born to Make You Happy
  • Don't Go Knocking on My Door
  • Cinderella
  • Bombastic Love
  • Up & Down


  • That Girl Will Never Be Mine
  • Tell Me, Tell Me...Baby
  • I'll Never Stop


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Very good article and great title!


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