Max Martin in March 2015.
|Birth name||Martin Karl Sandberg|
February 26, 1971 |
|Associated acts||Katy Perry|
Martin Karl Sandberg (born February 26, 1971), known professionally as Max Martin, is a Swedish music producer and songwriter. He rose to prominence in the mid-1990s after making a string of major hits for artists such as the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and 'N Sync. Some of his earlier hits include "I Want It That Way" (1999), "...Baby One More Time" (1999) and "It's My Life" (2000).
His trademark during the second half of the 1990s and the early 2000s was a danceable, keyboard-laden pop sound that blended music styles such as funk and Europop. However, with Kelly Clarkson's songs "Since U Been Gone" (2004) and "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (2005), Martin stepped back into the spotlight after reinventing himself with a heavier, rock-tinged sound.
Since 1999, Martin has written and co-written 21 Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits (most of which he has also produced or co-produced) in the United States, including Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" (2008), Pink's "So What" (2008), Britney Spears's "Hold It Against Me" (2011), Maroon 5's "One More Night" (2012), Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" (2014). Martin is the songwriter with the third most number one singles on the chart, behind only Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26).
In 2015 Martin won the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year award for the fifth consecutive year and for the eighth time in his career tying him with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as the top recipient of the award.
In 2014 Martin broke ahead of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and
- Swedish Dance Music Awards 1996
- Swedish Grammis Award in 1997
- ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year in 1999–2001, 2011–15
- Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, 2015. Also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Shake It Off"
- STIM Platinum guitar prize 2010
- 1999 – "...Baby One More Time" (Britney Spears)
- 2000 – "It's Gonna Be Me" ('N Sync)
- 2008 – "I Kissed a Girl" (Katy Perry)
- 2008 – "So What" (P!nk)
- 2009 – "My Life Would Suck Without You" (Kelly Clarkson)
- 2009 – "3" (Britney Spears)
- 2010 – "California Gurls" (Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg)
- 2010 – "Teenage Dream" (Katy Perry)
- 2010 – "Raise Your Glass" (P!nk)
- 2011 – "Hold It Against Me" (Britney Spears)
- 2011 – "E.T." (Katy Perry featuring Kanye West)
- 2011 – "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" (Katy Perry)
- 2012 – "Part of Me" (Katy Perry)
- 2012 – "One More Night" (Maroon 5)
- 2012 – "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (Taylor Swift)
- 2013 – "Roar" (Katy Perry)
- 2014 – "Dark Horse" (Katy Perry featuring Juicy J)
- 2014 – "Shake it Off" (Taylor Swift)
- 2014 – "Blank Space" (Taylor Swift)
- 2015 – "Bad Blood" (Taylor Swift)
- 2015 – "Can't Feel My Face" (The Weeknd)
 Since 1999, Max Martin has written and co-written 21
Billboard Hot 100 number one singles
Songwriting and producing
Martin has a wife Jenny and daughter Doris born around 2001.
Martin's influence in the music field is also seen in the effect he has had on co-producers. The music site Stereogum singles out three people as his "disciples", Savan Kotecha, Dr. Luke, and Shellback. Time Magazine reported that "There’s a cluster of high-powered songwriters who are based in Sweden, and the grandmaster is Max Martin" and that when Kotecha worked with One Direction he credited Martin's influence 'We work melody first. That’s Max Martin’s school. We’ll spend days, sometimes weeks, challenging the melody. The goal is to make it sound like anyone can do this, but it’s actually very difficult. In Sweden, you don’t do anything until you do it right.'" The New Yorker reported that Martin was Dr. Luke's "Swedish mentor and frequent collaborator. If Luke is the Skywalker of pop songcraft, Max is the Obi-Wan: the reclusive master. ...The vital spark in the musical emergence of Dr. Luke was meeting Max Martin." Dr. Luke himself says of the chemistry between him and Martin "'It happened really fast. It was magical. …[Martin taught me that] Instead of making tracks for five thousand people, why not make tracks for a million?'" The magazine for Swedish music management STIM reported that Shellback became an "apprentice" with Martin acting as "his mentor" at Maratone Studios after 2006 when "Max Martin saw something special in the young man from Karlshamn. Judging by the incredible success Shellback has had since, Martin’s A&R skills are some of the best in the music business."
In October 2015, Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony told Billboard that Max Martin was "heavily involved" in the production of the group's second full-length album, set to be released in 2016. In another interview with Spin, Dinah Jane of Fifth Harmony told the magazine that Martin has produced 6 songs as of now for their second album.
In July 2015, Martin produced Demi Lovato's song "Cool for the Summer" which reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. He also contributed to "Confident" and "For You" of her soon-to-be-released fifth studio album Confident. In September 2015, The new Peruvian artist, Juan Jose Ortiz also worked with Max Martin, in his first single "It's Over" Martin also worked with Selena Gomez in her second studio album, Revival, producing the song "Hands To Myself".
In June, he co-wrote and produced The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face', which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Also, he co-wrote and produced another song off of The Weeknd's sophomore album "Beauty Behind the Madness", in which the song was titled "In the Night".
In January 2015, he co-wrote and co-produced Ellie Goulding's "Love Me like You Do", which reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as her latest single "On My Mind", which was released on September 17, 2015.
In April–May 2014, Martin produced Ariana Grande's song "Problem" and Jennifer Lopez's song "First Love", alongside Ilya, Shellback and Savan Kotecha. "Problem" is one of the fastest selling singles on iTunes.
In January 2014, Martin produced a 2-minute advertisement entitled "Volvo XC70: Made By Sweden", featuring soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The video of the advertisement received several million views on YouTube.
Martin also produced several albums for Eurodance act E-type.
4th runner-up of the eighth season of American Idol, Allison Iraheta has been collaborating with Max Martin on her debut album. Her first single, "Friday I'll Be Over U" is confirmed to be written by Martin. On 17 August 2009, American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert announced via Twitter that he was in New York City with Martin recording a song for his debut album. It turned out to be the song "Whataya Want From Me", that was also written by P!nk.
Martin produced and co-wrote the first three singles on Swift's fifth studio album 1989 (2014): "Shake It Off" (2014), "Blank Space" (2014), and "Style" (2015). "Shake It Off" and "Blank Space" hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with the former debuting at the top spot; "Style" peaked at number 6. Martin was both a co-writer and co-producer for Swift's "Bad Blood" which in a remixed form reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week dated June 6, 2015. Martin also contributed to multiple other songs off of 1989.
Martin produced and co-wrote the Billboard Hot 100 number 1 hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (2012), on Taylor Swift's fourth album Red (2012), which became her first number-one single in the US. Upon its release, the song reached the top position on the iTunes singles chart in 50 minutes, hence breaking the previous record held by Lady Gaga's song "Born This Way" with a record of an hour, making "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" the fastest selling single in digital history at that time. Swift's "We Are Never Getting Back Together" set the record for the biggest digital sales week (623,000) ever for a song by a female artist, surpassing the record held by Kesha's "Tik Tok" (2009). It also reached the top of the iTunes single chart in 32 countries. He also co-wrote and produced two other singles on the album: "I Knew You Were Trouble" (2012), which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and "22" (2013), which was a moderate success.
Confirmed by RCA Executives on 18 December 2011, Martin worked on Christina Aguilera's seventh studio album Lotus (2012) and was the producer of her lead single, "Your Body" (2012), as well as another song titled "Let There Be Love". Both songs reached the top of the Billboard dance/club chart.
Max Martin is also responsible for some of the songs of Katy Perry on three albums. On her debut album One of the Boys (2008) including the number-one single "I Kissed a Girl", and Top 5 hit single "Hot n Cold", and following-up album Teenage Dream (2010), including the Billboard Hot 100 numbers-ones hits singles "California Gurls" (2010), "Teenage Dream" (2010), "E.T." (2011), "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" (2011) and the Hot 100 top ten hit "The One That Got Away" (2011). Martin also co-wrote the songs "Part of Me" (2012) and "Wide Awake" (2012), the former of which topped the Billboard Hot 100. For her third album Prism (2013), he co-wrote the No. 1 singles "Roar" (2013) and "Dark Horse" (2013).
Max Martin first worked with Jessie J on her international hit "Domino" after Dr Luke and Claude Kelly sought to create a song that showcased her vocals whilst also capable of being a commercial success. Alongside the aforementioned trio and Cirkut, Max Martin co-wrote the track and the song lived up to its hoped-for success becoming her major breakthrough into the US market, charting at number 6, whilst also topping the charts in the United Kingdom for two weeks. It charted in the top 50 most bought tracks in the US for 2012 and was the 8th best selling song in the same year within the United Kingdom with a sales figure of 749,000 in that year alone. It also achieved top ten success in other countries such as Canada and Australia. Following on from the success of "Domino", Jessie J has also worked with Max Martin for her third studio album on "Bang Bang" (2014) featuring Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. The song served as the lead single and has achieved vast commercial success such as having the second highest sales figure for a song to debut on the Billboard Hot 100, only surpassed by Ariana Grande's "Problem" (2014). The song has peaked at number 3 on the Hot 100 chart and a music video was released, trumping her previous hit '"Domino".
Martin worked with Avril Lavigne on two songs, "Alone" and "I Will Be", which were released on some deluxe editions of Lavigne's third studio album The Best Damn Thing (2007). Martin also worked on four songs for Lavigne's fourth studio album Goodbye Lullaby (2011): the three singles "What the Hell" (2011), "Smile" (2011), and "Wish You Were Here" (2011), and the album track "I Love You".
Martin also co-wrote and produced songs on Pink's very successful and critically acclaimed platinum selling fourth album I'm Not Dead. Worldwide the album was the sixth biggest selling album of 2006, going top 5 in the UK, platinum and top ten in the United States, and number one in Australia and Germany. In Australia the album had 5 top five singles, and spent a record 63 weeks in the top 10. As of July 2009 it is 10 times Platinum and has been charting in the Australian Top 50 for 146 weeks. Martin also collaborated with Pink for her fifth studio album, Funhouse (2008). Martin co-wrote the first smash hit single, "So What" (2008), plus the tracks "Who Knew" (2006), "Please Don't Leave Me" (2009), "I Don't Believe You" (2009), and "It's All Your Fault". For her Greatest Hits album released 2009 he co-wrote the hits "Raise Your Glass" and "Fuckin Perfect".
In 2005, Max Martin wrote the first single-song for pop punk duo The Veronicas, "4ever", with Lukasz Gottwald for their debut studio album The Secret Life Of... (2005). Also he wrote "Everything I'm Not", the second single-song of The Veronicas, the same year, again with Lukasz Gottwald, Rami, Jessica Origliasso and Lisa Origliasso for the same album The Secret Life Of....
In 2005 Max Martin collaborated with the Norwegian singer Marion Raven for the release of her debut album entitled Here I Am on what may be his first mainstream Rock work, writing the song "Break You" and co-writing with Raven many songs, including "End of Me," "Here I Am," "Little By Little," "In Spite of Me," and "Six Feet Under." "End of Me" and "Break You" were big hits in Asia and Norway. In 2007 "Break You" was included again in Raven's North American and European debut album called Set Me Free. The American singer Megan McCauley also recorded "Break You" in 2006 but the song wasn't included on any of McCauley's albums.
In 2004, former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson traveled to Sweden to collaborate with Max Martin and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald on songs for her second studio album Breakaway. They decided to create songs that were rockier than anticipated by the fans, as can be heard on the hit singles "Since U Been Gone" (2004) and "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (2005). "Since U Been Gone" became a huge hit and remains one of the biggest hits of Clarkson's career, and one of the biggest hits of 2005. The next single, "Behind These Hazel Eyes", reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 while the single "Since U Been Gone" was still on the chart. In 2009 he also co-wrote Clarkson's single "My Life Would Suck Without You", which has the record for the highest Billboard Hot 100 jump to No. 1, jumping from No. 97 in its first week on the chart.
Max Martin and Tom Talomaa started a new production company together named Maratone in January 2001 and moved into the famous Cosmos Studios that had housed the production team Kai Erixon and Kent (Gillström) Isaacs whom had been very successful at the Swedish pop/hiphop-arena with numerous gold/platinum-selling artists. Also, David Kreuger and Per Magnusson started A Side Productions and Kristian Lundin started the production company The Location and the publishing company Location Songs together with Jake Schulze and Andreas Carlsson (both also members of Cheiron's production team) at the same location as Cheiron Studios. The first songs to be written and produced at Maratone were four tracks for Britney Spears' third album Britney (2001). The Maratone production crew initially consisted of producers/songwriters Max Martin, Rami, Alexandra, Arnthor and young sensation Shellback, but Rami, Alexandra and Arnthor have all moved on since then. Following the work with Celine Dion on the album One Heart in 2003, few new hits appeared from Maratone until 2005. More recently 2009 has seen a string of hits from the studio including the hits "My Life Would Suck Without You" from Kelly Clarkson and "3" from Britney Spears.
Despite the success, Cheiron Studios was closed down in 2000. The reason behind the decision to close it down was, according to the press release on their homepage, that the heart and soul of the studio had been lost with the death of Denniz PoP. Another reason for closing the studio down was for the people at Cheiron Studios to be able to do more experimental music work without the weight of the now famous name Cheiron upon their shoulders.
Startup of Maratone
|“||I want to be part of every note, every single moment going on in the studio. I want nothing forgotten, I want nothing missed. I'm a perfectionist. The producer should decide what kind of music is being made, what it's going to sound like--all of it, the why, when and how. - LA Times, 6/05/00||”|
The traditional division of work in the record industry typically has the artist writing the songs and then hiring a producer to help shape the sound. At Cheiron it was the other way around; the producers wrote the songs, played the instruments, engineered and mixed the recordings and the artist was only brought in near the end of the process to do the vocals. For example, on Britney Spears's second album Oops!… I Did It Again (2000), Cheiron had already written seven songs and had proceeded to record the layers of music before Britney even arrived at the studios in early November 1999. It took her only one week to do the vocals. Martin and his team worked more like a band that alternated singers. Martin explained his working method:
Producer role for Cheiron
In late 1999 Céline Dion released "That's the Way It Is," a song co-written by Max Martin to promote her greatest hits album All the Way... A Decade of Song. The song became a hit, going to number 1 on the adult contemporary charts in the United States and Canada, and reaching top 10 all over the world. Since the song was released in November 1999, it has cycled 500,000 times on almost 1400 radio stations across Canada and the U.S. In 2003 Martin co-wrote and produced three songs for Céline Dion's album One Heart. One of them called "Faith" was released in 2003 as a promotional single in Canada and reached number 4 on the Quebec Airplay Chart and number 37 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart.
Martin was the executive producer (along with Dr. Luke) of Spears' seventh studio album Femme Fatale (2011). During a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Spears stated that Martin "gets exactly what I am saying when I tell him what I want and don't want musically. His melodies are incredible and he is always coming up with weird sounds, which I love." Adding; "There is nobody I feel more comfortable collaborating with in the studio." In January 2011, "Hold It Against Me" was released as the lead single of Spears' new album; the song later debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Spears' second single to debut at No. 1 and her fourth overall. Martin also co-produced the album's second single "Till the World Ends", peaking at No. 3. As well as co-producing "Hold It Against Me" and "Till the World Ends", Martin co-produced the songs "Inside Out", "I Wanna Go", "Seal It with a Kiss", "Criminal" & "Up n' Down". In May 2011, it was announced "I Wanna Go" would serve as the third single from Femme Fatale. On 5 August 2011, Spears launched a poll on her Facebook page asking fans whether her next single should be "Criminal", "Inside Out" or "(Drop Dead) Beautiful." After the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, she revealed to MTV News that "Criminal" was chosen as the fourth single, marking the first time Martin has produced four singles of a Spears album, beating out himself when he had produced the first three singles from Oops!... I Did It Again. Martin did not contribute to Spears's eighth studio album, Britney Jean.
Martin worked on Spears' first three studio albums (1999's ...Baby One More Time, 2000's Oops!... I Did It Again, and 2001's Britney), which were made in the style of teen-oriented pop. In this period he co-wrote and co-produced the singles "Oops!... I Did It Again" (2000), "Lucky" (2000), "Stronger", (2000) "Overprotected" (2001), and "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" (2002). However, when Spears recorded her fourth studio album In the Zone (2003), she decided to move away from that genre. The duo ended up parting ways, and Martin had no input on that album nor on her fifth studio album, Blackout (2007). At the request of Spears, Martin produced and wrote for Spears' sixth studio album Circus (2008). Martin co-wrote and produced the provocatively titled, "If U Seek Amy", which was chosen by fans to be the third single of the album. Different from Martin's previous tracks for Spears, "If U Seek Amy" is an electro-pop dance song, in which even the lyrics shows a different, more dance-oriented direction from Spears and Martin's previous work. In July 2009, Spears stated on her Twitter account, that she was in the recording studio in Stockholm, Sweden with Martin. Later, on 29 September 2009, it was announced that Martin had worked with Spears on her upcoming compilation album. Martin produced "3", the song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1998, Martin wrote and co-produced Spears' hit "...Baby One More Time" for her debut album with the same name, (the hit single was originally offered to both the Backstreet Boys, who turned it down, and TLC, who passed because they were 'taking time off'). The single remains Spears' best-selling single to this date, and on Vh1's "100 Greatest Songs of the '90s", it was ranked at number 7. That same year, Martin also co-wrote and co-produced the third single "(You Drive Me) Crazy". In 1999, the album ...Baby One More Time has sold over 15 million copies in the U.S., certifying Diamond Status. Also, within a year of its release, ...Baby One More Time had become the best-selling LP by a teenager in history, selling over 30 million copies. Martin was the first non-American citizen ever to win ASCAP's prestigious award "Songwriter of the Year" in 1999 (an award he also won in 2000 and 2001).
Martin, Andreas Carlsson, and Rami Yacoub wrote Westlife's song "I Need You" for the first Westlife album - Westlife (1999). Martin, Nick Jarl, Steve Mac, and Patric Jonsson wrote Westlife's song "You Make Me Feel" for their second album Coast to Coast (2000). Also Max Martin, Rami Yacoub, and Andreas Carlsson wrote one of Westlife's hits "When You're Looking Like That" for their second album Coast to Coast (2000).Westlife Martin wrote, co-wrote, and co-produced 7 out of the 12 songs on the Backstreet Boys' second album
In 1998, Cheiron Productions worked on albums by Five and Jessica Folcker. Jessica Folcker had first been hired as a backing singer for tracks with Ace of Base and Dr. Alban, and her debut album Jessica became an instant hit with singles like "Tell Me What You Like" and "How Will I Know Who You Are" which both sold platinum. After Denniz PoP died of cancer that same summer, Martin took over as director of Cheiron Studios. He soon started working with writer/producer Rami Yacoub, who continued to be his partner for many years. Martin also wrote two songs with Bryan Adams during this time, "Cloud Number Nine" and "Before The Night Is Over".
In 1995, the Cheiron Studios was hired by Zomba to work on Backstreet Boys' self-titled debut album Backstreet Boys (1996). Zomba became the main working partner since the success in 1995. Martin took part in the production of "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" (1996), co-written with Herbie Crichlow, a single which quickly went platinum and climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the singles "As Long As You Love Me" (1997) and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" (1997). The album was not released in the U.S. until 1997, but was released overseas and caught on all across Europe, eventually selling around 8 million copies worldwide. This led to the Backstreet Boys being relaunched in their home country later on, this time more successfully. Later that year, Martin co-wrote and co-produced Robyn's hits "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know (What It Takes)" which ended up on the Billboard Top 10.
In 1993, Martin was hired by Cheiron Studios and spent some time learning the basics, before the first production collaboration between PoP and Martin: the Rednex song "Wish You Were Here" in 1994. They both worked on Ace of Base's second album The Bridge (1995) shortly thereafter, as well as on albums by 3T, Army of Lovers and Leila K. To date, The Bridge has sold more than six million copies worldwide, including one million in the United States. When Martin eventually left his band It's Alive in late 1995, he was replaced by Anders Jansson.
"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, 19 March 2001.
Working with Cheiron and Denniz PoP
The decision to focus on a music career paid off as they landed a record deal on producer Denniz PoP's label Cheiron Records, a BMG affiliate. After recording their second album Earthquake Visions, they released three singles in conjunction with the record and toured through Europe in 1994 supporting Kingdom Come. Earthquake Visions eventually sold a disappointing 30,000 copies, despite being released in as many as 30 countries. More importantly though, Martin also began collaborating on songs with PoP. Recognizing a talent for writing pop songs in the young rocker, PoP renamed his new protégé Max Martin and eventually became Martin’s mentor.
Martin Sandberg grew up in Stenhamra, Ekerö Municipality, a suburb of Stockholm. As a child, Martin was a student of Sweden's much-lauded public music-education program, and once said he had "public music education to thank for everything." Other alumni of the program include Andreas Carlsson, Rami Yacoub, and Anders Bagge, each of whom boasts a discography nearly as long and successful as Martin's. As a teenager he sang in a variety of bands before joining a glam-style metal band called It's Alive in 1985 as their singer and frontman. It's Alive were formed by ex-LAZY members Per Aldeheim and Kim Björkgren on guitars, and John Rosth who had been a member of Lineout. Martin eventually dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music with his band under the nickname "Martin White". In 1988 they participated in the national rock championships and played as the in-house band at a disco in Cyprus. The band got a breakthrough in 1991, as Dave Constable of Megarock Records offered them to make a demo-record. The later debut album was originally pressed in 1,000 copies and later on given away as a free cover tape in the UK by the Metal Forces magazine.
Early career and It's Alive
- Early career and It's Alive 1.1
- Working with Cheiron and Denniz PoP 1.2
- Backstreet Boys 1.3
- Westlife 1.4
- Britney Spears 1.5
- Céline Dion 1.6
- Producer role for Cheiron 1.7
- Startup of Maratone 1.8
- Kelly Clarkson 1.9
- Marion Raven 1.10
- The Veronicas 1.11
- Pink 1.12
- Avril Lavigne 1.13
- Jessie J 1.14
- Katy Perry 1.15
- Christina Aguilera 1.16
- Taylor Swift 1.17
- Others 1.18
- Disciples 2
- Personal life 3
- Songwriting and producing 4
- Billboard Hot 100 number one singles 5
- Awards 6
- See also 7
- References 8
- External links 9
In early 2013 his single sales were tallied by The Hollywood Reporter to be at over 135 million.