Max Martin: The secret guy writing all the pop music hits

February 6, 2016

This is awesome. I stumbled onto the hidden guy who is responsible for writing a majority of the hits we hear on the radio. Swedish dude named Max Martin.

He has written or cowritten 21 Billboard Hot 100 number one hits. Only behind Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26) on the all-time list. As a producer, Max has the 2nd most number one singles. He’s had 54 songs reach the top 10, beating Madonna, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles.

He’s written top hits for Britney Spears, NSync, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, and The Weekend. Also helped write for Avril Lavigne, Adele, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber, Cyndi Lauper, Adam Lampert, Bon Jovi, and many others.

I had always wondered how these top artists were able to write so many hit songs so frequently. Creativity can be an elusive fickle thing. Now we have an answer. In the music industry, there are a few hitmakers who write and produce all the songs. Max Martin, Ester Dean, Stargate, and Dr. Luke. I read about this in the new book, The Song Machine.

The artists we see out in front are simply refillable cartridges. Talented and good looking, sure. Hardworking, yes. But all the hits are made somewhere else in a music factory and loaded into these singing performing machines.

It’s the same thing as the late shows (Letterman, Daily Show, Colbert). The host has a group of writers who write all the jokes and bits. The host performs and gets the credit.

Resources:
Max Martin – Wikipedia
The Song Machine – Inside The Hit Factory (book): has stories on Ace of Base, NSync, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, K-Pop and more.

According to an amazon reviewer, the book can be summarized by these New Yorker articles, written by same author.
Blank Space – What kind of genius is Max Martin
Factory Girls: Cultural technology and the making of K-pop
The Doctor is In – Dr Luke has written 30+ top 10 hits for Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Kesha, Miley Cyrus, T.I, Flo Rida, Pitbull, etc
The Song Machine – The Hitmakers behind Rihanna – About Ester Dean, who also works with Nicki Minaj, Usher, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Rowland, and others.