Martin Sandberg was born in Stenhamra, Sweden, in 1971. His older brother introduced him to cassettes of rock band Kiss. For a long period, Kiss was all that he listened to. The dream of being a rock star was born.
Martin Sandberg attended one of Sweden’s public music-education programmes. He began playing French horn and learned to read music and write scores. After a time, he switched from French horn to trumpet, and then to drums and keyboard.
He attended the Södra Latin upper-secondary school to study music, but left to pursue a career as a singer in the hard rock group It’s Alive. Martin Sandberg now called himself Martin White. It’s Alive took part in the “Rock-SM” competition (Sweden’s national rock music championships) and toured Switzerland and Germany.
Over the next few years at their studio at Fridhemsplan in Stockholm, the Cheiron producers created global hits for artists such as Backstreet Boys, Robyn and NSync, a boy band featuring Justin Timberlake. Denniz Pop died of cancer in 1998.
Max Martin himself wrote “...Baby One More Time”, Britney Spear’s debut single, which was released in autumn 1998. The song reached number one in all the countries of the world in which it was released, and was the first of Max Martin’s total of 21* number ones on the Billboard Hot 100 list.
In pop history, only Polar Music Prize recipient Sir Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26) have had more. As a producer, Max Martin has had 19* number ones on the Billboard Hot 100. The only producer to have had more is Sir George Martin (23).
If you count the songs that have reached Top 10, Max Martin has had 70* Top 10 hits in the United Kingdom and 56* in the USA. He is incomparably the most heard songwriter in the world over the past 20 years.
Artists such as Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Pink, Maroon 5, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Adele and many, many more perform his songs. He won the ASCAP Songwriter of The Year award three years in a row: 1999, 2000 and 2001.
After several less successful years, when some people thought his glory days were over, he won again in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Max Martin has continued to work in the spirit of Denniz Pop and has written and produced together with talented young Swedes who have become global songwriters.
Max Martin has always worked on developing his songwriting art. Whilst others attempt to imitate, he leaves that sound behind and is constantly leading development, renewing the pop song as an art. His main focus is on the song and song melodies.
His songs are immediate, yet also complex, and contain enough layers that they bear repeated listening. Max Martin’s choruses are sung all over the world.
*Correct as of February 2016