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The Swedish Guy Behind Our Favorite Pop Songs

If you have never heard of Max Martin, you may be surprised as to who he is. In a sense, Max Martin is the powerhouse of pure pop. Wait what? He’s a singer? No, not necessarily. Max Martin is the man behind many of our favorite popular songs. Realizing this the other day made me have that “my whole life is a lie” moment. When listening to popular songs in middle or high school, I was totally thinking that the singer was behind the inspiration and lyrics for the song. Songs like “Shake it off,” and “Teenage Dream” by Taylor Swift, “Roar” by Katy Perry, “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, and “Since You Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson were all iconic songs many teenage or 20 something females would jam to, including myself. While listening to the song, I felt a relatability to the singer for composing such lyrics that often related to my emotions. I think that is often what makes us fall in love with the singer, right? However, little did I know that someone else, a 46 year old Swedish dude, was behind the inspiration and lyrics of these songs and the singers were simply performing the ideas. Like What?? Realizing this makes us realize that the world is not often what it seems. We often become so infatuated with a certain genre of music or a musician, not knowing that the music is unauthentic and fabricated by someone we don’t relate to at all, and possibly trying to influence a young generation for the benefit of a societal or market demand. In a similar sense, the person behind the franchise lingerie store “Victoria’s Secret,” was created by an old man in Ohio. But that’s a whole other topic for a different day. After knowing that some of our most popular influences are actually not what they seem to be – that is, not transparent or representative of it’s source – we should realize that many other popular influences are also not what they seem. We should proceed with caution and research before so easily conforming to or buying what is “popular.” Ask yourself questions like, Who is behind this product, idea, trend, etc? What are their individual and/or company’s values? Who or what am I supporting when I give in to receiving it or part-taking in the ideologies of the trend? We always always always need to ask ourselves these questions before easily part-taking in trends or hopping on a bandwagon just because it seems cool and everyone else is doing it.

For reference, here are some more popular songs that were actually created/written and produced by Max Martin:

Since You Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake
I Don’t Care – Ed Sheeran & Justin Timberlake

The Official Top 40 biggest Max Martin songs

POSTITLEARTISTPEAKYEAR
1CAN’T STOP THE FEELINGJUSTIN TIMBERLAKE22016
2LOVE ME LIKE YOU DOELLIE GOULDING12015
3ROARKATY PERRY12013
4BABY ONE MORE TIMEBRITNEY SPEARS11999
5SHAKE IT OFFTAYLOR SWIFT22014
6CAN’T FEEL MY FACEWEEKND32015
7BANG BANGJESSIE J/GRANDE/MINAJ12014
82002ANNE-MARIE32018
9NO TEARS LEFT TO CRYARIANA GRANDE22018
10I DON’T CAREED SHEERAN & JUSTIN BIEBER12019
11SIDE TO SIDEARIANA GRANDE FT NICKI MINAJ42016
12I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLETAYLOR SWIFT22012
13DYNAMITETAIO CRUZ12010
14INTO YOUARIANA GRANDE142016
15DARK HORSEKATY PERRY FT JUICY J42013
16BLANK SPACETAYLOR SWIFT42014
17DOMINOJESSIE J12011
18CALIFORNIA GURLSKATY PERRY FT SNOOP DOGG12010
19I WANT IT THAT WAYBACKSTREET BOYS11999
20SEND MY LOVE (TO YOUR NEW LOVER)ADELE52015
21PROBLEMARIANA GRANDE FT IGGY AZALEA12014
22I KISSED A GIRLKATY PERRY12008
23HOT N COLDKATY PERRY42008
24SO WHATPINK12008
25WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHERTAYLOR SWIFT42012
26EVERYBODY (BACKSTREET’S BACK)BACKSTREET BOYS31997
27TEENAGE DREAMKATY PERRY22010
28DANGEROUS WOMANARIANA GRANDE172016
29BREAK FREEARIANA GRANDE FT ZEDD162014
30CHAINED TO THE RHYTHMKATY PERRY FT SKIP MARLEY52017
31RAISE YOUR GLASSPINK132010
32SINCE U BEEN GONEKELLY CLARKSON52005
33BEAUTIFUL PEOPLEED SHEERAN FT KHALID12019
34IT’S MY LIFEBON JOVI32000
35OOPS I DID IT AGAINBRITNEY SPEARS12000
36GOD IS A WOMANARIANA GRANDE42018
37ON MY MINDELLIE GOULDING52015
38AS LONG AS YOU LOVE MEBACKSTREET BOYS31997
39ONE MORE NIGHTMAROON 582012
40TAKE ME BACK TO LONDONED SHEERAN FT STORMZY12019
©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

And last, but most definitely not least, here is a stand-up comedy bit about how Max Martin and Cosmo influenced our favourite pop songs. You know, because laughing about a “my whole life is a lie” moment is way better than freaking out about it! 🙂