Katy Perry, Britney Spears + Justin Timberlake Praise Hitmaker Max Martin
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Martin, who won the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year award in 2015 for the fifth consecutive year, can add another feather to his cap: The mind behind pop hits like “…Baby One More Time,” “Everybody’ (Backstreet’s Back)” and “Love Me Like You Do” is officially the recipient of Sweden’s 2016 Polar Music Prize. And in the tribute video above, some of his most notable clients/co-workers speak to his myriad talents.
“Max is great in the studio,” Spears says, and notes Martin tirelessly demands hard work. “He’s a perfectionist, which I totally respect, and I look up to that…he’s an amazing person and very, very talented.”
Perry adds that she can often be overly analytical while recording a song, and Martin helps her snap out of obstinate funks.
“He is very specific when it comes to vocals and a bit of a task-master,” she notes. “He’ll just get me into a place where I’m singing from the heart, I’m not in my head about it.”
Most importantly, Maroon 5‘s Adam Levine and Timberlake explain, he’s an artist above all else.
“The coolest thing about Max is that he’s the most obsessed with music, and that’s it,” Levine says. “There’s no other thing that’s in the room with you — there are no politics and there’s no money.”
For Martin himself, making music is ultimately an outlet to reach people emotionally. He notes seeing a fan-made music video set to “Roar” that featured children who were sick with cancer was a highlight of his career.
“If you can somehow influence popular culture, shape it in some way, when something becomes bigger than just a song, that’s the greatest thing for me,” he says. “This is what I love about music: You can reach so many people.”
Check out more testimony in the video above.
See what these artists looked like when their first albums came out: