Max Martin on his approach to producing: “I don’t necessarily write a song to create a hit”

The pop production legend touched on his approach to music in a new interview.

Max Martin

Photo: Sam Tabone / Getty

When you purchase through affiliate links on, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more.

With a discography that spans the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears to Coldplay, Lizzo and beyond, it’s easy to pin Max Martin as one with pop’s golden gift. But as the producer explains in a new interview, he doesn’t necessarily approach songs with the angle of creating a hit.

The legendary pop producer touched on his music production philosophy in a new interview with where he spoke about his collaboration style, past hits and more.

“If an artist is coming in and wants to work with me, I feel a responsibility to not let them down and to create something that hopefully is going to make them shine,” he said.

“I don’t necessarily write a song to create a hit song, but I’ve been lucky enough that my personal taste is kind of aligned with a lot of people’s taste.”

Rather than work with the intent of creating a hit, Martin seems to make decisions that are intuitive, as he explains, “If you have a song that feels pretty catchy, you might not make it 15 minutes long – you make decisions to make it user-friendly, so to speak.”

“But my intentions are pure: I want to just create something that we love in the room. Whatever happens after that, it’s up to the world to decide.”

Further along in the interview, Martin opines on the notion that pop is all about the chorus. “I think I’m trying to make every part good. If we do our job right, I think every second needs to be awesome,” Martin said.

“And I hate when people zone out. I want to be engaged the whole time. Songs that, when you hear it on the radio, you just want to hear it over and over again. That’s the thing that you want.”

&Juliet, the musical which features songs by Martin, recently opened its Melbourne theater run on 9 March.


Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.

Join Our Mailing List & Get Exclusive DealsSign Up Now

The world’s leading media brand at the intersection of music and technology.

© 2024 MusicTech is part of NME Networks.