Usher is plotting what sounds like a grand return to form next year — and he’s got all the cooks in the kitchen to help him whip up a smash or two.
Following the lukewarm success of cuts like “Good Kisser” and “She Came To Give It To You” with Nicki Minaj, the prolific R&B titan is now in the studio crafting tracks for UR, his upcoming album due out in the first half of 2015.
In a new interview with The Guardian, he reveals that he’s been working with an enviable array of powerhouse producers and songwriters “including Skrillex, Ed Sheeran, uber-pop producer Max Martin, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Disclosure (their last session done via Skype), though Usher says that his guiding lights are still 90s R&B geniuses Babyface and LA Reid.” Phew! A promising collaborator’s list to be sure, but will it pan out for a return to the top of the charts? More »
We didn’t really need another reason that underscores the ways in which Sweden is the coolest corner on the planet, but here’s one anyway: Robyn is getting her own postage stamp. And Max Martin. And “Pistols At Dawn” singer Seinabo Sey, First Aid Kit and, yes, even Avicii. Scandinavian postal company PostNord will make the stamps available on January 15, 2015.
“Sweden, with a population of only 9 million, is third in world in pop music exports. PostNord is profiling this achievement by issuing stamps featuring a selection of the Swedish artists and songwriters who are currently spreading Swedish music across the world,” the company says in a press release. More »
Pop super-producer Max Martin hints that Katy Perry and Drake may soon appear in a song together. MTV notes that the official website for his production company Maratone now lists a version of Perry’s song “Legendary Lovers” featuring Drake among his credits. Martin wrote and produced the song with the chanteuse, her longtime collaborator Bonnie McKee, Cirkut and Dr. Luke.
“Legendary Lovers” is one of a few songs off Perry’s 2013 album, Prism, that are influenced by hip-hop. (Perhaps Drake will crib her flow from her sung-rap verses or pay off her vows to be a ride or die chick – who knows.) “Dark Horse” became an unexpected crossover hit for featured Three 6 Mafia ringleader Juicy J, while a “This Is What We Do” remix features rap’s most bizarre goofball RiFF RaFF. More »
‘s no stranger to a mean pop hook: The burgeoning singer-songwriter is most famously responsible for penning Eminem
‘s hit “The Monster”
among other pop gems, as well as supplying her distinctive vocals on Cash Cash
‘s inescapably catchy club smash, “Take Me Home.”
But Bebe’s got even more exciting things still hiding up her sleeves with her own upcoming debut LP, as evidenced by her crushing new single “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You,” a dark, devastating (and autobiographical!) heartbreak anthem.
We sat down with Bebe in our office to talk about her Melancholia-inspired “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You” video (out today!), the story behind the song, her upcoming album and the state of pop music today. With collaborations and co-writes alongside everyone from Max Martin to David Guetta to Usher coming down the pipeline soon, Bebe had plenty to tell us about what’s coming next — and we’re more than excited to watch it all unfold. Read on! More »
Well, surprise, surprise — it turns out Ariana Grande
‘s sophomore LP My Everything
(out August 25) will contain more features than not. Seven of the album’s 12 tracks are collaborations, two of which we of course already know about: the Iggy Azalea
-featuring summer smash “Problem”
and upcoming single “Break Free”
(co-produced by Max Martin
). Also along for the ride with Ms. Grande’s latest are The Weeknd
(who features on “Love Me Harder”), Big Sean
(“Best Mistake”), Cashmere Cat
(“Be My Baby”), Childish Gambino
(“Break Your Heart Right Back”) and A$AP Ferg
(“Hands On Me”).
In the Did Not See This Coming category is “A Little Bit Of Your Heart,” a song on the album that was written for Ariana by One Direction‘s Harry Styles. Two other big songwriting names in the mix are Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco, who whipped up “Why Try.”
Altogether, Max Martin and his team produced five of the tracks on My Everything, with Rodney Jerkins, Oak & Pop and Harmony & Tommy Brown working the knobs on other songs. See the LP’s full tracklist below. More »
When Taylor Swift
first talked of her follow-up to 2012′s Red
, she had two dream collaborators in mind. One of them was pop wunderkind Max Martin
, who co-wrote Red
‘s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
In its latest issue, Rolling Stone reports that Swift got her wish – Martin worked on “most of” her new album, according to Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta. As a result, he doesn’t expect country radio to take her Swift’s new material. “Taylor fans are going to love it,” Borchetta says. “Will country stations play a complete pop song just because it’s her? No. But when she comes to town, her friends at country radio will come and see her.” More »
After setting the tone for her long-awaited 10th studio album with gritty buzz tracks “Same Girl”
, Jennifer Lopez
proved she could still keep it light and bubbly with infectious earworm “I Luh Ya Papi”
. As undeniably catchy as that song is, the world’s most beautiful woman (according to Pitbull
and most dudes with eyesight) lifts the bar for high-quality pop even higher on new single “First Love”.
Produced by Swedish maestro Max Martin, the surefire hit is an adorable pure-pop explosion that expertly straddles the divide between J.Lo’s urban roots and much-loved dance moments like “On The Floor” and “Dance Again”. Hell, there’s even a splash of 2000 classic “Waiting For Tonight” about the serotonin-raising chorus. Listen to Jenny’s irresistible new single after the jump. More »
is working with pop producer Max Martin
, Britney Spears
, Katy Perry
) for his third album. According to rising pop artist Tove Lo
, Lambert visited Martin and his songwriting team in Sweden and recorded a few songs during his visit. “When you hear the fully produced stuff from the studio, that’s one thing, but his voice is insane. I couldn’t believe it,” Lo said to Billboard
, after having worked with Lambert herself.
Martin last worked with Lambert for his 2009 debut For Your Entertainment, where he co-produced two songs. Lambert has talked of his third album since last summer, although at the time he reduced such mentions to a footnote in part of a bigger announcement – he left RCA, the label that released his first two albums including 2012′s No. 1 record Trespassing. Since then, too, he has assured fans of new music while regularly appearing with Demi Lovato on Glee and prepping for a North American tour with Queen. More »
plans to work on her second album with the same producers behind her promising debut Yours Truly
: Harmony Samuels
, The Rascals
and Tommy Brown
. Prior to the Grammy Awards, however, she couldn’t help but gush over a new-to-her collaborator: Max Martin
“I love working with him,” she said to MTV. “He’s like a mathematician. He knows music like math. It just makes sense to him.” Trust — at one point, every single fan of Britney Spears (“… Baby One More Time”), Backstreet Boys (“Quit Playing Games with My Heart”), Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Pink have all thought the exact same thing of Martin. More »
With new single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
, Taylor Swift
leaves the country aesthetic behind and goes for a full-on pop makeover, thanks to producers (and co-writers) Max Martin
. Whether this is a one-off foray into glossier territory for her or a small taste of the full flavor of upcoming LP Red
, critics had plenty to say about Swift’s new song. Head below for our review roundup, then let us know your own thoughts! More »