Lorde Reveals How Max Martin Would Have Rewritten “Green Light”

Christina Lee | April 12, 2017 12:40 pm
Max Martin Q&A (!)
This is solid gold for music fans: Pop's most reliable songwriter gives his first in-depth interview.

It’s not often that pop stars don’t listen to Max Martin, pop’s most reliable songwriter. But Lorde isn’t just any pop star, as a new cover story by The New York Times Magazine confirms.

Like many, many musicians before her (Britney SpearsBackstreet Boys, Katy PerryTaylor Swift, Ariana Grande), Lorde sought out Max’s opinion for Melodrama lead single “Green Light.” Turns out, despite Max calling “Green Light” an example of “incorrect songwriting,” Lorde and co-writer Jack Antonoff kept the song as is.

“[Max] had a very specific opinion, which had to do with the melodic math — shortening a part,” Lorde says to NYT, adding that this “wasn’t an insult, just a statement of fact. … It’s a strange piece of music.”

A huge reason behind Max’s success is how his exacting his “melodic math” can be — how he refuses to let anything, including lyrics that actually make sense, get in the way of a good pop melody.

Meanwhile, Lorde argues that “Green Light” was about breaking pop convention. “I have a strong awareness of the rules — 60 percent of the time I follow them; 40 percent, I don’t,” she says.

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