The alchemy of the perfect pop song, according to the elusive songwriting genius behind hits by Britney Spears and Taylor Swift

Rarely does Max Martin, the elusive Swedish songwriter and producer responsible for the bulk of the world’s smash pop hits in the last two decades, give interviews. When he does, they’re revelatory.

Martin—described fondly by writers and artists as a “master hooksmith” and “music’s magic melody man,” having written 21 songs that have topped the Billboard charts over the course of his career, a number only exceeded by Paul McCartney and John Lennon—chatted with Swedish fin

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