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Max Martin on Britney Spears memoir "The Woman In Me"

Started by nanofives, October 26, 2023, 05:47:09 PM

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I thought it would be interesting to share Britney's words on meeting and working with Max.

QuoteAbout a year into my time in New Jersey, things were coming together for my
first album. Then all of a sudden one of the executives told me, "You need to
meet this producer from Sweden. He's really good. He writes cool songs."
"All right," I said. "Who has he worked with?"
I don't know how I knew to ask that question, inexperienced as I was, but I'd
started to have clear ideas about how I wanted to sound. I did a little bit of
research, too, and learned that at that point he'd done songs for the Backstreet
Boys, Robyn, and Bryan Adams.
"Yes," I said. "Let's do it."
Max Martin flew to New York and we had a dinner meeting, just me and
him, with no assistants or label people. Even though I usually had handlers
around because of my age, in this case they wanted me to meet him by myself. As
we sat down, a waiter came over and said, "How may I help you?"
Somehow a candle flipped over and sent the whole table up in flames.
We were at one of the most expensive restaurants in New York City, and our
table had just become a wall of fire—from "How may I help you?" to flame wall
in under a second.
Max and I looked at each other in horror. "We should go now, yeah?" he said.
He was magic. And we started working together.
I flew to Sweden to record songs, but I barely registered the difference
between there and New Jersey: I was just in another booth.
Felicia would come in and say, "Do you want some coffee? Let's go take a
I would shake her off. I worked for hours straight. My work ethic was strong.
I would never come out. If you knew me then, you wouldn't hear from me for
days. I would stay in the studio as long as I could. If anyone wanted to leave, I'd
say, "I wasn't perfect."
The night before we recorded "... Baby One More Time," I was listening to
Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" and fell in love with that sound. I stayed up late so
that I'd go into the studio tired, my voice fried. It worked. When I sang, it came
out gravelly in a way that sounded more mature and sexier.
Once I felt what was happening, I became so focused on the recording. And
Max listened to me. When I said I wanted more R&B in my voice, less straight
pop, he knew what I meant and he made it happen.


"When I said I wanted more R&B in my voice, less straight pop, he knew what I meant and he made it happen."

By her third album, they definitely ironed that R&B influence out for straight pop. But first two albums, especially the first, had undertones of that soulful vocal delivery.