Many of the songs that were up for Grammy’s this year sounded similar. Pop music in general has faced a dilution of talent over the past few years, with many tracks sounding the same or eerily alike. Turns out, that’s not as much of a coincidence as you might think. There’s a common thread linking all these pop hits – Sweden.

Sweden’s public arts education system strives to let all of its citizens experience the full breadth of cultural imagination through education and learning. It’s something that the U.S. is far behind on, and it shows. The man responsible for 13 tracks on Taylor Swift’s 1989, 10 of the 13 tracks on Katy Perry’s Prism and all of the biggest hits off Ariana Grande’s My Everything (including “Problem” and “Love Me Harder”), Max Martin, is Swedish. Not just him, but Andreas Carlsson, Rami Yacoub and Christian Karlsson are all Swedish, taking credit for many of the pop hits of the ’90s and ’00s. Martin alone is “the songwriter with the third most No. 1 singles, trailing only Paul McCartney, with 32, and John Lennon, with 26. To put it more bluntly, Martin is responsible for more No. 1 singles than Michael Jackson.”

Here are a few of Max Martin’s year-defining hits:

“Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
“Break Free” by Ariana Grande featuring Zedd
“Dark Horse” by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J
“Problem” by Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea
“Shake It Off ” by Taylor Swift
“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

As Music.Mic points out, this should be a wake-up call for Americans. Even our music is being outsourced.

Read the whole article at Music.Mic


Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images