Exclusive Interview with the voice behind Swedish House Mafia and Avicii: John Martin
You may not know the name but you most certainly know his voice. John Martin’s has been heard globally behind the smash hits from Swedish House Mafia “Save The World” and Avicii’s “Fade Into Darkness.” Read elektro’s exclusive interview below.
Tell us about your childhood. Where did you grow up? I grew up in the south suburbs of Stockholm Sweden with my mother, father and older brother. Dad was a rally driver so on weekends my brother and I traveled with him around Sweden and watched him race. He tried hard to get us into motorsport but we both discovered music and bought electric guitars to his disappointment.
At what age did you start to sing? At 15, I was playing guitar in a band with some friends from school. The singer quit four days before a show and we didn’t want to cancel so the other guys convinced me to sing. I was scared and nervous but once up there on the stage it felt natural and I found myself really enjoying it.
At 13 you bought a guitar, started a band and were playing Nirvana covers. Tell us about this time. We had a lot of fun, rehearsed in my parents garage and played school parties during weekends just to meet girls.
After being signed by a record label and then having them stop the project, how did that feel and what made you continue to pursue a music career after this happened? Well, it was frustrating. After we got dropped, we lost the strong confidence we had together as a band and the creative drive started to fade out. I never thought about giving up on music but I felt trapped in the band format and needed a change.
When was the moment you realized you wanted to leave rock music and enter the dance music world? I started to hang out in clubs that played electronic music. One night I met songwriter/producer Michel Zitron and we immediately bonded. We got drunk and talked all night about life and our love for modern dance music and also the lack of good lyrics and melodies in it. We decided to meet up in his studio the next day. There we found out we could write beautiful songs together and that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.
How did the collaboration with you and Swedish House Mafia happen? Sebastian Ingrosso showed up in our studio in Stockholm in December 2010. Michel and I played him a couple of songs we’ve written and he really liked it. He asked us to write melodies and words on a track he was working on. So we did and by the end of that day we had ‘Save The World’.
Take us behind the scenes of the making of “Save The World.” Best moments. Worst moments. There was only good moments writing ‘Save The World’. Some songs take weeks to finish but STW was one of those songs that wrote itself.
Tell us about the Avicii collaboration for “Fade Into Darkness.” How did this come about? Avicii and his crew must have liked ‘Save The World’. They asked us to write melodies and words for one of his tracks. Michel and I came up with ‘Fade Into Darkness’ and they loved it.
What other EDM artists would you like to work with? Bloody Beetroots would be fun to work with.
If you had one night left to live, how would you spend it? Dinner together with my family and friends and later Russian skydiving roulette.
What song do you sing in the shower? Songs I’m working on at the moment.
Favorite candy / snack? Manchego cheese
What do you drive? Asian SUV
Kind of watch do you wear? IWC
Favorite Sneakers? I don’t wear sneakers
Favorite cartoon or video game character? Scooby Doo
Can’t leave home without? Keys, cellphone
First DJ you ever saw live? Sebastian Ingrosso
What DJ do you want to:
Hug? Fred Falke
Party With? Steve Aoki
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2012? Songs will be released and some exciting collaborations are coming up. You will also get the chance to see me perform on stages around the world.
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