The Government honours Max Martin and Spotify

The Government’s 2014 Music Export Prize for extraordinary services to Swedish music exports goes to songwriter and producer Max Martin, whose real name is Martin Sandberg. Uniquely this year, the winner of the Music Export Prize is also awarded this year’s Special Prize for long-standing contributions to Swedish music and for spreading a positive image of Sweden abroad. Spotify is awarded the commendation for achievements of particular importance to the internationalisation of Swedish music.

“Sweden’s music exports are an essential part of the modern image of Sweden abroad and therefore not only constitute an important industry but, from my perspective, a very important component of the broad and successful efforts to promote Sweden,” says Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg.

Max Martin behind some of last years biggest hit songs

Max Martin, who will come in person to the MFA Bank Hall on 19 March to accept the prize, was awarded the eighteenth Music Export Prize with the following explanatory statement:

“Max Martin is one of the writers behind some of last year's biggest hit songs, such as ‘Dark Horse’ with Katy Perry and the two songs ‘Shake It Off’ and ‘Blank Space’ with Taylor Swift. All three have topped the US Billboard Hot 100 list in 2014. He has once again shown that he is one of the most prominent names in international pop music. The fact that in the same year he was also awarded a Grammy for ‘Producer of the Year’, an ASCAP Pop Music Award for ‘Songwriter of the Year’ and a Swedish Grammy for ‘Composer of the Year’ only strengthens his unique position. He was also involved in the version of the Swedish national anthem used in the Volvo advertisement with Zlatan that was shown all over the world. His 19th number one hit on the Billboard list in 2014 makes him the third most successful songwriter in the history of the list.”

The other nominees for the Prize were Anders Hillborg, First Aid Kit, Sabaton and Tove Lo.

Special Prize

For the first time in the history of the Prize, the winner of the Music Export Prize is also awarded this year’s Special Prize. The Special Prize goes to a figure in the music industry who has made a long-standing contribution to Swedish music exports or has spread Swedish music abroad, thus helping promote a positive image of Sweden.

The explanatory statement reads:
“Martin Sandberg, alias Max Martin, is one of the world’s most successful songwriters and producers. For over 15 years, this pop music genius has provided the world with songs, melodies and productions that have triumphed on all imaginable top lists around the world. Due to his exceptional feeling and creativity for harmonies and details, every superstar today wants to work with him. As a journalist for the New Yorker expressed it, he has fundamentally changed the way we perceive melodies. He is also a pioneer who for decades has been a role model and inspiration for other talented people; as a result, Sweden has produced some of the world’s most prominent songwriters. He has opened the way for what we call ‘the Swedish music sensation’ and placed Sweden on the map as one of the world’s most successful countries when it comes to writing and exporting music. With 19 number one hits on the Billboard list he is one of the most successful music creators of all time, and now belongs to a top trio alongside Beatles icons Paul McCartney and John Lennon.”
Commendation for achievements of particular importance

This year, the commendation for achievements of particular importance to the internationalisation of Swedish music is awarded to Spotify. The prize is intended for recipients who are not composers, songwriters, producers, musicians or other practitioners, but who have nonetheless made an important contribution to the international success of Swedish music. This prize will only be awarded when there are special grounds to do so.

The explanatory statement reads:
“This year’s commendation goes to a ground-breaking company that has markedly changed our way of consuming music. Its service has initiated a development that has spread around the entire world and provides hope to an industry that has been in crisis for many years. All eyes are now on Sweden, which, thanks to this music service, has become a bellwether for the global music industry. This year’s commendation goes to Spotify.”

Time and place: Bank Hall, Malmtorgsgatan 3, Stockholm, 15.30–16.30