Shellback (record producer)

Last updated

Shellback in 2015
Background information
Birth nameKarl Johan Schuster
Born (1985-02-01) 1 February 1985 (age 36)
Origin Karlshamn, Sweden
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
  • multi-instrumentalist
Years active2003–present
Associated acts

Karl Johan Schuster (Swedish:  [ˈjûːan ˈɧʏ̌sːtɛr] ; born 1 February 1985), known professionally as Shellback, is a Swedish record producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Shellback was listed as the No. 1 producer of 2012 on Billboard magazine's year end chart, and he also topped the list of their "Top 10 Songwriters Airplay Chart" the same year; he has won four Grammy Awards.


He regularly collaborates with songwriter Max Martin, and together they have produced, written, or co-written songs for P!nk, Taylor Swift, Adam Lambert, Britney Spears, Usher, Avril Lavigne, Ariana Grande, Adele, and Maroon 5. Shellback has also collaborated with fellow producer Benny Blanco and has produced songs by himself, including "Want U Back" by Cher Lloyd and "Animals" by Maroon 5.

Life and career

Karl Johan Schuster was born and raised in Karlshamn, Sweden. He started as a drummer in local indie rock bands in Karlshamn, as well as recording all instruments on the 2003 Meriah demo ...Turn Him Your Other Cheek (a strictly black metal recording), before joining the hardcore-metal scene as a vocalist in 2004 for Blinded Colony, with whom he recorded 2005's Promo Demo and 2006's Bedtime Prayers , drawing comparisons to fellow Swedish melodic death metal band In Flames, before leaving in 2007. In 2005 he also performed as a guest musician on the Faith album Sorg .

At the age of 16, Schuster met Max Martin through their mutual friend Julius. By that time, according to an interview in the Swedish music magazine Stim-magasinet, Schuster's taste in music was "too cool for school" and he had no interest in pop music whatsoever. Julius kept sending Schuster's indie rock-death metal demos to Martin, who became curious about what it would sound like if Schuster would make pop music. So in 2006 Martin invited Schuster to his studio in Stockholm to record a demo with him, and since 2007 Schuster has been signed to Martin's production company Maratone. [1]

Among the first songs Schuster co-wrote with Martin are Pink's 2008 single "So What" and Britney Spears' 2008 single "If U Seek Amy". [2] In 2012 Schuster won the STIM Platinum guitar prize. [3] In 2014, Schuster produced "Problem" alongside Martin and Ilya. [4] In 2015, Shellback collaborated with Swedish hardcore punk band Refused, as he is both a fan of the band's music and friends with the band's drummer David Sandstrom. Sandstrom sent him the versions of the songs "Elektra" and "366" that Refused had recorded with producer Nick Launay, and Shellback replied with his own arrangements of the two songs. Refused frontman Dennis Lyxzen explained in June 2015 that Shellback's versions were "far more Refused than our versions" and "were better" than the Launay-produced versions. The two songs appear on Refused's comeback album Freedom —"Elektra" was released as a single on 27 April 2015—which was released on the label Epitaph Records on 26 June 2015. [5]


With Meriah
With Blinded Colony
As a guest musician

Production discography

YearTitleAlbumCo-writerProducer or co-producer
2008"If U Seek Amy" Britney Spears Circus Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"I'm Gone I'm Going" Lesley Roy Unbeautiful Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Boring" Pink Funhouse Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"It's All Your Fault"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"So What"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2009"Oxygen" Living Things Habeas Corpus Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Bigger" Backstreet Boys This Is Us Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"3" Britney Spears The Singles Collection Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Quitter" Carrie Underwood Play On Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Friday I'll Be Over U" Allison Iraheta Just Like You Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Just Like You"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Outta My Head" Leona Lewis Echo Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Naked"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Whataya Want from Me" Adam Lambert For Your Entertainment Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"If I Had You"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2010"Kiss n Tell" Kesha Animal Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Hungover"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Party at a Rich Dude's House"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Dinosaur"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" Usher Versus Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Raise Your Glass"Pink – Greatest Hits... So Far!!! Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Fuckin' Perfect"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Time Machine" Robyn Body Talk Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2011"Can't Find Entrance" Those Dancing DaysDaydreams & NightmaresYes check.svgYes check.svg
"Loser like Me" Glee cast Glee: The Music, Volume 5 Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Dancing Crazy" Miranda Cosgrove High Maintenance Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"I'll Survive You" BC Jean – SingleYes check.svgYes check.svg
"Back 2 Life" E-Type – SingleYes check.svgYes check.svg
"What the Hell" Avril Lavigne Goodbye Lullaby Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Wish You Were Here"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Smile"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"I Love You"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"I Wanna Go" Britney Spears Femme Fatale Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Criminal"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Up n' Down"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Light Up the World"Glee cast – Glee: The Music, Volume 6 Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Moves like Jagger" Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera Hands All Over Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Beggin' on Your Knees" Victorious cast – Victorious Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"No More Secrets" Carolina Liar Wild Blessed Freedom Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Me and You"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Beautiful People"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"King of Broken Hearts"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Salvation"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"All That Comes Out of My Mouth"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Want U Back" Cher Lloyd Sticks + Stones Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"With Ur Love"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Beautiful People"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"She Doesn't Mind" Sean Paul Tomahawk Technique Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2012"Payphone" (feat. Wiz Khalifa) Maroon 5 Overexposed Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"One More Night"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Doin' Dirt"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Scream" Usher Looking for Myself Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" Taylor Swift Red Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"I Knew You Were Trouble"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"22"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Slut Like You" P!nk The Truth About Love Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Your Body" Christina Aguilera Lotus Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Let There Be Love"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Kiss You" One Direction Take Me Home Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Heart Attack"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Nobody Compares"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"All That Matters (The Beautiful Life)" Kesha Warrior Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2013"Release You" Megan & LizLook What You StartedYes check.svgYes check.svg
"Easier To Lie" Cassadee Pope Frame by Frame Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"On a Roll" Icona Pop This Is... Icona Pop Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"That High" (feat. Kelly Rowland) Pitbull Meltdown Yes check.svg
2014"Air Balloon" Lily Allen Sheezus Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"I Wish" (feat. T.I.) Cher LloydSorry I'm LateYes check.svgYes check.svg
"Just Be Mine"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Dirty Love"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Blind Your Love"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Killing It"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"I'm in Love" Ola Svensson – Carelessly YoursYes check.svgYes check.svg
"Tonight I'm Yours"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Jackie Kennedy"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Problem" (feat. Iggy Azalea) Ariana Grande - My Everything Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Animals" Maroon 5 V Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"In Your Pocket"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Feelings"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Shoot Love"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Blank Space" Taylor Swift - 1989 Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Style"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"All You Had to Do Was Stay"Yes check.svg
"Shake It Off"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Bad Blood"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Wildest Dreams"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"How You Get the Girl"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Wonderland"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"New Romantics"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Talking Body" Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2015"Bad Blood" (feat. Kendrick Lamar) Taylor Swift 1989 Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Elektra" Refused - Freedom Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"366"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"This Summer's Gonna Hurt like a MotherFucker" Maroon 5 - V (reissue)Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"The Original High" Adam Lambert - The Original High Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Rumors" (feat. Tove Lo) Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Evil in the Night"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Run Away with Me" Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" Adele - 25 Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Rest Your Love" The Vamps - Wake Up Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2016"Just Like Fire" Pink Alice Through the Looking Glass Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Can't Stop the Feeling!" Justin Timberlake - Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Hair Up"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Still Falling For You" Ellie Goulding - Bridget Jones's Baby Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2017"Bon Appétit" (feat. Migos) Katy Perry Witness Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Roulette"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Revenge" (feat. Eminem) Pink - Beautiful Trauma Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Whatever You Want"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Secrets"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"...Ready for It?" Taylor Swift - Reputation Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Gorgeous"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"End Game" (feat. Ed Sheeran & Future) Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"I Did Something Bad"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Don't Blame Me"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Delicate"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"So It Goes..."Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"King of My Heart"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Dancing with Our Hands Tied"Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2018"Get Up and Fight" Muse Simulation Theory Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2019"I Don't Care" (with Justin Bieber) Ed Sheeran No.6 Collaborations Project Yes check.svgYes check.svg
'' Beautiful People ''(feat. Khalid)Yes check.svgYes check.svg
'' Take Me Back to London ''(feat. Stormzy)Yes check.svg
''Remember the Name''(feat. Eminem and 50 Cent)Yes check.svgYes check.svg
'' Only Human '' Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"(Hey Why) Miss You Sometime" P!nk Hurts 2B Human Yes check.svgYes check.svg
'' Glad He's Gone '' Tove Lo Sunshine Kitty Yes check.svgYes check.svg
2020'' X '' Jonas Brothers XV Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Diamonds" Sam Smith Love Goes Yes check.svgYes check.svg
"Call Me Tonight " Ava Max Heaven & Hell Yes check.svgYes check.svg

Billboard Hot 100

The following singles peaked inside the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.

Number-one singles
Top 10 Hits


Grammy Awards [6]

Related Research Articles


Refused is a Swedish hardcore punk band originating from Umeå and formed in 1991. Refused is composed of vocalist Dennis Lyxzén, guitarist Kristofer Steen, drummer David Sandström, and bassist Magnus Flagge. Guitarist Jon Brännström was a member from 1994, through reunions, until he was fired in late-2014. Their lyrics are often of a non-conformist and politically far-left nature.

Max Martin Swedish record producer and songwriter

Karl Martin Sandberg, known professionally as Max Martin, is a Swedish record producer, songwriter, and retired singer. He rose to prominence in the late 1990s making a string of hit singles such as Britney Spears's "...Baby One More Time" (1998), the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" (1999), and NSYNC's "It's Gonna Be Me" (2000).

Karlshamn Place in Blekinge, Sweden

Karlshamn is a locality and the seat of Karlshamn Municipality in Blekinge County, Sweden. It had 13,576 inhabitants in 2015, out of 31,846 in the municipality.

E-Type (musician) Musical artist

Bo Martin Erik Erikson, better known by his stage name E-Type, is a Swedish eurodance musician, songwriter and record producer. His professional name is based on the Jaguar E-Type sports car.

<i>Under the Sign of the Black Mark</i> 1987 studio album by Bathory

Under the Sign of the Black Mark is the third studio album by Swedish extreme metal band Bathory. It was recorded in September 1986 and released on 11 May 1987 through New Renaissance Records and Under One Flag. It was a key album in the development of the black metal genre, and greatly influenced the Norwegian black metal scene that emerged in the early 1990s.

<i>Epicus Doomicus Metallicus</i> 1986 studio album by Candlemass

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is the debut album of the Swedish doom metal band Candlemass. It was released June 10, 1986 on Black Dragon Records. On its release, the album had a significantly different sound than other European heavy metal bands of the time, because of their use of operatic vocals mixed over slow and heavy guitar riffs. The album did not sell well on its initial release, which led to the group being dropped from the label during the same year. Since then, the album has been re-issued in several different formats. The album title Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is a dog latin translation rendering of Epic Doom Metal — the genre which the band helped pioneer and with which it is most commonly identified. Although he was actually a guest musician at the time of its recording, this was the only Candlemass album to feature vocalist Johan Längqvist until he joined the band, officially, in 2018.

Maratone is a music production company, and started by two music producers and songwriters, Max Martin and Tom Talomaa. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, it was started in January 2001 after the closing of Cheiron Studios. Maratone moved in at Cosmos Studios after the production team Kai Erixon and Kent (Gillström) Isaacs decided to split up after working together for 10 years on numerous productions. Isaacs bought the old Abbey Road/EMI Studios that is now Cosmos Studios. Cosmos Studios is closely affiliated with Cosmos Music Group.

Faith is a Swedish doom metal band formed in 1984.

Impious is a Swedish thrash/death metal band.

The Blinded is a melodic death metal band from Karlshamn, Sweden, formerly known as both Stigmata and Blinded Colony. They are currently unsigned and recording the pre-preproduction of their third studio album. They have recently released a new EP containing six new tracks.

Pivotal Rockordings is a record label that was founded in 2004 by Leevan Macomeau and Alexi Front.

Cheiron Studios

Cheiron Studios was a recording studio located in the Kungsholmen district of Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 1992 by Denniz PoP and Tom Talomaa, it was famous for being the place where popular music acts of the late 1990s/early 2000s such as Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, Robyn, NSYNC, Britney Spears, and Westlife, produced many of their greatest hits. In addition, Cheiron Studios was also a record label in affiliation with BMG for a while, and a music publishing service, although those ventures were abandoned in favor of music production.

Johan Bobäck also known as "Kermit" is a record producer and songwriter from Sweden. "Kermit" has written and produced songs for and together with Cyndi Lauper, Rachel Platten, Garou, Jay Graydon, Randy Goodrum, Chris Norman, Darin, Troy This, Dennis Morgan (songwriter), Jeanette Biedermann, Linda Sundblad, Play, Ola Svensson aka Brother Leo (musician), Elin Lanto among others.

Bigger (Backstreet Boys song) 2009 single by Backstreet Boys

"Bigger" is a song by American boy band Backstreet Boys. It was released on November 29, 2009 as the second single from their seventh studio album, This Is Us (2009). The song was co-written and produced by collaborator and producer Max Martin. The band stated that the song was one of their best hits since "I Want It That Way", a song written and produced by Martin for the band in 1998. This was also the last standard Backstreet Boys single to be released as a quartet before Kevin Richardson returns to the group in 2012.

"Outta My Head" is a song recorded by British singer-songwriter Leona Lewis for her second studio album Echo (2009). The track was written by Savan Kotecha, Max Martin and Johan "Shellback" Schuster, and produced by the latter two. It is an electropop song with Eurodance influences, and its compositional structure is noticeably different from the other songs on Echo. The instrumentation consists of keyboard riffs and beats, instead of pianos and guitars which are used on the other songs. The chorus of "Outta My Head" was compared to the works of Australian singer Kylie Minogue and German group Cascada due to its Eurodance style. It debuted and peaked at number 98 on the Slovakian Singles Chart upon the release of Echo. Lewis has performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and it was included on the set list of her debut concert tour, The Labyrinth (2010).

<i>Incomparable</i> (Dead by April album) 2011 studio album by Dead by April

Incomparable is the second studio album by Swedish metal band Dead by April. Production for the album took place after a lineup change of guitarists and vocalists for the band following the release of their self-titled debut. Incomparable was released on 21 September 2011 in the United States and most countries, and on 26 September in the United Kingdom, making it the first album by the band to be released in the US in the same time frame as its European release. The album's first official single, "Within My Heart", was released on 16 May 2011 as an EP containing two additional tracks to be featured on the album. The second single, "Calling", was released on 4 September with an accompanying music video released on 6 October. The third single, "Lost", was released on 19 September 2011, following the delay of the "Calling" music video.

"Dinosaur" is a song by American recording artist and songwriter Kesha, taken from her debut studio album Animal (2010). The song was written by Kesha in collaboration with Max Martin and Shellback; the latter two also produced the song, while all three are responsible for the instrumentation. The song's conception stems from an encounter Kesha had with an older man that had been hitting on her, which she compared to a prehistoric dinosaur. The lyrics discuss an older man that is attempting to hit on a younger female, which is ultimately rejected. The song received generally negative reviews from music critics.

Tobias Forge Swedish singer, musician and songwriter

Tobias Forge is a Swedish singer, musician and songwriter. He is the leader and primary songwriter of the masked rock band Ghost, performing live as their vocalist under the stage names Papa Emeritus and Cardinal Copia. Although the band formed in 2006, Forge's identity as the Ghost frontman was only confirmed in 2017, following a lawsuit by former band members due to a royalty dispute. Prior to finding success, he was in several other bands including Repugnant and Crashdïet under the stage name Mary Goore.

Snart skiner Poseidon

"Snart skiner poseidon" is a song by Joel Alme released in 2009, as the official anthem of Swedish football club IFK Göteborg. The song has been the club's entrance music since 2009, having replaced the previous anthem "Heja Blåvitt". The song is a remake of "A Young Summer's Youth", off Alme's debut album, but with new lyrics. The melody had also previously been used in the song "Utan personlig insats" by Hästpojken, a band Alme was a member of between 2007 and 2008.

<i>War Music</i> (Refused album) 2019 studio album by Refused

War Music is the fifth studio album by Swedish hardcore punk band Refused. It was released on 18 October 2019 via Spinefarm Records/Search and Destroy Records.


  1. "Maratone". Maratone official website. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  2. Eigert, Av Ann-Marie (6 November 2008). "Pink hyllade svenske Johan". Expressen (in Swedish). AB Kvällstidningen Expressen. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  3. "There is value in music". Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  4. "How Ariana Grande and Max Martin Made 'Problem' the Song of the Summer". Rolling Stone. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  5. Lamington23 (24 June 2014). "Refused on lying, selling out and Taylor Swift". FasterLouder. FasterLouder Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  6. "Shellback". Recording Academy . Retrieved 12 February 2018.