If you look closer at the songwriters and producers behind some of the world’s best selling songs and albums right now, chances are you’ll soon discover the name Maria Marcus.

At the end of 2017 she had three songs on the best selling album ”Finally” by Japanese superstar Namie Amuro. With over one million physical albums sold during the first week of the November release, Namie Amuro was the only artist in the world who managed to challenge Taylor Swift’s dominance with the album ”Reputation” during 2017. A few weeks later the album had passed the two-million mark—reaching sales figures that hasn’t been seen in Japan since The Beatles released their hits collection ”1” containing all their #1 songs.

For Maria to have her songs on a top selling album in Asia is no news, however. Since 2011 she has successfully written many hit songs for South Korean and Japanese artists, starting with an intro to the album ”Japonesque” by Japan’s R&B star Kumi Koda, and continuing with ”Hello” that gave Cho Yong Pil the  “Album of the Year” award in South Korea.

Since then the list of successful collaborations has grown considerably with a long line of Maria Marcus written hits for other chart-topping artists like Exo, Girls Generation, SHINEe, f(x), E-girls, Generations, Exile Tribe feat. Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Red Velvet, Oh My Girl and many more.

Everything started in Umeå in the north of Sweden, where Maria began to write and produce music. Her talent was discovered and soon lead to offers to perform her music as well, but she quickly realized that performing wasn’t her real passion. Instead she decided to focus on the part of the creative musical process she liked the most; song-writing, building musical pieces out of nothing and digging deep into the geekiest tech parts of the studio work.

”I’m definitely an artistic person who loves to sing, produce and work with music in an interesting way. But I don’t have the need to be seen or be on a stage. Why live that life and tour with the same album for a 100 years when you can write a 100 new songs instead?”

Citing Michael Jackson and that glorious 90’s era of epic and detailed R&B productions as main inspirations, Maria Marcus has come to realize that today’s trend of musical minimalism isn’t really her thing.

”On the contrary. I love big vocal productions and…maximalistic music”, she says with a smile. ”More is more. And a lot of pop musicians in South Korea and Japan seem to feel the same way, which has made it easy to find song-writing partnerships there”.

But even if countries like Japan and South Korea has taken a lot of focus lately, many of her songs have spread to artists all over the world: T-Pain (RU), Afrojack (NL), X Factor finalist Rachel Adedeji (UK), and X Factor winner Edita Abdieski (DE), to name but a few.

More recently, Maria enjoyed another career highlight in writing and producing “Listen”, performed in 2014 by American Idol participant Haley Reinhart to market James Cameron’s award-winning TV series on global warming, "Years of Living Dangerously” with Hollywood stars like Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matt Damon and Jessica Alba.

And as if a constant ”to do” list with approximately 20 songs to write for other artists wasn’t enough, Maria has also found time to create her own artistic outlet with songwriting partner Fredrik Thomander. Calling themselves “The Flights”, the duo has released nine singles to date.  

 ”I think you need that part too. Being able to do something with total artistic freedom is so creatively stimulating. Helping other artists to express their dreams for so many years has been a learning and rewarding process, but these days I’m often longing for to express who I am, without compromises.”