Shellback (record producer)

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Shellback in 2015
Shellback in 2015
Background information
Birth nameKarl Johan Schuster
Born (1985-02-01) 1 February 1985 (age 39)
OriginKarlshamn, Sweden
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
  • multi-instrumentalist
Years active2003–present

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 various artists such as 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. He co-wrote and co-produced the song "Can't Stop the Feeling!" along with Martin and Justin Timberlake for the animated film Trolls (2016), earning a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2017.

Life and career[edit]

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
  • ...Turn Him Your Other Cheek (Demo) (2003)
With Blinded Colony
As a guest musician

Production discography[edit]

Year Title Artist and album Co-writer Producer or co-producer
2008 "If U Seek Amy" Britney SpearsCircus checkY
"I'm Gone I'm Going" Lesley RoyUnbeautiful checkY
"Boring" PinkFunhouse checkY
"It's All Your Fault" checkY
"So What" checkY
2009 "Oxygen" Living ThingsHabeas Corpus checkY checkY
"Bigger" Backstreet BoysThis Is Us checkY
"3" Britney SpearsThe Singles Collection checkY checkY
"Quitter" Carrie UnderwoodPlay On checkY
"Friday I'll Be Over U" Allison IrahetaJust Like You checkY checkY
"Just Like You" checkY checkY
"Outta My Head" Leona LewisEcho checkY checkY
"Naked" checkY checkY
"Whataya Want from Me" Adam LambertFor Your Entertainment checkY checkY
"If I Had You" checkY checkY
2010 "Kiss n Tell" KeshaAnimal checkY checkY
"Hungover" checkY checkY
"Party at a Rich Dude's House" checkY checkY
"Dinosaur" checkY checkY
"DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" UsherVersus checkY checkY
"Raise Your Glass" Pink – Greatest Hits... So Far!!! checkY checkY
"Fuckin' Perfect" checkY checkY
"Time Machine" RobynBody Talk checkY checkY
2011 "Can't Find Entrance" Those Dancing DaysDaydreams & Nightmares checkY checkY
"Loser like Me" Glee castGlee: The Music, Volume 5 checkY checkY
"Dancing Crazy" Miranda CosgroveHigh Maintenance checkY checkY
"I'll Survive You" BC Jean – Single checkY checkY
"Back 2 Life" E-Type – Single checkY checkY
"What the Hell" Avril LavigneGoodbye Lullaby checkY checkY
"Wish You Were Here" checkY checkY
"Smile" checkY checkY
"I Love You" checkY checkY
"I Wanna Go" Britney SpearsFemme Fatale checkY checkY
"Criminal" checkY checkY
"Up n' Down" checkY checkY
"Light Up the World" Glee cast – Glee: The Music, Volume 6 checkY checkY
"Moves like Jagger" (feat. Christina Aguilera) Maroon 5Hands All Over checkY checkY
"Beggin' on Your Knees" Victorious cast – Victorious checkY checkY
"No More Secrets" Carolina LiarWild Blessed Freedom checkY checkY
"Me and You" checkY checkY
"Beautiful People" checkY checkY
"King of Broken Hearts" checkY checkY
"Salvation" checkY checkY
"All That Comes Out of My Mouth" checkY checkY
"Want U Back" Cher LloydSticks + Stones checkY checkY
"With Ur Love" checkY checkY
"Beautiful People" checkY checkY
"She Doesn't Mind" Sean PaulTomahawk Technique checkY checkY
2012 "Payphone" (feat. Wiz Khalifa) Maroon 5Overexposed checkY checkY
"One More Night" checkY checkY
"Doin' Dirt" checkY checkY
"Scream" UsherLooking for Myself checkY checkY
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" Taylor SwiftRed checkY checkY
"I Knew You Were Trouble" checkY checkY
"22" checkY checkY
"Slut Like You" P!nkThe Truth About Love checkY checkY
"Your Body" Christina AguileraLotus checkY checkY
"Let There Be Love" checkY checkY
"Kiss You" One DirectionTake Me Home checkY
"Heart Attack" checkY checkY
"Nobody Compares" checkY checkY
"All That Matters (The Beautiful Life)" KeshaWarrior checkY checkY
2013 "Release You" Megan & LizLook What You Started checkY checkY
"Easier To Lie" Cassadee PopeFrame by Frame checkY checkY
"On a Roll" Icona PopThis Is... Icona Pop checkY checkY
"That High" (feat. Kelly Rowland) PitbullMeltdown checkY
2014 "Air Balloon" Lily AllenSheezus checkY checkY
"I Wish" (feat. T.I.) Cher LloydSorry I'm Late checkY checkY
"Just Be Mine" checkY checkY
"Dirty Love" checkY checkY
"Blind Your Love" checkY checkY
"Killing It" checkY checkY
"I'm in Love" Ola Svensson – Carelessly Yours checkY checkY
"Tonight I'm Yours" checkY checkY
"Jackie Kennedy" checkY checkY
"Problem" (feat. Iggy Azalea) Ariana GrandeMy Everything checkY
"Animals" Maroon 5V checkY checkY
"In Your Pocket" checkY checkY
"Feelings" checkY checkY
"Shoot Love" checkY checkY
"Blank Space" Taylor Swift1989 checkY checkY
"Style" checkY checkY
"All You Had to Do Was Stay" checkY
"Shake It Off" checkY checkY
"Bad Blood" checkY checkY
"Wildest Dreams" checkY checkY
"How You Get the Girl" checkY checkY
"Wonderland" checkY checkY
"New Romantics" checkY checkY
"Talking Body" Tove LoQueen of the Clouds checkY checkY
2015 "Bad Blood" (feat. Kendrick Lamar) Taylor Swift – Non-album single checkY checkY
"Elektra" RefusedFreedom checkY checkY
"366" checkY checkY
"This Summer's Gonna Hurt like a Motherfucker" Maroon 5V (reissue) checkY checkY
"The Original High" Adam LambertThe Original High checkY checkY
"Rumors" (feat. Tove Lo) checkY checkY
"Evil in the Night" checkY checkY
"Run Away with Me" Carly Rae JepsenEmotion checkY checkY
"Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" Adele25 checkY checkY
"Rest Your Love" The VampsWake Up checkY checkY
2016 "Just Like Fire" PinkAlice Through the Looking Glass checkY checkY
"Can't Stop the Feeling!" Justin TimberlakeTrolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack checkY checkY
"Hair Up" checkY checkY
"Still Falling For You" Ellie GouldingBridget Jones's Baby checkY checkY
2017 "Bon Appétit" (feat. Migos) Katy PerryWitness checkY checkY
"Roulette" checkY checkY
"Revenge" (feat. Eminem) PinkBeautiful Trauma checkY checkY
"Whatever You Want" checkY checkY
"Secrets" checkY checkY
"...Ready for It?" Taylor SwiftReputation checkY checkY
"Gorgeous" checkY checkY
"End Game" (feat. Ed Sheeran & Future) checkY checkY
"I Did Something Bad" checkY checkY
"Don't Blame Me" checkY checkY
"Delicate" checkY checkY
"So It Goes..." checkY checkY
"King of My Heart" checkY checkY
"Dancing with Our Hands Tied" checkY checkY
2018 "Get Up and Fight" MuseSimulation Theory checkY checkY
2019 "I Don't Care" (with Justin Bieber) Ed SheeranNo.6 Collaborations Project checkY checkY
''Beautiful People'' (feat. Khalid) checkY checkY
''Take Me Back to London'' (feat. Stormzy) checkY
''Remember the Name'' (feat. Eminem and 50 Cent) checkY checkY
''Only Human'' Jonas BrothersHappiness Begins checkY checkY
"(Hey Why) Miss You Sometime" P!nkHurts 2B Human checkY checkY
''Glad He's Gone'' Tove LoSunshine Kitty checkY checkY
2020 ''X'' Jonas BrothersXV checkY checkY
"Diamonds" Sam SmithLove Goes checkY checkY
"Call Me Tonight " Ava MaxHeaven & Hell checkY checkY
2021 "Wildest Dreams (Taylor's Version)" Taylor Swift1989 (Taylor's Version) checkY checkY
"I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor's Version)" Taylor SwiftRed (Taylor's Version) checkY checkY
"22 (Taylor's Version)" checkY checkY
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor's Version)" checkY checkY
"Message in a Bottle" checkY checkY
"Can I Get It" Adele30 checkY checkY
2023 "Eyes Closed" Ed Sheeran- checkY checkY
"Blank Space (Taylor's Version)" Taylor Swift1989 (Taylor's Version) checkY
"Style (Taylor's Version)" checkY
"Shake It Off (Taylor's Version)" checkY
"Bad Blood (Taylor's Version)" checkY
"How You Get the Girl (Taylor's Version)" checkY
"Wonderland (Taylor's Version)" checkY
"New Romantics (Taylor's Version)" checkY
"Bad Blood (Taylor's Version)" (feat. Kendrick Lamar) checkY

Billboard Hot 100[edit]

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

Number-one singles
  • "So What"
  • "3"
  • "Raise Your Glass"
  • "Moves like Jagger"
  • "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
  • "One More Night"
  • "Shake It Off"
  • "Blank Space"
  • "Bad Blood"
  • "Can't Stop the Feeling!"
Top 10 Hits
  • "Whataya Want from Me"
  • "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love"
  • "Fuckin' Perfect"
  • "Loser Like Me"
  • "I Wanna Go"
  • "Payphone"
  • "Scream"
  • "I Knew You Were Trouble"
  • "Problem"
  • "Animals"
  • "Style"
  • "Wildest Dreams"
  • "Just like Fire"
  • "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)"
  • "...Ready for It?"
  • "I Don't Care"


Grammy Awards[6]


  1. ^ "Maratone". Maratone official website. Archived from the original on 27 January 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 11 December 2008. 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. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. 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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Shellback". Recording Academy. Retrieved 12 February 2018.

External links[edit]