Four facts about the godfather of modern pop

Even if you’ve never heard of Denniz Pop, you’ve definitely heard his sound. You can’t escape it. Pop, who started as a DJ in Stockholm and went on to become a remixer, producer, and songwriter extraordinaire, fostered a distinctly modern pop sound in his Swedish hit factory whose essence can still be heard in today’s pop music. (In no small part because he shaped the sound of Max Martin, who has written more than 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits in the past three decades.)

Today we’re celebrating what would have been Pop’s 54th birthday with fun facts about the pop pioneer and a set of sample packs that draw inspiration from Swedish pop’s golden age.

#1. He loved funk

From Parliament-Funkadelic to Cameo, Denniz Pop loved anything with a funky bass line. He hated jazz and despised anyone who played complex chords. He was a fan of any chord that could be played with three fingers.

#2. He dreamed big

Denniz Pop started as a DJ, but wanted to move away from remixing and create a factory of Swedish writers and producers who would create hits for British and American acts. Not only did he do that, he and his hit factory went on to write some of the biggest pop hits in America between 1994-1997 such as Backstreet Boys’ “Quit Playing Games with my Heart”, Boyzone’s “Where We Belong” and more.

#3. He pioneered the art of being a modern musician

Denniz Pop didn’t play an instrument and couldn’t read or write music. However, he mixed electronically programmed sounds with samples of existing music and had the ear to know what worked and what didn’t. His hit formula was to combine the groovy beats from R&B music in America with the strong melodies in Swedish Dance Music all together in one epic chorus.

#4. He could time-stretch better than you.

One of Denniz Pop’s most remarkable remixes was of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, where he slowed down the tempo and then brought it back up without changing the key — practically unheard of back in the day. Do you think you can do better? Let us know in the comments!

Get inside the original Swedish pop sound with these packs from Producer Loops.