Magazine Feature

Feel the Burns: Britney's Latest Hitmaker Breaks Down 'Make Me' & Past Hits for Ellie Goulding, Pitbull & More

Britney Spears in the video for "Make Me."
Courtesy Photo

Britney Spears in the video for "Make Me."

After years on the road with Deadmau5 and Calvin Harris, British producer Burns, 30, scores his biggest credit yet with Britney Spears’ “Make Me,” off the pop icon’s new album Glory, which debuts at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. The Los Angeles-based DJ breaks down his most notable works.

Britney Spears featuring G-Eazy, “Make Me” (2016)

Burns recorded the demo for “Make Me” in a friend’s kitchen in 2015, plugging a guitar into his laptop to lay down the song. After it made its way to Spears’ camp, he hit the studio with her for two days to record the vocals. “You think that there might be this diva-ish personality with somebody of that level,” he says, “but she was just so normal, it’s crazy.”

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Burns, “When I’m Around U” (2015)

With 1.1 million listens on SoundCloud, Burns’ explosive solo single has proved to be his most turn-up-friendly at recent gigs, including Lollapalooza and the Hellow Festival. “I made that song at the same time I made the Britney thing,” he says. “I was using this cheap-ass guitar that I bought from Guitar Center. It’s not the best guitar sound, but it has this mood to it.”

Pitbull featuring Inna, “All the Things” (2013)

“[Calvin Harris and I] go to each other for advice on songs that we’re working on,” says Burns, who has been “best friends” with the DJ for a decade. Pitbull was looking for tracks for his Meltdown EP, and turned to Harris, who handed over Burns’ “All the Things.”

Ellie Goulding x Burns, “Midas Touch” (2013)

The pair go back to the halcyon days of MySpace. After she struck stardom, they connected for a digital duet: “She recorded it a cappella, and the beat [I had done] was the same key and tempo as ‘Midas Touch.’ It was fate that it worked.”

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 17 issue of Billboard.