Adam Lambert’s third studio album — his first since leaving RCA Records last summer — is currently being worked on by pop super-producer Max Martin, and a handful of ace songwriters, in Sweden.
Martin, who has helmed pop smashes from Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Justin Bieber and countless other mainstream superstars, co-produced two songs for Lambert’s 2009 debut album “For Your Entertainment,” including the hit single “Whataya Want From Me.” Martin did not contribute to Lambert’s sophomore album “Trespassing,” which debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart in 2012, but the “American Idol” finalist is linking back up with Martin for the follow-up.
“[Martin] just brought in a load of people that he trusts and that make good music, and just seeing what happens,” U.K. singer-songwriter Joe Janiak, who recently co-wrote Ellie Goulding’s “Divergent” soundtrack single “Beating Heart,” tells Billboard. Janiak, a London native, was called to come out to Sweden early last week and work with a collection of song experts that was organized by Martin. “He’s got a company which really focuses on getting the best young writers and getting them all together in one place, so that they can have a hotbed of creativity and spin ideas off of each other,” Janiak adds of Martin.
One of the songwriters who has shared studio time with Lambert is Tove Lo, a Swedish artist who is currently making an impression in the U.S. with her debut EP, “Truth Serum.” “He came to Sweden, he’s been working with all the producers, the little collective out there, and having a really good time,” Tove Lo tells Billboard of Lambert. “When you hear the fully produced stuff from the studio, that’s one thing, but his voice is insane. I couldn’t believe it.”
Released in May 2012, “Trespassing” became Lambert’s first No. 1 album, and has sold 192,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Last July, Lambert left his longtime label, RCA Records, claiming that RCA wanted his next release to be a covers album.
In between full-length projects, Lambert has appeared on “Glee” and planned a summer arena tour with Queen, serving as the frontman of the legendary rock troupe. After Queen + Adam Lambert headlined the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas last September, the collaboration will play 19 North American shows beginning June 19 in Chicago.
There is no timetable for Lambert’s next record, but Janiak says that Martin and co. have been able to conjure some special moments in the studio. “I think there are going to be big things on this record, because the focus is on really strong songwriting and performance and stuff like that,” says Janiak. “They’re really locking in on all of [Lambert’s] strong points and just making him even better. I think that’s definitely going to be an exciting one.”
(Additional reporting by Andrew Hampp, N.Y.)
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