He has collaborated in the production of music with numerous popular artists including Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding, Katy Perry, Adam Lambert and Tove Lo. Payami's first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 was The Weeknd's single "Can't Feel My Face".
He was first exposed to music in Malmö, Sweden, when he was a child. At a young age in Sweden, he listened to many genres of music, ranging from Dr. Dre’s The Chronic to Nirvana. He watched people in bands rehearse and make music, which prompted him to develop interest in the same. This interest was reflected by his statement "When you play something and see people's reactions when they hear it... It really affected me."
Growing up, however, he became more interested in house music, siding away from the pop genre he was exposed to. This was evident from his words "...these guys were more into pop and mainstream, and I chose more house music..." in an interview. Payami didn't understand how to make music when he was younger. However, as years passed and new, better software became available for music production, he learnt the basics by watching others do so. Later, he bought the programs and started creating music himself.
Ali Payami then started DJing at school parties and in local clubs. He said “DJing played a big part in what I do now; the mentality of it and the love of both new and old music. When you play something and see people’s reactions when they hear it... It really affected me.” in an interview with Billboard. While working in clubs, Payami had to get other jobs to support himself, including a short lived job as a telemarketer. He described this experience as "weird", stating “I loved DJing, but what I didn’t like was being the center of attention.”
Ali Payami met Julius Petersson, then an A&R for Warner/Chappel, during the time he was DJing in clubs. This provided him a major opportunity at the time, as the public house gave him a cash advance. In Payami's words, "It allowed me to not have to work on anything else but music, so you can eat but also concentrate on what you want to do". Payami was also grateful to Julius and considered him a visionary, stating "Julius was such a visionary. He believed in not just me, but a lot of people who are very successful now."
Through Petersson, Payami was introduced to Shellback, a highly successful Swedish music producer. This eventually enabled Payami to collaborate with Max Martin. Payami commented on Martin, saying "He’s not only amazing and talented the way everyone knows him, but he’s also a great guy. It’s not just music; you learn so much about life, how to collaborate with people, and how to be open and not let egos take over the room.”
Rise to fame
Ali Payami's collaborations with Max Martin since 2014 have been an "ubiquitous part of the pop radio landscape", as described by Billboard. His work on Ariana Grande's song "Love Me Harder" was one of the first of such collaborations, on which Payami commented, "I remember sitting in a studio in L.A. and me and [Peter Svensson] were just playing around. A few days later, he showed me this voice note with a part of a melody that we had played, and we tried to recreate it. From there, the whole thing came together. Savan came in with more melodies and lyrics, and then after that The Weeknd did his thing."
Ali Payami worked on The Weeknd's song "Can't Feel My Face", which helped him settle himself as a popular pop artist. The song hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and obtained two Grammy nominations, for "Record of the Year" and "Best Pop Solo Performance". Payami said that it was a very simple song, and not "super advanced". Max Martin, on Payami, jokingly commented that he was envious of him, who "listened to new music all the time"
|2017||Taylor Swift||Reputation||Co-producer, Co-writer|
|Katy Perry||Witness||Guitar, Drums, Bass, Synths, Piano, Background Vocals, Producer, Programming|
|Tove Lo||Blue Lips||Producer, Writer|
|2016||Various Artists||2016 Grammy Nominees||Composer, Producer|
|Various Artists||#PartyHits||Composer, Producer, Programmer|
|Ariana Grande||Dangerous Woman||Bass, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer, Programming|
|Various Artists||Fitness Beats 2016||Composer, Musical Instrument, Producer, Programmer|
|Ron Jeremiah||Ghost Town 2016||Composer|
|Various||Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)||Bass, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Programming|
|Sabina Ddumba||Homeward Bound||Bass, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer, Programmer|
|Chlara||In a Different Light||Composer|
|Kidz Bop||Kidz Bop 33||Composer|
|Tove Lo||Lady Wood||Bass, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Instrumentation, Keyboards, Producer, Programming|
|Nick Jonas||Last Year Was Complicated||Bass, Composer, Drums, Keyboards, Producer, Programming, Synthesizer|
|Various Artists||Lazy Afternoon [UMTV]||Composer|
|Baby Rockstar||Lullaby Renditions of Taylor Swift: 1989||Composer|
|Various Artists||Now That's What I Call Music! 58||Composer|
|Various Artists||Now That's What I Call Music! 60||Composer|
|Various Artists||Now That's What I Call a Workout 2017||Composer|
|Various Artists||'Now That's What I Call Music! 27'||Composer|
|Various Artists||Party Tyme Karaoke: Super Hits, Vol. 26||Composer|
|Jim Brickman||Pure Cinema||Composer|
|Alessandro Danello||Shine - EP||Composer|
|David Nail||Uncovered - EP||Composer|
|The Weeknd||Beauty Behind the Madness||Bass, Composer, Drums, Keyboards, Producer, Programming, Synthesizer|
|Demi Lovato||Confident||Composer, Drums, Guitar, Percussion, Producer, Programming|
|Ellie Goulding||Delirium||Bass, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer, Programming, Synthesizer, Vocals (Background)|
|Various Artists||Fifty Shades of Grey: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack||Bass, Composer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer, Programming, Vocals (Background)|
|Fifty Shades of Grey Remixed||Composer|
|Sabrina||I Love Acoustic 8||Composer|
|Kidz Bop||Kidz Bop 28||Composer|
|Kidz Bop||Kidz Bop 29||Composer|
|Various Artists||Now That's What I Call Music! 53||Composer|
|Various Artists||Now That's What I Call Music! 55||Composer|
|Various Artists||Now That's What I Call Music! 56||Composer|
|Various Artists||Now That's What I Call Music! 24||Composer|
|Various Artists||Party Tyme Karaoke: Girl Pop Mega Pack, Vol. 3||Composer|
|Various Artists||Party Tyme Karaoke: Girl Pop Party Pack, Vol. 6||Composer|
|Various Artists||Party Tyme Karaoke: Girl Pop, Vol. 24||Composer|
|Various Artists||Party Tyme Karaoke: Pop Mega Pack, Vol. 3||Composer|
|Piano Rockstar||Piano Renditions of Taylor Swift: 1989||Composer|
|Nessi||Rolling With the Punches||Composer|
|Ariana Azalea||Style: New Romantics 2015 Gangnam EP||Composer|
|Koryn Hawthorne||The Voice: The Complete Season 8 Collection||Composer|
|Straight No Chaser||The New Old Fashioned||Composer|
|Adam Lambert||The Original High||Bass, Composer, Drums, Instrumentation, Keyboards, Musician, Percussion, Producer, Programmer, Programming, Unknown Instrument, Various Instruments|
|Patrick Rouiller||Tous Les Titres Du Gagnant Nouvelle Star 2016||Composer|
|Tori Kelly||Unbreakable Smile||Composer, Instrumentation, Percussion, Producer, Programming|
|2014||Taylor Swift||1989||Co-writer, Keyboards, Co-producer, Programming|
|Lea Michele||Louder||Composer, Engineer, Keyboards, Producer, Programming, Strings|
|Ariana Grande||My Everything||Bass, Composer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer, Programming|
|Various Artists||NRG Workout||Primary Artist|
|Tove Lo||Queen of the Clouds||Composer, Instrumentation, Producer, Programming, Remixing|
|Taylor Swift||Taylor Swift Karaoke: 1989||Composer, Keyboards, Producer, Programming|
|2011||Various Artists||Most Wanted!, Vol. 1: The Ultimate Clubhouse||Primary Artist|
|2010||Various Artists||101 Ibiza Anthems||Producer|
|Various Artists||Big Tunes: Destination Dance||Producer|
|Various Artists||Club Anthems 2010||Producer|
|Various Artists||Clubland Smashed||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Kanikuly 2010||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Ministry of Sound: Running Trax, Vol. 2||Producer|
|Ali Payami||Roots||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||The Mash Up Mix 2010||Producer|
|2009||Various Artists||Absolute Dance: Winter 2009||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Chilled Euphoria [Ministry of Sound]||Additional Production, Remixing|
|Various Artists||Clubbers Guide 2009||Producer, Composer, Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Clubland Classix, Vol. 2||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Clubland Classix 2 [Digital Bundle Package]||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Dance Chart, Winter/Spring 2009||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Euro Hits 2008||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||From House to Electro 2009: In the Mix||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Hardcore Til I Die, Vol. 2 ||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Hed Kandi: Beach House 2009||Producer|
|Various Artists||Hed Kandi: Summer Sampler 2009||Producer, Engineer, Mixing, Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Hed Kandi: The Mix Spring 2009||Composer, Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||House 2009||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Ministry of Sound: Annual 2010||Additional Production, Remixing|
|Amy Diamond||Swings and Roundabouts||Composer|
|Various Artists||The Annual Compilation 2010||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Ultimate NRG 4||Primary Artist|
|2008||Various Artists||Club Sensation 2008||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Club House Sensation 2008||Producer, Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Club Sounds, Vol. 46||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Club Trance, Vol. 2||Composer, Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Clubbers Best Choice||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Clublife: The Weekend Has Landed||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Dream Dance, Vol. 49||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Electro House Alarm, Vol. 3||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Future Trance, Vol. 45||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Hed Kandi: The Mix - Summer 2008||Producer, Remixing|
|Frida||Hoppa Upp!||Producer, Composer|
|Various Artists||Housexy 2008||Producer, Remixing|
|Various Artists||Ibiza Residence '08||Primary Artist|
|Daniel Desnoyers||In Da House, Vol. 3||Composer, Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Kontor House of House, Vol. 6||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Kontor Top of the Clubs, Vol. 40||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Ministry of Sound: Annual 2009 [Germany]||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Ministry of Sound: The Annual, Winter 2009||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Progressive Attack||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Tanecní Liga Best Dance Hits 2008||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Tanecní Liga, Vol. 105||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Tekno! 47||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Tunnel Trance Force, Vol. 46||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Viva Club Rotation, Vol. 39||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Welcome to the Club, Vol. 14||Primary Artist|
|Various Artists||Work It out...Pump It Up!!!||Primary Artist|
|2007||Various Artists||Club Miami, Vol. 1||Composer, Primary Artist|
|DJ Jondal||La Nuit, Vol. 2: Rare Lounge||Producer, Composer|
|Måns Zelmerlöw||Stand by For...||Producer|
|Various Artists||Sunshine House||Composer, Primary Artist|
|2001||Various Artists||Disco Kandi||Producer, Engineer, Mixing, Composer, Primary Artist|
|2017||Taylor Swift||"...Ready For It?"||Co-writer, Co-producer, Programmer|
|Lana Del Rey||'"Lust for Life"||Drums|
|Katy Perry||'"Chained to the Rhythm"||Composer|
|2016||Filippa Lag||"In the Night"||Composer|
|Koryn Hawthorne||"Love Me Harder" (The Voice Performance)||Composer|
|Lana Grande||"Love Me Like You Do"||Composer|
|Bely Basarte||"Love Me Like You Do"||Composer|
|Brooke Adee||"Love Me Like You Do"||Composer|
|Deanna Johnson||"Love Me Like You Do" (The Voice Performance)||Composer|
|Adam Lambert||"Welcome to the Show"||Bass, Composer, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Programmer, Strings|
|2015||Taylor Swift||"Style"||Co-writer, Co-producer, Programmer|
|Adam Lambert||"Another Lonely Night"||Bass, Composer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer, Programmer|
|Robin Thicke||"Back Together"||Composer|
|Bang La Dash||"Can't Feel My Face"||Composer|
|Straight No Chaser||"Can't Feel My Face"||Composer|
|Ember Island||"Can't Feel My Face"||Composer|
|The Capital Dance Orchestra / Simon Marlow||"Can't Feel My Face" [Chartbeat]||Composer|
|Diana Moon||"Pieskaries man Tu"||Composer|
|Nessi||"Rolling With the Punches"||Composer|
|Bay Brooks||"Style" (The Voice Performance)||Composer|
|2010||Ali Payami||"Roots"||Primary Artist|
|2008||Ali Payami||"Blade"||Primary Artist|
|2007||Andreas Johnson||"A Little Bit of Love"||Re-Release Producer, Remixing|
- "Max Martin Collaborator Ali Payami Shares Stories of Writing Hits With Katy Perry & the Weeknd". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
- "Max Martin - world exclusive interview - Di Storytelling". Di Storytelling. 2016-02-11. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
- "Ali Payami Interview Podcast (Jan 22, 2008)". Radio Javan. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
- "Polar Talks 2016 - From hip hop to pop: A talk with songwriter Ali Payami".
- "Savan Kotecha interview: "The people with the longest careers are the people who learn how to do it on purpose" | Popjustice". Popjustice. 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
- "'2016 GRAMMY Nominees' album now available". GRAMMY.com. 2016-01-22. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "Fitness Beats 2016 by Various Artists on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "Ghost Town 2016 - Ron Jeremiah | Releases | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "NRG Workout - Various Artists | Releases | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "Most Wanted!, Vol. 1: The Ultimate Clubhouse - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "Big Tunes: Destination Dance - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "The Annual Compilation 2010 - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "Ali Payami | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-03-29.