Martin Terefe

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Martin Terefe
Birth nameMartin Terefe
Born (1969-04-18) 18 April 1969 (age 54)
Stockholm, Sweden
Occupation(s)Record producer, audio engineer, musician, songwriter
Years active1984–present

Martin Terefe (born 1969, Stockholm, Sweden[1]) is a Swedish record producer and songwriter, now living and working in London, who has produced Grammy, Brit and Juno award -winning albums with artists like Jason Mraz, James Morrison and KT Tunstall. He is also a member of the group Apparatjik.


Terefe spent his early years in Caracas in Venezuela, where he learnt to play guitar, before moving back to Stockholm in 1979.[1] At the age of 15 he was signed up to a publishing deal and briefly fronted a rock band, but soon realised that he preferred a role writing and producing for other people.[2] He travelled to the UK and the US, where he met Michael Dixon, the manager of singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, and who later became Terefe's manager.

Terefe's early productions in Stockholm were for Swedish artists Sara Isaksson, Ardis and André de Lange. In 1996 Terefe moved to London and set up his own recording studio, Kensaltown Studios, named after Kensal Town, the district of west London where the studios are located. He produced several of Sexsmith's albums during the 2000s and has gone on to write and produce songs and albums by KT Tunstall, a-ha, Jason Mraz, James Morrison,[3] Martha Wainwright, Train, Cat Stevens, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Cullum, Alyssa Bernal, Beverley Knight and Westlife. Terefe's productions won two awards at the 2010 Grammy Awards as a producer, for "Make It Mine" by Jason Mraz (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat (Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals).[4]

In 2008 Terefe and Dixon set up Kensaltown Records. The label's releases included Ron Sexsmith's album Exit Strategy of the Soul, the debut album by American singer Dawn Kinnard,[5] and the charity album Songs for Survival. The Songs for Survival album included the first song by Apparatjik, the supergroup of a-ha's Magne Furuholmen, Coldplay's Guy Berryman, Mew's Jonas Bjerre and Terefe. The group continued to work together, releasing their debut album in 2010 and the follow-up in 2012.[6]

In 2009 Martin Terefe was ranked as the Number 10 most successful music producer of hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[7]

Terefe and songwriter Sacha Skarbek (who is also managed by Michael Dixon) wrote the UK's entry for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, titled "Love Will Set You Free" and sung by Engelbert Humperdinck.[8][9]

In December 2020, Terefe and Bruce Lampcov assembled a band of British jazz musicians to play on the Bitches Brew-inspired, self-titled album London Brew, which is set for release on 31 March 2023 by Concord Jazz.


Selected production, mixing, recording credits[10]


  1. ^ a b Biography on a-ha's official website
  2. ^ Biography on Martin Terefe's official website Archived 30 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Salmon, Chris (28 July 2006). "James Morrison, Undiscovered". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  4. ^ Searchable database, Grammy website
  5. ^ Lester, Paul (6 November 2007). "New band of the day No 220: Dawn Kinnard". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  6. ^ Michaels, Sean (24 November 2009). "Coldplay and A-ha side project announce debut album". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Year end charts, Hot 100 Producers 2009". Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Engelbert Humperdinck to represent UK in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest". BBC. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  9. ^ Plunkett, John (1 March 2012). "Engelbert Humperdinck rides to Britain's rescue at Eurovision". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Martin Terefe Discography". Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Nielsen-Soundscan's Top 20 Digital Songs / Top 10 Albums for 2010". Nielsen. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  12. ^ 21st Century Liability (liner notes). Yungblud. Geffen Records. 2018.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)

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