Martin Johnson is a man of all trades. The singer, songwriter, guitar player, and producer has been in the music business since 2005.
Boys Like Girls
Johnson was the front man of pop punk band, Boys Like Girls, that began in 2005. The band was comprised of Paul DiGiovanni (lead guitar), Morgan Dorr, John Keefe (drums), and former member Bryan Donahue (bass). Their first album, Boys Like Girls, was released in 2006. The album featured their most popular single, “The Great Escape” which has over 33.5 million streams on Spotify. It peaked at 70th on the Billboard Hot 100, and spent 4 weeks on the chart.
Their second album, Love Drunk, released in 2009, had two singles that peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Love Drunk” spent 23 weeks on the chart, and “Two Is Better Than One” featuring Taylor Swift spent 19 weeks.
Bryan Donahue left the band in 2011.
Their last album was released in 2012, entitled Crazy World, which didn’t generate much buzz.
Songwriting and Producing Credits
Johnson is credited with many pop and punk hits. In addition to writing for Boys Like Girls, here is an abridged list of his many songwriting and producing credits:
“Bad” – The Cab; 2011; 16 million Spotify streams
“Getting Over You” – The Used; 2012; 860,000 Spotify streams
“9th Life” – Papa Roach; 2012; 370,000 Spotify streams
“Bad for Me” – Megan & Liz; 4 million Spotify streams
“One for the Money” – Escape The Fate; 2013; 26 million Spotify streams
“The Other Side” – Jason Derulo; 2013; 92 million Spotify streams; RIAA-Certified Platinum
“Best I Ever Had” – Gavin DeGraw; 2013; 27 million Spotify streams
“Waiting for Superman” – Daughtry; 2013; 35 million Spotify streams; RIAA-Certified Platinum
“human” – Christina Perri; 2013; 115 million Spotify streams; RIAA-Certified Platinum
“You Got Me” – Gavin DeGraw; 2014; 7.5 million Spotify streams
“Once in a Lifetime” – Flo Rida; 2015; 19 million Spotify streams
“Yesterday’s Song” – Hunter Hayes; 2016; 14 million Spotify streams
The Night Game
The Night Game is Johnson’s solo project, and it’s my favorite of all of his music so far, even though there are only two songs released. The Night Game was on tour with John Mayer this past summer.
“The Outfield” was the debut single. The song is eerily reminiscent of music from to 80s. The song is about chasing after something you want so badly, but can’t seem to get. It’s something that is all-consuming, and takes up every inch of everyday, but you always feel like you’re in, well… the outfield. It’s something that is out there, but no matter how hard you try, you’ll never get to it.
The next single was “Once in a Lifetime.” This song gives you a better glimpse of who The Night Game is. Sticking to the 80s pop feel, but getting deeper into Johnson’s world. The song is about how there was a point in Johnson’s life where he couldn’t will himself to leave his apartment, but he eventually found a small beam of light and his world got brighter.
“Kids in Love” is a single by artist Kygo, that features The Night Game.
Martin Johnson is a powerful force in todays music scene. He doesn’t get enough credit, because he is mostly behind the scenes. Definitely look out for him in the near future. His new wave 80s pop/alternative style is on the way up. And now, we patiently wait for his new album.
Listen to Boys Like Girls on Spotify here.
Listen to The Night Game here.