Three weeks after the release of the viral hit “Rich Love”, their collaboration with Seeb; racking up over 21,000,000 streams on Spotify to date, OneRepublic’s frontman Ryan Tedder shoots for Schön! Magazine. In the accompanying interview, Tedder speaks about the group’s shift to releasing songs instead of singles, shedding light on social problems through song, and “Rich Love” – which is currently #56 on the Global Spotify chart and sits at #35 on the US iTunes Chart.
On OneRepublic’s latest track with Seeb, ‘Rich Love’:
“It’s a song that I wrote with Brent [Kutzle, a fellow member of OneRepublic]. He had this guitar riff that he gave me back around Christmas and I wrote over it. Really, it was just vocals and guitars and then the guys from Seeb were in LA visiting and they came by my studio and said, “If you guys have anything that’s just guitars and vocals that you don’t know what to do with, send it us and let us mess with it” – which is the same thing they did with I Took A Pill In Ibiza.”
On OneRepublic’s shift to releasing songs instead of singles:
“All we’ve been doing lately is just doing songs. We haven’t gone to radio with a single since probably October. In a way, it’s been the most freeing 9 months I’ve had in 10 years because I don’t have to do any promo. You just put stuff out on Spotify and Apple Music…I think being able to just release music as you see fit makes it so much easier. Plus, the world kind of tells you what song they love. No Vacancy – which we put out back in April – could’ve easily gone to radio…The song is now closing in on 100 million streams and it’s something we have done zero work behind. This doesn’t mean we won’t release singles in the future, but not always. We will but as and when.”
On working on the song ‘Truth To Power’ for Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power’:
“It’s critical to shed light on social problems. I’m doing my best to address issues that people are thinking about; issues that are real. People’s obsession with staring at their phones and living their lives through other people’s Instagram pages and feeling depressed about how shitty their life is because they don’t have the same figure or the same money – that’s an issue and it’s one that more people should be writing about.
Artists should be writing about Donald Trump. Artists should be writing about the fact that we’ve got missiles aimed at each other over the Korean peninsula. I’m not saying that everything has to be political. [Recently] I was going back and listening to a lot of stuff from the ‘60s and the ‘70s: The Beatles, The Stones, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell… They were all writing about things that were actually taking place in the universe, the real world, and that’s what some of their biggest hits are about. Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth, for example. The thing that makes me sad right now is that I don’t feel like anybody’s saying anything about what it’s actually happening in the world, with the exception of maybe Arcade Fire’s new album.”
On music he’s currently working on:
“In terms of what I have coming, it’s all over the map. I did a session last week with Camila Cabello and I’m really happy with it. I’m really excited about the Paul McCartney stuff. Beyond happy, it’s probably my favourite session ever. I’d go as far as saying my favourite week in my life was working with Paul McCartney. The U2 album is shaping up and sounding incredible. I also got to do stuff with The Killers on their upcoming album. I’ve also been working with Jessie Ware, a British artist, whose single is out now.”
On future OneRepublic music:
“I’ve been doing a lot of but as far as OneRepublic’s sound is concerned; I’d say Rich Love doesn’t really represent it. Even though I wrote it on electric guitar, it’s been turned into more of a dance record. I’ve returned to writing everything on acoustic guitar or piano so I have a feeling that the next thing we do is going to be rooted in a very organic way and would be a lot more soulful. The last thing we did was way more experimental and we had fun with but I’m returning more to my roots, I guess. I’m singing stuff, focusing on the lyrics and melody above and beyond anything. My focus right now is keeping things simple: heartfelt lyrics, good melody, and writing about something that people actually feel and connect with emotionally.”
OneRepublic and Seeb’s “Rich Love”