Ryan Tedder, music’s unsung hero. Some of you may not know who he is. Others would be familiar with him. For those who are uncertain, & who may not have heard his name before, I’ll give you a few pointers. Many know Ryan Tedder as the frontman of American pop rock group OneRepublic. The group famous for songs like Apologize & Counting Stars. But Ryan Tedder is much more than just the frontman of this famous group of musicians. He is a vocalist, a multi-instrumentalist, a composer, a producer. So in this article, I want to introduce you to the man behind the music.
Ryan Tedder has always been surrounded by music. His father was also a musician. He learnt piano at the young age of three, & is a self-taught vocalist, having worked on his voice since the age of seven, & honing this skill at the age of twelve. He grew up in a house with a piano, went to a church with a gospel choir as a child, singing in the church each week, & then began writing his own music soon after. He would take musical ideas from other songs, & transform them to make them his own, creating new music each time. His first break into the music scene came when he began an internship at DreamWorks SKG where he sang on demos, as well as producing them for both labels & songwriters alike. He then competed in a singer-songwriter competition which he won after performing an original in front of millions of viewers on MTV. In 2002, a year after winning the competition, Tedder managed to catch the attention of hip hop producer Timbaland, who he worked with to develop as an artist, whilst also producing for a range of other artists. But it wasn’t until a few years later that his big break would come.
When Tedder was attending Colorado Springs Christian School, he met Zach Filkins on the soccer team. The two became friends, & thus, in 2002, a few years after their initial meeting, Ryan Tedder, Zach Filkins, Eddie Fisher, Drew Brown, & Brent Kutzle came together to form the band now known as OneRepublic. The band began as unsigned, however began to gain followers & traction on social media through MySpace, & have since accumulated over fifty million plays of their music on the social network. They have also held a position in the Top Artists of Myspace Music since 2006.
The first hit for OneRepublic came in 2007, when Apologize, written by Ryan Tedder, was recorded by the band & released after they had signed to Timbaland’s label, Mosley Music Group, via Interscope Records. Apologize was one of their biggest & most successful songs, & became OneRepublic’s first number one hit. Since then, the band have had a multitude of success, with four albums (Dreaming Out Loud, Waking Up, Native, Oh My My), & a number of hit songs. Native was probably the biggest & most successful album of the four, & a subsequent tour which spanned two years was highly praised, & very well received.
Here are some of OneRepublic’s most popular songs: Counting Stars, Love Runs Out, Apologize, I Lived, Stop & Stare, If I Lose Myself, Good Life, Feel Again, Secrets, All The Right Moves, Wherever I Go, Kids, Let’s Hurt Tonight, No Vacancy, Rich Love, Connection.
But what you may not know is that many top hits recorded by other artists have actually been written &/or produced by Ryan Tedder. Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis, a number one hit, was co-written & produced by Tedder. Jordin Sparks’ ‘Battlefield’ was also co-written & produced by Tedder. Turning Tables & Rumour Has It by Adele had composition done by Tedder. Demi Lovato’s ‘Neon Lights’ was written & produced by Tedder. He has also worked with & written & produced for artists such as Maroon 5, B.o.B., Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Lopez, the Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Hudson, Ludacris, James Blunt, & many more. He recently wrote & produced songs on Paul McCartney’s new album Egypt Station.
Here are some of the songs he has written for other artists: Maps (Maroon 5), Burn (Ellie Goulding), Happier (Ed Sheeran), Already Gone (Kelly Clarkson), XO (Beyonce), Got 2 Luv U (Sean Paul), Most Girls (Hailee Steinfeld), Ghost (Ella Henderson), The Fighter (Gym Class Heroes), Faith (Stevie Wonder), Bonfire Heart (James Blunt), Rocketeer (Far East Movement), I Know Places (Taylor Swift), Why Try (Ariana Grande), Stranger Things (Kygo), & many more.
Probably the most prolific song he has written however, is one which everyone knows. The song that was probably Beyonce’s biggest hit: Halo. Tedder wrote Halo with Beyonce in mind after she reached out to him & asked him to write a song for her. He wrote the hit song in just three hours. He also did a demo of it himself, & has since performed it live during some of OneRepublic’s live performances.
Ryan Tedder has also been a featured artist on many songs by other artists. He was featured on Never Let You Go by B.o.B., Rocketeer by Far East Movement, The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes, & on American rapper Logic’s recent single One Day, amongst may others. OneRepublic were also featured on Kygo’s ‘Stranger Things’, written for Kygo by Tedder. OneRepublic have also had some of their music featured in film & tv. Apologize was featured in an episode of Smallville. They have had a multitude of songs featured on shows such as The Voice, America’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, The Good Doctor, NCIS, American Idol & others, & Let’s Hurt Tonight was featured in the trailer & the end credits for the film Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith. Additionally, OneRepublic recorded a single called ‘Start Again’, featuring Logic, for the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
Ryan Tedder is a music icon. He can sing, play piano, guitar, bass, drums. His vocal range is amazing, with the capability to hit some of the highest notes there are, and pull off some amazing vocals (Checkout this link, skip to 3:26 if you just want to see the brilliant vocals https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hQTHVW60ov4). He is a composer & producer of hit songs, & brings a unique energy to live performances. People who have seen OneRepublic live have acknowledged the energy in the performance, & have highly praised OneRepublic’s live tours. Ryan Tedder has been referred to as the undercover king of pop, & I would very much agree with this. He is an iconic musician, & I personally hope to one day see OneRepublic perform live & meet him myself.