TIME Music

Ryan Tedder on OneRepublic’s New Album Oh My My

Ryan Tedder, on Sept. 23, 2016 in Las Vegas.
Kevin Mazur—Getty Images Ryan Tedder, on Sept. 23, 2016 in Las Vegas.

"I predict that in the next 18 months, someone is going to come out with a record that sounds nothing like what's happening right now"

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, 37, has written hits with Adele, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, but he’s also a multiplatinum recording artist in his own right: as front man of rock outfit OneRepublic, Tedder is releasing a new studio album, Oh My My, on Oct. 7.

TIME: This is your fourth album with OneRepublic. What’s different about putting this one out?

Ryan Tedder: For the first time ever, I’ve taken the initiative in regards to promotion. We’ve quietly done a lot while making very little noise. I don’t have 40 million Instagram followers and I’m not doing TV, but I’d like to be less of the guy who’s intentionally behind the curtain all the time.

What’s the most critical thing you think about as a songwriter?

There are songs that fly up the charts because of the zeitgeist, but if you’re too attached to the current sound, that song will be time-stamped. We just handed in an album with six or seven singles, but by the time we get to single six or seven, production will have changed. So we try to make stuff that doesn’t sound dated.

How has streaming changed the way people discover music?

Look at the top 10 on Spotify, and eight out of 10 are dance records or collaborations. Spotify tends to lean dance because it started in Scandinavia. But if a song isn’t instantly reactive, it could very well die. Maybe if you’re lucky, you land a huge commercial or campaign. But if you don’t have a cultural anchor behind a song, the world won’t know it exists.

Dance music has dominated pop for so many years. What’s the next trend going to be?

There’s been a proliferation of immediate-gratification songs. Music ebbs and flows–it’s trendy. But the pendulum will swing back. I predict that in the next 18 months, someone is going to come out with a record that sounds nothing like what’s happening right now. It will be sung from the heart and rip your guts out, and it’s going to explode.

This appears in the October 17, 2016 issue of TIME.
Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team