How to write the perfect pop song, by Adele’s hitmaker
Ryan Tedder is the composer-producer the biggest stars turn to for a No 1 hit — and he has given them lots. Here are his top ten tips for a sure-fire chart smash.
Beyoncé, Adele, Taylor Swift, U2, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Peter Gabriel, Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Ellie Goulding, Backstreet Boys, Westlife, James Blunt, Kelly Clarkson, the Pussycat Dolls, Leona Lewis, Sugababes. It’s almost certainly easier to make a list of the contemporary pop stars Ryan Tedder hasn’t worked with. Dubbed “the undercover king of pop” by Billboard magazine, Tedder is one of an elite group of songwriter-producers to whom the A-list turn when they need a radio anthem.
With the release of OneRepublic’s new album, Oh My My, frontman and hitmaker Ryan Tedder, 37, opens up on family dinners with Bey and FaceTiming with Stevie.
What’s the thinking behind “Kids,” the first single off the new album?
It doesn’t sound like anything we’ve ever done before. We love M83, and so the idea was, “Let’s do something that captures the spirit of what we love about M83 and make it a OneRepublic song with the lyric and the melody.”
You’ve worked with so many megastars. How was it with Beyoncé?
“XO” was one my favorites. For a week I was at their home in the Hamptons, with Jay Z and Beyoncé and their kid around. It was me, Greg Kurstin, Sia, one of the girls from Florence & The Machine. I had no idea “XO” was going to be the first single, but unless you are in the room with Beyoncé, no one is going to tell you what’s going on.