Dubbed ‘the undercover king of pop’ by Billboard magazine, Onerepublic’s lead singer Ryan Tedder has also written hits for Beyoncé, Adele, Taylor Swift and more. He tells Grazia about some of his top collaborators…
‘When I write for someone else, I assume their personality. My first question is always, “What are you listening to?” Taylor is so smart and savvy, so you have to keep pace. When we wrote Welcome To New
York, she was listening to a lot of stuff from the ’80s and she wanted that sound. I brought a 1984 keyboard and started playing the opening chords. She was just like, “That’s it!” It was simple.’
‘Beyoncé has passed on more hits than you can imagine and no melody or famous producer means a thing to her. She is all about the lyrics: it has to be honest and raw.
Halo was written in a few hours, but I wrote XO imagining myself as Beyoncé, looking out and finding one person in a crowd. I got inside her head, and she took it because it was something that she truly felt.’
‘With Ariana, I know she wants to showcase her vocal range. I once wrote her a song that came into my head in a gift shop in Iceland. By the time I’d gone back to the hotel, I’d written the chorus and we recorded it that day. People ask me if I have a formula. I don’ don’t, but with Ariana there is a trick. If I can figure out what key her voice sounds most electrifying in, I know it will work.’
Onerepublic’s new album Oh My My (Polydor) is out now