Voting for the Academy Awards started Friday, and will run through January 12. To grab voters’ attention, there’s a new add for one of the contenders in the documentary category — and it features a song that’s also eligible for an Oscar nod.
The documentary is An Inconvenient Sequel, a follow-up to Al Gore’s Oscar-winning 2006 climate change-themed documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. OneRepublic recorded a song for the movie called “Truth to Power,” and it’s featured in the ad as well.
OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote “Truth to Power,” is gunning for a Best Original Song nod for it. The original movie’s theme song, by Melissa Etheridge, won the Oscar that year.
The rock world is seemingly fielding ever more contenders in the Oscars’ Best Original Song category, with artists including Sufjan Stevens, Elvis Costello, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, Sara Bareilles, and the late Chris Cornell all performing end-title themes they wrote or co-authored.
“Truth to Power”
from “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”
Music and lyrics by Ryan Tedder and T Bone Burnett
It’s difficult to figure out for sure whose idea it was for first time co-writers Tedder and Burnett to team up for the sequel to the environmental doc “An Inconvenient Truth” (which yielded an Oscar for Melissa Etheridge’s song). Burnett says he’d been interested in meeting Tedder before Al Gore called Burnett to ask what he thought about bringing him in. Interscope’s film head asked Tedder about the movie and got a quick assent before even getting to Burnett already being signed on.
That didn’t hurt: Tedder “grew up listening to a lot of his records, to be honest. I tore apart (Burnett’s production of the Wallflowers’) ‘One Headlight’ a hundred different ways back in the day when we started a band. And I think T Bone and I share an affection for super-throwback Delta music. In the last 10 years I listened to more Muddy Waters than anything — says the guy who does stuff with Ed Sheeran; I know it doesn’t make any sense.”
Tedder wanted the song to start small before it got to a choir. “If you’re trying to get on KIIS-FM, go write a song for ‘Fast and Furious Part 10’,” he says. “That’s a different animal. To me, this needed to be reverential. And my default mechanism when writing is very often gospel, and some of the songs that we had done that were referenced when I got brought in are more gospel-leaning records. And when I watched the climactic parts of the film with Vice President Gore giving this speech at Stanford, where he becomes more and more emboldened as the speech goes on, by the end of it, I was like, oh, God, he’s just doing like an altar call right now. And I went to Oral Roberts University, so I’ve seen my fair share of altar calls.”
Gore asked them if they could drop the movie’s subtitle into the lyrics, and Tedder initially resisted, thinking the phrase “truth to power” was too on-the-nose. They found a solution. “The cliché is speaking truth to power, of course,” says Burnett. “I loved the idea of when truth turns to power.”
Ryan and Brent took part in 24 Hours of Reality performing Truth To Power and Apologize.
Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated quintet OneRepublic release “Truth To Power” today, June 30th, on Mosley Music/Interscope Records. “Truth To Power” was written and produced by Ryan Tedder and T Bone Burnett and will be featured in the Paramount Pictures and Participant Media’s Film “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power,” which will be in theaters July 28th. “Truth To Power” is available for streaming and digital download via all participating digital retailers – http://smarturl.it/TruthToPower.
Watch the lyric video for “Truth To Power” HERE.
“Ten years later we are still talking about climate change,” says OneRepublic lead singer/songwriter Ryan Tedder. “Former Vice President Al Gore has again made a film that inspires one to get involved and do something for our planet. It was an honor to create a song with the legendary T Bone Burnett that speaks to the theme of this movie that the ‘truth’ leads to ‘power’ when it comes to standing up and helping to create change.”
Continue reading “OneRepublic Release “Truth To Power” Today”
When Vice President Al Gore and producer T Bone Burnett were looking for someone to write the title song for the Paramount Pictures/Participant Media film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (which opens July 28), OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder wasn’t necessarily the obvious choice for the follow-up to the 2007 documentary about global warming.
With President Donald Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, though, Oklahoma native Tedder felt the evangelical fervor of Gore’s message in the film and brought an extra urgency to “Truth to Power,” whose lyric video premieres today on Variety in advance of its release on Friday. Using the metaphor of earth as a jilted lover talking directly to its inhabitants, Tedder and Burnett turned the result into an old-school Pentecostal gospel rouser, a call-to-action every bit as urgent as a preacher delivering a fire-and-brimstone sermon to his congregation.
“I wanted to take a break from writing songs about myself,” says Tedder. “So I took the point-of-view of mother earth turning the tables on those who’d betray her.”
Continue reading “OneRepublic Release Truth to Power”
Truth To Power is a song by OneRepublic which is a soundtrack for An Inconvenient Sequel. It was released on June 30.