Globe Meets Ryan Tedder, the Lead Singer of OneRepublic

Grammy-nominated OneRepublic will be making their hotly anticipated return to Bangkok when they perform at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani on Friday, March 3rd, 2023. The six members of the group are lead vocalist Ryan Tedder, guitarists Zach Filkins and Drew Brown, bassist and cellist Brent Kutzle, keyboardist Brian Willett, and drummer Ed Fisher.

Renowned for the smash hits “Apologize” and “Counting Stars” they’ve recently had huge success across the world with their single “I Ain’t Worried” featuring on the soundtrack of Top Gun: Maverick, the $1.5 billion box-office smash that came out in May 2022. It has an impressive 753 million streams on Spotify, in only nine months since it was first released.

OneRepublic’s lead singer Ryan Tedder sat down with Globe for an exclusive interview as March 3rd draws closer to discuss his love of Thailand, what Tom Cruise is like away from the cameras, and the huge amount of dedication to music he gave to reach the very top.

The “Live in Concert Tour” will be coming to Bangkok on March 3rd! Are you excited to return to the “Land of Smiles” for your concert, at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani?

We just love it over in Thailand. Bangkok is certainly up there as one of our favourite cities in Southeast Asia. I was in Bangkok for Christmas with my family, that’s how much I love it! We’re more excited to play in Bangkok, than pretty much anywhere. We love the food, the energy, the people, the nightlife – basically everything about it! It’s such an incredible and beautiful place and that’s why we keep coming back. On my recent trip we visited Phuket for six days to adjust to the time zone and work on OneRepublic’s new album in Thailand.

Which artists were the biggest inspirations when you first got together, and these days are there any individuals or bands providing OneRepublic with significant inspiration?

When we started out the biggest inspirations we had were U2, The Beatles, and Oasis. It’s the artists that keep reinventing themselves who I like the most these days. The ones who keep going after 30 or 40 years. Ozzy Osbourne for instance, he’s still reinventing himself and putting out terrific records. The Rolling Stones, they’ll soon have a new album. I know they’re working on one. Whatever their next album is. It’s the fact they’re still doing it, and they’re all like 80! Those guys are still killing it, and for me I think that it’s really incredible.

OneRepublic formed 16 years ago. How do you keep up with the latest musical trends?

I produce and write for almost everybody. So, I’m part of probably 7 to 10 songs, per week. It could be hip-hop, or it could be something else. Last week I was in the studio with A$AP Ferg, Blink 182, and Tate McRae. I had songs charting with artists like Michael Bublé, Ozzy Osbourne, Anitta, and Lil Nas X. I stand here today because I live in the trends with artists making trends 24/7. I never leave that sandbox, and this helps with OneRepublic’s music.

Top Gun: Maverick memorably features a dogfight football game with “I Ain’t Worried” on in the background. Exciting stuff! What is Tom Cruise like away from the cameras?

Tom away from the cameras? Tom is one of the most genuine, intelligent, and high-energy human beings I have ever been in a room with in my life. I don’t really use this word much, but he is impressive – Tom is impressive on every level. He is a real force of nature, and is supremely kind. He is extremely kind and generous to everyone on set. I have never seen anyone interact with crew members and actors like Tom Cruise – Tom is just the real deal.

Your 2021 album “Human” has proven to be very popular with OneRepublic’s fanbase. How many songs from the record can fans expect to hear when attending your show?

Yes, we have had amazing feedback to that particular record. I think we are going to do 4, maybe 5 songs from that album during our concert. We do them in a different kind of way than we have ever performed them before. The songs are probably not going to be what will be expected, so I think the fans are likely to be in love with how they have turned out.

It is amazing to us that you are a self-taught musician, learning to play the piano when you were three! How did you become so dedicated to your craft, at such a young age?

I am a very mono-focused person. Once I’ve become obsessed with something, I am able to do it 24 hours a day. I didn’t have any brothers, or sisters. I didn’t have any distractions, as we didn’t have the internet in my house back then. Most of my friends, they had it…but my parents didn’t get it for years. I had nothing but time. I’m a pretty obsessive person so my dedication to my craft was…what else was I going to do? You know, without having all of the distractions, I just had music to throw myself into, which was my greatest passion.

When Globe spoke with LANY recently, Paul Klein said you’re like a big brother to him. You must be very proud of them. What is it that makes them such a remarkable band?

Paul and I both come from Tulsa, Oklahoma. We went to the same elementary school and college. He is like a little brother, and I am super proud of him! LANY’s success has blown my mind: they’re especially big in Southeast Asia. I love seeing how much Paul embraces Bangkok, the culture and the people. Paul’s dedication and work ethic is second to none! For me, what makes them interesting is how specific their sound is. They don’t sound like anyone else. Paul’s lyrics are just so vulnerable – I think that is what makes them special.

How do you feel streaming has influenced the music business? OneRepublic is hugely popular on YouTube. “Counting Stars” has clocked up a phenomenal 3.7 billion views!

I think streaming is both good and bad. It has certainly opened up music to the world and made it easier for everyone to hear your music. Personally, I would rather have 50 million streams across different countries, than only 10,000, or 100,000 sales, any day! But it has also made it way harder to have a hit song and harder to be heard, because there are so many songs uploaded onto Spotify. Everytime you bring out a song, it has to be the best song out there for it to make it. If you think about it carefully it’s so hard to top the charts.

You’ve toured all over the world. Which is your favourite venue and city to perform in?

There is one venue in Verona, Italy which is a Roman Colosseum. Without doubt, it is one of the most spectacular places that we have ever been to. Another venue that we love to play is in the ancient North African city of Carthage, Tunisia. It’s also a Roman Colosseum and for me they are the best in the world, the old Roman-built Colosseums. Bangkok has to be up there as our favourite city to perform, alongside Rio de Janiero and Cape Town.

Tickets for OneRepublic’s “Live in Concert Tour” are available at: