One Republic’s Ryan Tedder: ‘There’s a part of Tiktok that that worries me’ – Music News

Recently on Smallzy’s Surgery, we chat with One Republic’s Ryan Tedder. Ryan reveals he’s so stressed about climate change he’s losing sleep and is also worried about the impact Tiktok has on musicians, saying “It’s almost impossible to have a hit record as a recording artist without Tiktok if your song doesn’t go viral.” Plus he talks about chatting with Tom Cruise on Zoom to create his song for the hit movie Top Gun: Maverick.


SMALLZY I got a quick lightning round, I want to find out Ryan, are you worried or not worried? You say you’re not but I’m gonna hit you with some scenarios. You just tell me if you worry, if it keeps you up at night. Getting old. Are you worried or not worried?

RYAN Was worried, not worried anymore.

SMALLZY Okay. All right. Having a clean house people are coming over. Are you worried? Do you want it cleaned? Or do you not worried? Don’t judge me?

RYAN Not worried. My wife, very worried. Me not worried.

SMALLZY Climate change. The planet’s getting warmer. It’s crazy, it’s 40 degrees…

RYAN Very, very, that literally causes me stress that that cost me sleep. I’m actually genuinely worried about our climate and our planet.


SMALLZY What about this one? I know everyone talks about tick tock these days. But are you worried or not worried that apparently secret Chinese government can access your location data on TikTok? I won’t lie to you, I’m a little worried. But I also like to be entertained so I don’t know how I feel.\

RYAN Okay. There’s a part of Tiktok that that worries me. I’m not worried necessarily about the Chinese government knowing where I’m at every moment because anyone who has an iPhone is already telling 50 different apps where they already are. That’s the nature of iPhones. But I am worried…. I’ve been increasingly worried that and this is a whole different interview. It’s almost impossible to have a hit record as a recording artist without Tiktok if your song doesn’t go viral on Tiktok like the song doesn’t connect, like Lizzo about damn time is a great example. It was it came out it died immediately. It died for two weeks. And then it only connected after went viral on Tiktok from a dance. So that part of Tiktok I’m very worried.

SMALLZY That’s what worries me that I go to that it’s like Oh, come on, guys really?

RYAN Look what Macklemore posted the other day. He did a post on Instagram. You should read it about this issue and countless artists are posting about it. It’s terrifying.


SMALLZY When you made the song did you envisage that the song would be used as overlay in a montage of ripped dudes playing football on a beach in Top Gun. Was that in your head? Was that what you were writing for? Or was that just wow, I never saw it like that.

RYAN Well I would answer your question with another question which is, when have I ever not written a song imagining it overlaid with a bunch of dudes on a beach playing football?

SMALLZY How did that work? Because I know you’ve done a bunch of stuff over your career. Do the Top Gun people come to you? Do you have you got a song and then you send it submitted for the movie? What’s the story?

RYAN I somehow didn’t know that Top Gun was looking for a song or that they were at that stage in the process. A buddy of mine who runs Paramount Pictures, the music department. I’ve done a ton of songs for him over the years. He called me and said, Hey, we’re having an issue with this major critical scene in Top Gun and it’s going to be a single we’d like theoretically to be one of the two singles off the movie, there’s only two new songs in the movie, like every other song is from like the 70s, 80s. You know? And would you want to zoom with Tom Cruise tomorrow and Jerry Bruckheimer. And of course I said yes. And then we did the zoom. And then Tom described to me what he wanted to feel in the scene, how he wanted the music to make him feel. And then he asked me what I heard. And I told him, I used as much you know, adjectives as I could to describe how a song should sound. And he said, Yeah, this is exactly what I’m feeling. So, man, go do it. I can’t wait. Well, we got up the next morning, me and my bass player in One Republic. We wrote the song that day, I came up with the whistle kind of instantly. And then I mean, honestly, man, like, I wish every song that we’ve ever done was this easy. This was in the history of One Republic, I think I’ve ever done two songs that were this easy ever. This being one of like we wrote, this is 45 minutes. I wrote the song in 45 minutes and the only the only other time that happened for with this band was stop and stare like ages ago.

SMALLZY That’s when you were zooming when he was doing with Tom Cruise. Did you have we your internal dialogue? We’re like, Shit, I’m zooming with Tom Cruise right now. Like this is the this is a bucket list. This is insane.

RYAN It was wild. I don’t really get I don’t get starstruck at this point. Just because I’ve been doing what I do for so long. There was a comma to that sentence. The comma is I don’t usually get starstruck. But you know, first Zoom, staring at the screen going I can’t believe I’m FaceTiming with Tom Cruise and I was definitely a freakin absolute pinch me over the top moment. His movies have been like the what had the cinematic soundtrack of my entire life. Like from the time I was five years old, like everything, Tom Cruise, I watched all of his movies like probably 10 times. So yeah, I was freaking out.

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