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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 09:35 GMT
Talking Shop: Ryan Tedder
Singer, songwriter and producer Ryan Tedder may not be a household name, but he has been inescapable in the charts and on the airwaves in recent weeks.

Ryan Tedder
Ryan Tedder had a hand in two songs currently in the UK top five
He fronts OneRepublic, whose song Apologize has been remixed by Tedder's mentor Timbaland and has reached the top five in the US and UK.

And Tedder wrote and produced Bleeding Love, the UK number one single sung by X Factor winner Leona Lewis.

He has also written and produced songs for Jennifer Lopez, Natasha Bedingfield, Chris Cornell and Paul Oakenfold.


How have you suddenly managed to take over the charts?

They say when it rains it pours, and that's how it's been. I was writing and having decent successes here and there, and then all of a sudden all this material that I've worked on for the past year has come out at once - Leona, Natasha Bedingfield, J-Lo, OneRepublic. It's just been non-stop.

What came first - being in a band or working on other people's songs in the studio?

When I moved to LA, I was penniless, absolutely beyond broke and in debt up to my eyeballs. I promised myself I had to make a living doing music or I'd be homeless. I sold my car to buy recording equipment. If there is rock bottom, that's where I was.

OneRepublic
OneRepublic release their debut album on 20 November
OneRepublic was my passion during the night, and during the day it was 'who needs a song, who else can I write for?'. The first year or two were very lean, and as I started to have more success with the writing, it happened to coincide with OneRepublic starting to connect.

I never would have predicted it but they both blew up at the same time, and I couldn't have planned it better or worse I guess. Now I'm super in-demand as a producer/writer but all my time is OneRepublic.

You started off by winning a TV talent show on MTV in 2000...

I had moved to Nashville and two months later, I was on MTV. I performed a song and two million people watching called in and voted. I won a record deal and got offered a big publishing deal.

And then two weeks after being on MTV, I was waiting tables picking up chips off the floor. It turned into nothing. It was all on paper - it wasn't real. It was just a bunch of hype that didn't turn into anything.

Would you advise someone to go on a TV talent show?

I would never advise anybody to make that their primary effort. That's the thing you do when you've tried everything else, and everything else didn't work. Looking back, would I do that show again? Not in a million years.

Timbaland
Producer Timbaland took Tedder under his wing
You have to be very careful with that stuff - obviously it worked out for Kelly Clarkson and it's working for Leona, but there's a backlash to it.

But the good news is that Timbaland saw me on that TV show and that's where the Timbaland thing kicks in. He watched that show and it took him a year but he tracked me down.

You've been described as Timbaland's protege - is that true?

I was with him from 2002-2004 to develop as an artist, but it turned out to be more like going to school for producing. I was already producing for other artists at the time, but being with him for two years stepped up my game a thousand-fold.

Then OneRepublic got signed and then dropped - that was probably the hardest part. Trying to come back from that nearly destroyed us, but that's when MySpace became critical. We were the number one unsigned act on MySpace.

MySpace kept us together as a band - we almost broke up but we kept getting e-mails from listeners saying 'Apologize helped me get through the worst relationship of my life' - countless e-mails from people whose lives were changed because of songs we were writing. E-mails like that make up for everything.

Give us an American perspective on Leona Lewis's talent.

Her voice without question is one of the best out there. There's always going to be room for the divas, the big-voiced female singers who sing huge songs that last a long time - the Mariahs, the Whitneys, the Celines. For Leona to work in the US, a lot of the songs will be the same but the packaging will be different.

If you're going to push that kind of music - big ballads and big songs - you have to be edgier, they can't be clean and polished, it just doesn't work in the States. I think the urban music scene has been so influential in the last five or 10 years that everything has a slight edge to it.

SEE ALSO
Leona Lewis storms singles chart
28 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
Talking Shop: Leona Lewis
23 Oct 07 |  Entertainment

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