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Ryan Tedder    

Ryan Tedder

Ryan Tedder came to us live from his 1963 airstream in his backyard to have a conversation with our co-founder Peiman Raf. They had a conversation about how COVID has reminded them both how we are not in charge, and we have an obligation to leave Earth in a better shape than we found it. 

TO START, P ASKED RYAN HOW HIS LIFE IN QUARANTINE HAS BEEN? WHAT’S THE ROUTINE LIKE NOW? 

Ryan explained, “the routine now is definitely more mellow and less frantic, especially when you have kids. We have chilled out. Cooking way more.” He genuinely wants to come out of this having taken the time to feel like he accomplished something. “Since there is so much dark stuff happening, it would be nice to come up on the other end thinking you got in the best shape of your life, or you quit smoking, or you learned Spanish, etc.”

He is also working on a lot of music and two films right now. He has no shortage of things to do, but he is doing them a little calmer since he’s at home. 

NEXT, PEIMAN SAID “WE’RE TRYING TO BE AS OPTIMISTIC AS WE CAN AND THINK ABOUT HOW WE CAN DEAL WITH THIS MENTALLY. HOW HAVE YOU BEEN FEELING AND WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED TO GET BACK TO A NEW NORMAL?”

The global pandemic hit at a bad time for Ryan, who was just returning home from a two week trip and upon finding out he had been exposed to two very sick people, had to go straight into a two week quarantine. Those extra weeks away from family was the hardest part. 

However, it gave him the time to realize, we’re not in control but it’s okay. We’re all in the same really weird patch of nasty weather together and knowing everyone is affected by it makes him feel better about our connectivity together. 

Peiman agreed and noted it’s similarity to mental health! We all have our own experiences and it very much puts everyone on even ground. That’s what optimism is about: trying to control what you can and not letting things that you can’t bring you down. Just trying to move into the future with a new perspective on things. It’s harder to be optimistic when things are going wrong and now is that time to test our optimism. 

A VIEWER ASKED IF THE NEW ONE REPUBLIC ALBUM IS STILL COMING? 

The album is not coming in May anymore, sadly. They spent a year and a half preparing for it and gearing up for it; they even released a song three weeks ago on the very same day the WHO declared a global pandemic. For most artists, this situation has been hard for everyone. When you release something during this, it just feels wrong. It’s the right time for music, but it’s not the right time to promote buying a new album or merch. We’re postponing for now and waiting for when it feels like the right time to do it. 

Peiman agreed that music wise he’s sticking to what he knows and what feels good, he’s not really listening to new music right now. It makes more sense to feel nostalgic and connect to something you know and love. Ryan is listening to music that is familiar to him too! Like, Vampire Weekend or Swedish House Mafia. 

THEN, RYAN ASKED PEIMAN WHAT WE ARE DOING IN LIGHT OF THIS NEW WORLD?

P responded that from the beginning the theme of Optimism has been the light of our brand. Our founders grew up with brands that felt not very welcoming and they were trying to do the opposite of that. As they started to do that, they began engaging more more in the space of mental health. Now, we’re just trying to keep that going and offer more online content for everyone at home. 

UPON RYAN’S MENTION OF OUR ‘SO SORRY NO WIFI’ HOODIE, P ASKED RYAN WHAT SONGS DID HE WRITE THAT HE FELT GOOD ABOUT BUT DIDN’T NECESSARILY EXPECT TO BLOW UP AND BE AS BIG AS THEY WERE? 

He’s had it happen both ways - songs he thought were a smash that didn’t go that way and songs that he didn't expect to blow up that did super well. He got told his very first hit ‘Bleeding Love’ wasn't a hit by two different record labels!  As we all know, it ended up blowing up - going straight to number one! So, that surprised him. In fact, One Republic got dropped as a band by Colombia records with ‘Apologize’ and ‘Stop and Stare’. Then, both of them hit number one on radio, and became one of the number one selling songs at Interscope Records! 

EVELYN ASKED RYAN, “WHO IS YOUR DREAM VS. PRODUCER SHOWDOWN?” 

Such a good question! Max Martin vs. Timbaland. Or, Max Martin vs. George Martin (when he was alive, of course).

SARA ASKED RYAN, “WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MADHAPPY HOODIE?”

He likes to wear Colette the most, specifically the white one, since Colette means something to him as a store and cultural zeitgeist in Paris. He’s been going to Paris since he was 17 and touring as an artist since 2008 and they would always go to Colette. It’s where he discovered streetwear! 

RUTH ASKED RYAN, “ANYONE LEFT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST OF PEOPLE TO WORK WITH?

The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder (again!), Florence & the Machine, and Calvin Harris. And if Oasis would ever get back together!

PEIMAN ASKED, “WHAT WOULD YOU LEAVE PEOPLE WITH TO THINK ABOUT DURING THIS TIME IF THEY ARE FEELING DOWN OR IN A FUNK?”

One of Ryan’s favorite quotes is “this too shall pass”. We will come out of it. Another quote is, “who among you by worrying has added one day to their life or one foot to their height?” That always puts things into perspective for him. Worrying is the opposite of joy and once you realize you can control it, that shift in perspective is releasing.