OneRepublic are one of American pop's hottest properties. The group with a catalogue of relentlessly catchy tunes that seemingly press every mainstream button going, were formed by Ryan Tedder and Zach Filkins in 2002. They pair who met during their senior year in high school in Colorado Springs first shared their musical ambitions as the core of This Beautiful Mess who, true to their name, played just one disastrous talent show and broke up a week after they were conceived. The duo put it down to experience and vowed to spend their time finessing their skills as musicians and songwriters before making another leap into the limelight. Tedder's immersion in the songwriter's craft soon began to pay dividends. Between junior and senior college he triumphed with his song 'The Look' in an MTV-sponsored songwriting contest and was offered a record deal with Free Lance Entertainment, but walked away from the opportunity. He wanted something deeper and felt that he still had more to learn. In 1999 he moved to Nashville where he secured an internship at Dreamworks SKG and learned what it takes to become a good songwriter, while literally singing for his supper on a number of demo recordings. Part of the intense learning curve involved deconstructing hits chord by chord, a process that saw him become enamoured with songwriters as diverse as Diane Warren and Bono. Yet Tedder also had a burning desire to return to the stage. Innovative hip-hop producer Timbaland, who had first seen Ryan competing on MTV, offered him a production deal and a chance to work together. He spent the next two years polishing his studio tan in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, likening the experience to going to college for production as he worked with A-list stars including Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
While Tedder consorted with the stars, Filkins had been busy completing a degree in aerospace engineering at college in Illinois. However, his passion for music was far from dormant and fully rekindled when he reconvened with Tedder at home in Colorado Springs. In 2003 the duo moved to Los Angeles with the express intention of forming a band and making their way into the charts. Nine months later they had signed their band Republic to a short-lived deal with Columbia Records and solidified a line-up with Tedder on vocals, Filkins on guitar and backing vocals, Eddie Fisher on drums, Brent Kutzle on bass and Drew Brown on guitar. When the Columbia deal ran out they changed the name to OneRepublic and became the first rock act signed to Timbaland's brand new Mosley Music Group label, launched in cahoots with industry behemoth Interscope. 2007's debut Dreaming Out Loud lived up to its title when the Tedder/Filkins composition 'Apologize' peaked at number two on Billboard Hot 100. The hit single version was in fact a remix fashioned for the album Timbaland Presents: Shock Value, the producer's latest all-star collection, that broke airplay records in the UK and sold an astonishing standard-setting 4.3 million digital downloads in America alone. Once promotional duties were completed Tedder kept working hard in the studio, writing songs for other artists including Leona Lewis's breakthrough hit 'Bleeding Love', Blake Lewis's 'Break Anotha' and Jennifer Lopez's 'Do It Well', while also undertaking production work for hip-hop acts Baby Bash, 2Pac and Bubba Sparxxx under the pseudonym Alias.
Despite 'Apologize' becoming one of America's top-selling singles of the 00s, OneRepublic still had an image problem as a squeaky-clean boy band. It was something that 2009's second LP Waking Up went a long way to redressing as a new maturity seeped through its closely produced grooves. An incredibly infectious set whose plangent choruses saw them lodge three more top 20 top US singles with 'All The Right Moves', 'Secrets' and 'Good Life', the latter was soon adopted by several advertisers and dubiously anointed one of the 15 best whistling songs of all-time by Rolling Stone magazine. They band supported the album with arena dates backing Pink, Bon Jovi and Maroon 5. After a three-year hiatus OneRepublic returned in 2013 with Native, boasting a new passion for electronics and a more club-oriented sound. This was particularly pronounced on the lead single 'If I Lose Myself', a song Tedder was inspired to write after the band returned to play the Coachella festival in 2012. Other efforts such as 'Something I Need, 'I Lived' and 'Counting Stars' were clearly designed to keep core listeners firmly on-message. 'Counting Stars' proved particularly potent, spending 34 consecutive weeks inside the UK top 40 and gave the band their best opening week sales in America. Soon after its release they embarked on headlining tour that ran throughout 2013/14 and saw OneRepublic perform all across the globe, with North American shows accompanied by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles and Irish stadium hands The Script. With dates scheduled to finish in Russia in November 2014, it seems the only way for OneRepublic is up.
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