OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder Wrote This Song for His Son – And Now the Remix Will Help Fight AIDS

Tedder is collaborating with Coca-Cola and (RED) to benefit AIDS research

Photo: Courtesy Onerepublic

When your dad is a mega-producer, songwriter and the lead singer of OneRepublic, you can be fairly certain that you might have a song written about you at some point – so it’s no surprise Ryan Tedder’s 4-year-old son Copeland Cruz can already cross that one off his bucket list.

OneRepublic is working on a global campaign with Coca-Cola and (RED), the organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise awareness and funds to help eliminate AIDS. The group will be releasing an original (RED) remix of their single “I Lived” from their 2013 album Native, and all proceeds will go toward benefiting The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

“The whole idea, to quote the late great Robin Williams from Dead Poets Society, is very much ‘carpe diem,’ ” Tedder, 35, tells PEOPLE of the song he penned for his son. “That’s the song – that’s what it’s about.”

When it came to working on the campaign, Tedder, who is close with U2 frontman Bono, says that “the synergy was just kind of a no-brainer in this situation.”

He adds: “It made sense. The nature of our song ‘I Lived’ lined up with the whole theme of their campaign.”

While the original idea was to create a new song from scratch, the musician says that with the rare exception, these songs don’t always live up the ones that already exist “because they’re done in a rushed, hurried manner.”

Instead, the song was remixed by DJ Dave Audé, and according to Tedder, “it’s absolutely universal and applicable to everybody.”

“One of the lines in the song is ‘With every broken bone, I swear I live,’ ” quotes Tedder. “So for every day that you’re on this earth, for every minute that you have, the whole idea is doing nothing less than exactly what you feel you’re supposed to do and squeezing every last drop out of life every day, regardless of the difficulties or trials that you face.”

And while he might not “understand all the subtext and the lyrics because he’s 4,” Tedder’s son Copeland “knows the song is about him” – and he’s a fan.

“He loves it. He loves this song,” he says. “He’s always into whatever is the most recent song that we’ve done. So right now, he walks around singing ‘Love Runs Out’ cause that was our last single. Before then, it was ‘Counting Stars,’ and now it’ll be ‘I Lived.’ ”

And how will he react when he hears the remixed version?

“I think he’ll dance!” says Tedder with a laugh.

The song will be released on Nov. 24, right around the corner from the holidays.

“I’m thankful that I have a job that allows me to live to the absolute maximum and that I have a healthy, happy family,” says Tedder of what he’s grateful for. “Those two things – even getting one of those things I think is a victory.”

In addition to lending their voices to the campaign, the group is offering one lucky fan the chance to spend the day with the band and enjoy VIP access to a show.

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