Ryan Tedder Says His Son Knows What OneRepublic Songs Will Be Hits Before They're Released: He's 'Very Opinionated!'
Like father, like son!
It sounds like ‘s son, Copeland Cruz, has a discerning ear for pop hits, too.
“Both kids are obsessed with music. My oldest kid is very opinionated. He just turned 6 like two days ago, and he has his favorite songs,” the OneRepublic frontman – who teamed up with Motorola to launch the new Moto Z and Moto Mods – tells PEOPLE.
The Colorado native and wife Genevieve are also parents to son Miles, who will turn 2 next month.
“Kids like the basics: They like simple and catchy because they’re transitioning from nursery rhymes into modern music, so if I played him nine songs in a row, he will gravitate towards the one, without question, that is likely the biggest of those, or the catchiest – so he definitely has his favorites,” Tedder, 37, adds.
And while little Copeland keeps his dad in check when it comes to churning out chart-toppers (in addition to OneRepublic’s formidable canon, Tedder has also written and produced hits for everyone from Beyoncé and Taylor Swift to Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato), not all Top 40 artists are privy to the tot’s impeccable taste.
“There’s a lot of stuff that plays on the radio that he doesn’t like, and he’s very vocal about it. If he doesn’t like it, he’ll scream at me to change the station!” Tedder says, adding with a laugh: “There are a couple pop stars that he’s not a fan of – he doesn’t know who they are; he just hates their voice.”
Tedder and OneRepublic are putting the finishing touches on their forthcoming album, which is expected this year. The quintet released the anthemic “Wherever I Go” earlier this year and will soon release the second single, “Kids.” And Tedder is likely relying on his kids as they finalize the tracklist, which may include guests like Peter Gabriel, The xx and The Chainsmokers.
“I have a very small pool of my control group of people who hear stuff. I don’t ever tell them that they are the control group, but I’ve got a handful of guys and girls who historically – in the last eight or nine years – have picked all of our biggest hits, way before anybody else did,” says Tedder. “So I like to play stuff for them without giving them the disclaimer and gauge their reaction. It’s pretty accurate. It’s crazy. When you’re making an album, you’re far too close to it to have genuine perspective.”
While the LP is still coming together, the tracks so far – some of which they played for an audience at a Motorola launch event at Irving Plaza in New York on Friday – feature Tedder’s distinct vocals and slick falsetto and OneRepublic’s signature infectious hooks.
And this time, Tedder says the vibe was inspired by a variety of cultures, as the songs were written and cut all around the world.
“We’re recording in South America, Toronto, London, Paris, Moscow, Sydney – it’s been everywhere,” says Tedder. “We’ve just been traveling, so we record as we go. You really get to capture the energy of the city that you’re in, and it will come through in a lot of the songs. If you read the liner notes and see where we recorded something, it’ll actually kind of make sense. I don’t know how many countries at this point, but it’ll probably be more than 20 that we’ve recorded in.”
“Wherever I Go” is now available on iTunes.