OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder on Why Band Decided to Donate Proceeds from New Song to COVID-19 Relief
The musician, 40, explained in an interview with USA Today that his band recently released a charity song, “Better Days,” about “this time and space we’re in,” but only on the condition that the profits from streaming it will be donated to MusiCares, who have established the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Explained Tedder, “It’s a non-cheesy anthem about what it feels like now to be in this time and space we’re in. But the only way I could release it in good conscience was by donating profits to the Red Cross, because I feel weird saying, ‘Come buy my stuff, check me out.’ ”
The video features fans from around the world and gives a peek into how people are social distancing and giving back during this time of crisis.
During the interview, Tedder noted that OneRepublic’s latest album has been “delayed indefinitely until fall.”
Tedder previously told PEOPLE the album was slated for spring 2020.
“We tour in the summer, so we do have an actual hard deadline,” he said in November. “I don’t want to get past Memorial Day without an album physically being out.”
But the coronavirus pandemic has changed things, and Tedder now says the album will have to wait.
“Nobody can compete with the news cycle right now. And if you’re not doing that, you’re competing with Tiger King,” he told USA Today, referencing the hit Netflix docuseries. “We have this huge record that we wanted to drop in mid-May that we now won’t. It’s a summer song, it’s like the Beach Boys, it feels like it’s such a hit, but I’m not going to do it in the middle of a pandemic.”
RELATED VIDEO: Ryan Tedder Says Adele, Beyoncé, and Chris Martin Have Recorded a OneRepublic Song Together
“So much of what OneRepublic does is driven by television. We do a lot of TV, but at that point, the Today show canceled. Ellen canceled. Everything canceled,” Tedder continued later in the interview. “And I’m not going to go put out an album I spent the better part of 6 to 12 months working on in a vacuum.”
Tedder added to the outlet that the loss of people playing music to and from work is significant, as is the fact that many are choosing to listen to “familiar” songs versus new.
He said he has songs with other artists slated for the spring, all of which are now up in the air.
“I have a lot of songs with artists — Miley Cyrus, Diplo, Katy Perry — that were all supposed to be coming out in the next couple of months,” Tedder said in the new interview. “Some of them might, but I can tell you that every single artist I’ve talked with is sitting there going, ‘Well, what do I do? Is it going to be a tree falling in a forest?’”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.