Featuring prominent piano and vocals in front of U2-inspired anthemic rock songs, OneRepublic formed in 2002 around singer/pianist/producer Ryan Tedder and lead guitarist Zach Filkins. The two quickly left their home base of Colorado Springs and relocated to Los Angeles, where keyboardist Drew Brown, bassist and cellist Brent Kutzle, and drummer Eddie Fisher joined the lineup. OneRepublic then signed with Sony BMG’s Columbia label in 2003; three years later, however, the band returned from a performance at Coachella to find themselves dropped from Columbia’s roster.
Nevertheless, their popularity continued to soar on MySpace, and OneRepublic soon became the most popular band on the social-networking site. Hip-hop producer Timbaland (with whom Tedder had previously worked as a song doctor on several projects) took notice of the group’s growing audience and signed them to his own Mosley Music Group, a joint venture with Interscope Records.
Timbaland also remixed one of OneRepublic’s most promising tracks, “Apologize,” and included it on his spring 2007 album Timbaland Presents Shock Value. The song quickly became a platinum-selling single in many countries, breaking records in the U.K. (where it was crowned the most popular song in radio history) and the U.S. (where it received more airplay than any other song in Top 40 history). Later that year, OneRepublic made their official public bow with the full-length Dreaming Out Loud. – Andrew Leahey & Stewart Mason