LOS ANGELES — Much like Adele, said Ryan Tedder, Beyonce “steers the ship.” And the award-winning producer/songwriter has some idea of just where that ship is going.
Tedder was speaking with press at the 2012 Grammy Awards after picking up an honor for contributing to Adele”s Album of the Year, “21,” and his nomination for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. Asked what his next projects were for 2012, he said that B.o.B.”s next single would be out this week, and he”s had his hands on music for K”Naan, Gavin Degraw and some “Beyonce stuff.”
He said it goes “without saying” that Bey”s work will have some reflection on her newborn child Blue Ivy, but that “the conversations about her next album literally just happened.”
“You feed her the best that you have. She”s just a phenomenal filter… she can identify what the next thing is,” Tedder said of the “Party” girl, noting that she has “two projects happening” this year. “You just let her go.”
Tedder went on to describe witnessing the moment when Adele”s vocal cords gave out during her Denver concert last year, and the gutted feeling he had when she was forced to cancel her remaining tour dates. He was very proud of the way the British singer bounced back for tonight”s performance, and felt that “one billion percent” of the reason that radio, the Grammys and just about everybody else has reacted to “21” the way they have is because of it”s “real music” appeal.
He explained his method of scanning the U.K. and U.S. hits charts once a week, taking note of how few artists are actually performing on instruments, or singing pop from a laptop.
“There”s not going to be a bunch of Adeles,” he warned, though labels may still try to push similar artists. “Any time the pendulum swings, it”s looking for one thing — one artist, one song — to swing it all the way to the other direction. I love Deadmau5 and Max Martin. [But] I like to see actual instrumentation, less laptop hits.”
The organic process behind his work with Adele sometimes started with just an instrument and a conversation. For “Rumour Has It,” Tedder said he was playing around with a Radiohead riff, and Adele was explaining some of her frustrations with tabloids and gossip, literally using the phrase, “”Rumor has it that Adele…””
“When I handed the songs in, I said that this is the least radio stuff I”ve ever done,” he said, expressing his shock that radio took to his contributions “Rumour Has It” and “Turning Tables” so fervently. “This is my favorite stuff I”ve done.”