"Counting Stars" is one of the biggest hits of OneRepublic's career, but if things had gone a bit differently, that song could have ended up as a Beyonce single.
In a video interview with Billboard, frontman Ryan Tedder says that he was finishing the song -- as well as other tracks for OneRepublic's album, Native -- on the Greek island of Santorini, and at the same time he was working on material for what would be Beyonce's recent self-titled album.
"For, like, two seconds, I was like, 'Is this for Bey...?'" he recalls. "And I was like, 'No, this isn't. This isn't a Beyonce song.'" Lucky for Ryan and the band, since "Counting Stars" has gone on to sell some four million copies in the U.S. alone.
As for why Ryan was working on "Counting Stars" in an exotic location like Santori in the first place, he tells Billboard , "If I think I have something that I love, that feels huge, that just feels like it's inevitable, I wanna finish this in a place that's special. I wanna finish this somewhere that inspires me." Adding that he and the band had been trying to arrange to record in Santorini for three years, Ryan says, "I thought, 'This is the perfect place to finish this song.'"
Thanks to hits like "Counting Stars," not to mention the other songs he's co-written for Beyonce, Maroon 5 , Kelly Clarkson and Adele , Ryan is very well-off financially, but he says he tries to put that out of his mind. When Billboard asks him what he spent his last royalty check on, he explains, "I have this weird, jinx-y thing, where if I start thinking about that, and I start focusing on how much I'm making...[it'll jinx it]."
Of course, that doesn't mean that he completely ignores his finances. "At the end of every year, I ask my business manager, 'What did I make this year?'" Ryan reveals. "And my goal is to match or beat the year before. And that's it."
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