“I Ain’t Worried” ’bout the “Young Folks”: Why OneRepublic gave a Swedish band a writing credit on their hit

When you heard OneRepublic’s hit “I Ain’t Worried,” from the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack, did it sound familiar to you? You’re not the only one. The band’s Ryan Tedder says there were concerns that the song sounded too much like the 2006 hit “Young Folks” by the Swedish band Peter Bjorn and John — so he gave them a songwriting credit.

“Somebody at the [record] label or Paramount Pictures heard [‘I Ain’t Worried’] and they go, ‘Oh, it reminds me of Peter Bjorn and John,"” Ryan tells ABC Audio. “We went and listened to the Peter Bjorn and John record — and I love that song ‘Young Folks’ — and I listened to it and I was like, ‘They’re completely different."”

He points out, “The most similar thing is their song starts with a whistle, and then the verse melody is the whistle. Ours starts with a whistle: totally different melody, totally different verse.” 

However, Ryan explains, “We were like, ‘Man, I don’t want to release a song and then have like 9 million people be like, “Oh, you’re copying ‘Young Folks."”‘ So we just did what I hope was the right thing, because I love them. And we reached out ahead of time and just said, ‘Hey, we’re going to give you a piece of this song."”

“They were very cool about it, very appreciative,” Ryan tells ABC Audio. “And I mean, it’s turning into a global smash. So I hope they can buy vacation homes with it! I hope they can live their best life. I hope that they make a bunch of money and that they enjoy having the credit.”

He adds, “I’d love to write a song with them actually for their next album because I’m a big fan.”

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