OneRepublic’s “Sunshine” Lyrics Meaning

Honestly speaking, there appears to be a lot going on in OneRepublic’s “Sunshine”. But in terms of its primary message and motif, well for starters the titular “sunshine” can be said to be synonymous with happiness. Therefore, when the vocalist speaks of “throwing out the shade” in the chorus, what he is referring to is forsaking depression and rather adopting a more edifying disposition. 

And that is in fact the thesis sentiment of this piece. It touches on the narrator going about conscientiously practicing positivity thinking, while traditionally his mind is more negativity oriented.

But this isn’t one of those just-do-it songs when it comes to practicing “good vibes”. Instead, the vocalist apparently concludes that being hooked on social media isn’t that good for his mental state. Or he perceives the likes of Instagram or what have you, i.e. those sites that are filled with “selfies”, as in fact propagating selfishness. 

So, as relayed in the second verse, it isn’t like he’s going to try to force himself to suddenly think differently. Instead there are certain external influences that he seemingly deems have to be minimized in the name of achieving that goal.

“Sunshine” gets more Positive and Interesting

There is also a lot of allegorism going on in the bridge. The allegorical statements are actually so plentiful that it may be best for us not to attempt to tackle certain lines directly. But again, it appears as if the singer has concluded that a changed way of thinking also requires a modification in certain external acts. Also now that he has found the right path, if you will, he is hitting it full throttle.

But then at the end of the bridge comes what is perhaps the most interesting line in this entire narrative, all things considered. Here, Tedder asserts that he “probably should’ve really got a feature”. We will presume that is a reference to a featured artist, as said term is commonly used in the music industry. However, instead he’s been “saving up the money, because it’s better for business”.

Now of course Ryan Tedder is in fact a musician who commonly collaborates with his ilk. So it is possible that such is in fact what he’s speaking to. Simply put, opting to save money as opposed to hiring a collaborator(s) to be featured on this track. And whereas him making such a statement may not be particularly head-turning in and of itself, if nothing else it definitely stands out in relation to the rest of the narrative. 

But it is also possible that said assertion itself is a metaphor. It might be symbolic of the vocalist’s resolve to prioritize himself more, or something like that.

All in All

Even with the aforementioned phrase aside, “Sunshine” does a moderately good job of putting its main point across. On one hand you have to admire the writers for trying to cram so much into a self-help pop song. But on the other, now we see why perhaps similar pieces tend to stay relatively simple. Either way, the listener may still walk away being inspired to accept the idea that thinking negatively is simply not the way to go.

Lyrics of "Sunshine" by OneRepublic

OneRepublic and “Sunshine”

OneRepublic is the musical act fronted by Ryan Tedder. They are arguably the most notable boy band, if you consider them as such, to have thus far come out of the United States this century. A major part of that popularity is attributable to Tedder. He has even collaborated with a ton of other A list musicians outside of the group.

With this track being released on 10 November 2021, OneRepublic had actually come out with an album, Human, just a couple of months prior. However, at its release “Sunshine” it is not affiliated with any of their own projects. It rather serves as part of the soundtrack to a children’s film that was released stateside on the same day. The film in question goes by the title Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Beside Tedder, the other credited writers of “Sunshine” are:

  • Brent Kutzle
  • Zack Skelton
  • Tyler Spry
  • Casey Smith
  • Noel Zancanella

And the trio of Tedder, Kutzle and Spry also produced the track.

On the Clifford the Big Red Dog (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) also appears Madison Beer’s “Room for You”. And likewise, according to its playlist as delineated on Genius, BTS’s 2020 megahit “Dynamite” also makes an appearance in the film.

As noted earlier, Tedder is OneRepublic’s lead singer. From 2012 going, he has been backed by the following musicians:

  • Zach Filkins (guitarist)
  • Drew Brown (guitarist)
  • Brent Kutzle (guitarist)
  • Eddie Fisher (drummer)
  • Brian Willett (keyboardist)

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