Meet viral singer Tai Verdes

Tai Verdes was an essential worker with a nine-to-five job at a Verizon Wireless store in Los Angeles three months into the Covid-19 pandemic. Then he uploaded a song entitled “Stuck In The Middle” on TikTok, and it blew up until it spilled over to Spotify and topped the viral songs chart.

“Well, it was crazy because the biggest part was seeing it slowly, incrementally get bigger and bigger. It was never an overnight success. Every day, it got a little higher. I would be like, 'There's no way it's going to be 40,000 streams a day.' But then we got to 40, then 50 then 100 then it was doing 300,000 streams a day. I was like, wow, this is the song that people listened to. And now it's a cool feeling,” Verdes said about his reaction when the single became viral in a roundtable Zoom interview with the Philippine media.

The singer has TikTok to thank for his success.

The singer has TikTok to thank for his success.

Before this, the singer, born Tyler Colon, has tried everything from auditioning for shows like American Idol and The Voice, joining an MTV dating program to acting and modeling, waiting for his break since he dropped out of university five years ago. But he worked on his music late at night while working those jobs.

“I never knew that I wanted to be a full-time musician. I knew that I love music,” Verdes said.

His next single, “A-O-K” followed a similar path, having amassed more than 300 million streams, 1.3 million TikTok creations, and earning him #1 on Billboard's Emerging Artist Chart. The song climbed the charts, landing at No. 12 on Top 40 Pop Radio, and No.34 on Billboard Hot 100. In 2021, he released his debut album “TV” under Arista Records, which charted at No. 3 on Billboard Heatseekers and peaked at No. 5 on Spotify.

“TV was basically talking about the last four years of my life. Doing it in chronological order, from 1-13, and all the songs I went through, number 13 was A-OK because you got to get up and get positive about your mindset. That's what I think about when I'm trying to do my days,” Verdes said.

Last January, this chart-topping breakout artist released his newest single, “LAst dAy oN EaRTh.” The indie-pop track showcases Verdes' effortlessly cool sound with a catchy melody that makes for a timeless hit.

“It's just how I live life, making sure you're taking chances. Safety is an illusion. I know that people say that a lot. You don't know if you get everything you do the next day, so you might as well do that thing you've been thinking about. If you really like something, go do it. And then it will be really fun when it works out because you did it,” Verdes shared about the inspiration behind the single.

Verdes has TikTok to thank for the success he has been experiencing now.

“I didn't have access to anybody. I didn't have a network in the music industry. But TikTok let me put out a song that people like so that people would come and talk to me because of the internet. I think that ability is being overlooked right now by every single artist. This is where people are right now and will continue to be until the near future,” Verdes said.

But he has a different definition of success especially transitioning from your nine-to-five job to now having his album hit #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.

“Well, to be honest, I think it was just making something. I was just trying to make something, and I am still trying to make something right now. I'm thinking about an album. The best thing about this is that people are connecting, and I also learn about writing, TikTok and music videos. It is always good to have success, but I think I'm definitely in it more of the showing of the art. That's success to me anyway,” Verdes said.

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