- Words Nick Lowe
- Photographu Bianca Nicdao
LA-based singer-songwriter and TikTok’s latest phenomenon, Tai Verdes, is skyrocketing into a realm of his own, and he’s in it for the long haul.
Rewind a year, and you’ll find Tai Verdes working a 9-to-5 job, oblivious to the fact his life was about to transform from one week to the next. TikTok has propelled a plethora of emerging talent into the homes of millions of users around the world, making its virality one of the most sought-after goals for musicians. Fortunately, his perseverance rewarded him with the gift that would ultimately change his career forever.
After posting a series of TikTok videos, users began to pick up on his innate style, which was when his breakout single ‘Stuck In The Middle’ began to take flight across the platform. Landing #1 on Spotify’s US viral chart and accumulating more than 60 million streams and 2.3 million TikTok video creations, the online hype surrounding his authentic talent translated into real life. Tai was able to leave his job and find his own apartment while casually amassing one of the most viral songs of 2020, collecting a newfound following of loyal and engaging fans along the way.
His sudden acclaim and visibility aren’t unjustified, in fact, it’s the complete opposite. Though only at the start of his musical journey, his soundscape for storytelling radiates a sense of relatability that both eases and lifts the listener simultaneously. Blending elements of indie and bedroom pop, Tai crafts a sound that resonates like a scorching summer’s day as you sip on an iced beverage of introspection and harmony: an atmosphere that is needed now more than ever.
Still riding on the high, his latest single “DRUGS” and its accompanying visuals show Tai reminiscing on his experimentation with weed and psychedelics. It’s an extra piece of a puzzle that adds to the real-time unfolding of an artist who is currently bracing to take 2021 by storm.
“I’m vulnerable, off the sleeve. Relatability is important to me. I write songs that tell stories.”
One that we’ll definitely be watching, Tai tells Notion that the EP set for release this Spring is his way of telling a personal story as if it were a TV show. What to expect? Acoustic guitars, 808’s, emotional maturity, and a shot of serenity. In conversation with Notion, Tai Verdes discusses life before popularity, how TikTok helped shape his musical journey, and what to expect from his upcoming EP.
Before the release and success of your debut single, describe a day in the life of Tai Verdes.
I worked as a sales rep at a Verizon Wireless store. I was helping people figure out how to work their phones. Every day, I would wake up, get dressed, and go to work and write music when no one was in the store.
Tell me about your musical journey. Has LA always been the dream?
Looking back to this time last year, is there anything you would tell your current self?
On the other hand, is there any advice you would give to aspiring singer-songwriters?
What is it that draws you to the indie/alternative sound?
How old were you when you wrote your first song? What was it about?
Lyrics or melody – which comes first?
How has TikTok’s popularity altered and ultimately affected your career journey?
What did your close friends and family have to say regarding this newfound success?
Who are some of your favourite artists you’re listening to right now?
“BAD BAD News” is the title of your upcoming single. What inspired the song and why is it important that this particular track is next to be released?
What themes and messages are you hoping to portray through your debut EP?
I’m just trying to tell my story. I add some bells and whistles, but essentially this is just my story if it were a TV show.
Describe your 2021 vision.
The vision is me being happy. Sharing the music and being happy.