Tai Verdes Is On Top Of The World

Tai Verdes Is On Top Of The World

Tai Verdes Is On Top Of The World

Get familiar with this name: the emerging singer-songwriter releases his debut album, TV, today.

Get familiar with this name: the emerging singer-songwriter releases his debut album, TV, today.

Photography: Angelo Kritikos

Text: Sam Tracy

There’s something about an overnight success story that enamors us all, capturing us in entrancing tales of superstardom seemingly achieved in just hours. Painted as a result of star-aligned serendipity, these stories are the ones we all love to hear the most but often are the most misunderstood.

Such is the case of Tai Verdes.

His journey to star status tracks back a few years. Four years ago, the 6’7 former college basketball player had big dreams — bigger than he could achieve on campus. He dropped out of his university and began his grind to make a name for himself in music, testing out various avenues to break into the industry. First, there was modelling. Then, there was a stint on MTV’s reality show, Are You The One?. Finally, musical releases under the name “Tylersemicolon”. But none of the endeavors garnered the traction he was seeking. That is, until last year.

In May 2020, the Southern California native changed his stage name (“‘Verdes’ because I used to live in Palos Verdes, it’s where I'm from. And “Tai” because people already call me ‘Ty’. I added an ‘i’ because it's sexy,”) and began broadcasting his music on social media. Unsigned and juggling a full time gig at a Verizon store, music was his side hustle. He set a goal of releasing ten tracks by the end of the year. But before he could achieve such a feat, Verdes was bitten by virality.

His lucky track, “Stuck in the Middle” landed him on everyone’s radar, blowing up on Tik Tok for its sheer relatability. Verdes filmed himself sitting in his car alone, listening to a snippet of the freshly recorded single with a promise to release it in full at 1,000 likes. Lyrics of situationships and the riddle of navigating modern dating as a young 20-something struck a chord with a generation jaded by the sometimes messy, very confusing and often lawless landscape of love. Verdes’ easy breezy harmonies attracted millions of likes and tens of millions of Spotify streams that convinced the burgeoning musician to delay the release of the other nine songs. This new musical project of “Tai Verdes” had finally hit the sweet spot.

“Music is a forever entity. You have to want to sing your songs,” explains Verdes. “I think that a thing that's missing from my old artist project is that if someone were to be like, ‘Go sing those songs on stage’, I don't know if I'd be as excited about it as these songs that I'm making now.”

Fast forward to today, almost exactly one year post-Tik Tok fame and seven singles under his belt, Verdes releases his first full length album, TV, the foremost installment of a four-album quadrilogy along the likes of Ed Sheeran’s ➕, ✖️ and ➗ series. Verdes’ 13-song tracklist maps out the last four years of his life — highs and lows, love and loss included. Noted for his genre-bending melodies and falsetto-filled singles, Verdes’ musicality is hard to pin down to just one category. His lyrics thus far have read like a positivity mantra. Take his latest single, “A-O-K”, in which Verdes reassuringly reminds himself to keep on keeping on. “I’ve had terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days,” he sings. “But Imma G, can’t you see, that I will always be a-o-k”. 

Fans have come to love him for his unmistakable optimism. Up until now, each Tai Verdes track has been a happy pill, a breath of fresh air. But the 25 year old singer-songwriter is ready to introduce himself on a deeper level as seen on tracks like “i deserve 2 b alone” and “fake prophet” that unveil his emotions on those no good, very bad days.

“Right now all of my fans are people who are trying to feel good. I really can't wait to expand and show the sadder perspective because those are people that listen to music, too. I also listen to that type of music and I know how that music hits and it's a different feeling,” Verdes confesses. “If an artist is all happy, that shit gets old. No one is happy all of the time. I get that happy is a thing but also sad is a thing. And also melancholy is a thing. And also sexy is a thing. I can't wait to do all of them.”

The happy-go-lucky image of Tai Verdes has been thoughtfully curated with each single, preferring to release the more positive tracks as a soft introduction to himself and his sound. Fans have become familiar with his upbeat vibe and now he feels ready to introduce the “sadboy-esque” side of himself, too.

“I think there's not a lot of light being shed on the people that were fed this narrative of ‘In order to be happy, you have to do life a certain way’, and then you do it that way and it's not happiness,” says Verdes. “Then you're like, ‘What the fuck, everybody?! I thought you guys were supposed to be happy!’. In reality, everybody's sad as fuck.”

Even after a record deal has been secured and an album now released, the grind never stops for Verdes. Just hours after the drop of his first album, Verdes has already released tour dates for fall 2021 and confirmed the completion of his second album. He plays a simple numbers game, constantly producing content to win listeners over to the fandom.

“I think it’s super important for artists to just put out something that's good enough. If you just put out something that's good enough, you'll eventually get better,” Verdes relates, refusing to ever get in his own way. "My mentality is to make as much content as possible. Let's give it out. If I don't got you with this song, I'm about to get you with the next four albums.”

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