Tai Verdes broke through on TikTok with his viral hit “Stuck in the Middle.” Now the 25-year-old California native has tens of millions of streams, a record deal and a radio hit with “A-O-K.” Tai says it all happened because he decided to challenge himself.
“I went in knowing that I wanted to make my TikTok a promotional app — I just didn’t know for what,” explains Tai. “When I saw Curtis Waters do a dance to his song [‘Stunnin’] and it went viral, I was like, ‘I don’t want to do that dance. But I still think I can make myself go viral with a song, by just putting out content and promoting it.'”
So, after honing his vocal skills for several months, Tai posted “Stuck in the Middle” on TikTok last year, and, yes, it went viral. That led to a deal with Arista Records, and his debut album, TV.,
“[ It’s] kind of awesome that I just tried something and it worked…it all came to fruition,” says Tai.
As for “A-O-K,” it’s about keeping a positive outlook, and treating each day as though it could be your last.
“You have to be like, ‘If this is going to be the last day, I might as well think that this is a great day,’ because that’s way more fun,” he explains.
Later this month, Tai’s playing Lollapalooza; in September, he’ll tour with Chelsea Cutler and Quinn XCII, before headlining his own tour in November. But right now, Tai feels like he hasn’t seen any actual proof that he’s, y’know, famous.
“Everything that’s happened to me is imaginary — these numbers are imaginary,” he laughs. “When I go to Chipotle now, the workers smile because they know who I am. So that’s probably it!”
(Video contains uncensored profanity.)
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.