Some people you just know have charisma and talent the very first time you see them. Spoiler alert: Tai Verdes is one of them. Verdes or Tyler Colon has managed to unlock the sacred to success. He says just be yourself and aim to make music that makes yourself feel good. “Tai Verdes is someone who’s trying to do some dope shit. That’s all I’m trying to do.”
Regarding his stage name, he says, “The inspiration behind my artist name is, my name is actually Tyler, but people call me ‘Ty.’ I took ‘Ty’ and made it ‘T-A-I.’ I added the ‘I,’ and made it sexy. And then ‘Verdes’ because I lived in Palos Verdes for a little bit.” Well, get used to hearing that name because Verdes is already making a name for himself. He’s proven that spending less time worrying about stream numbers and just diving into songwriting and making music he’s passionate about has been his focus recently.
Well, that method sure seems to be paying off. Tai Verdes has skyrocketed in popularity thanks to TikTok, where his track “Stuck In The Middle” went viral.
“It still doesn’t feel real. Everything has been ‘imaginary’ in a way because I’ve been away from it — It’s all been through screens. Who is really counting the numbers on Spotify? I don’t really know what that means, but I do know that people have messaged me saying they’re connecting to the songs. That’s the best part.”
In a global pandemic, people messaging about connecting your music is essentially getting a big hug from a fan saying how much they enjoyed the show. Verdes has managed to connect with his fans virtually but is ready to meet them in person. “The biggest thing is probably shows. Nothing can replace meeting someone in person. I just want to make sure that every time I meet somebody, that they feel like they matter.”
Beyond The Stage chatted with Verdes before his first live festival performance at the always-amazing Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, Illinois, last month. “This is my first time playing with a band,” Verdes says.
“Particularly, this band is going to be the band that I go on the Quinn XCII [Stay Next To Me] tour with. It feels really good. I think the best part about this is we made sure that I was the worst person on the stage. I want to be with people that inspire me. I always want to be learning from people. And I want to compete with the best, so we have to hire the best.” Well, if he’s the worst person on stage, it’s sure to be an impeccable show, that’s for sure.
On top of his killer talent, part of Tai Verdes’ success comes from a dating show and a love of marketing.
Yes, a dating show is what launched the singer-songwriter’s career. “It was to do things that I liked just to try stuff. I did stand-up comedy, podcasts, modeling, acting — I did that for $50,000, and I lived on that shit in a living room for four years. I documented it, so you can see it happening. So, whenever my documentary comes out, it will be kind of crazy.” That documentary is sure to be a hit if it ever sees the light of day.
Tai Verdes has always been vocal about the fact that solid marketing is crucial for up-and-coming artists.
“I think it’s all relative, right? If you’re complaining about not being big enough, then you need to market. If you’re complaining, figure it out and be creative all the time; otherwise, you’re not going to be able to compete with everyone else. I’m going to be trying to help other people who want to be creative and promote.
“Are you trying to connect with people? That’s the biggest thing. I want to make it so that when I put out a song, any of my songs, they all have a chance to connect. I want my ideas to be shared,” he says. Marketing can always be tricky as a new artist. You want to grow your fan base but don’t want to come off as ingenuine. Verdes will be a great mentor as he has managed to balance that from the very start, and his following has only grown more and more.
“I really want to do everything that I can because it’s all fun. I just want to do things that make me feel. I have a very short attention span, and I don’t like doing shit that I don’t like.” Verdes isn’t afraid to try new things in life, and he’s lent this to his writing as well. He names Childish Gambino, Kanye West, Brent Faiyaz, Dominic Fike, Billie Eilish, Tyler, The Creator as strong musical influences for himself. He says, “Anyone who keeps a personality over the years like you know who they are, but they’re also comfortable with changing their style or sound — That’s awesome. I want to be like that. I am going to be like that.”
Tai Verdes definitely has put in the work to be like that and has been working hard for his career since he was young. “I played piano for 13 years. And then, after piano, I picked up the ukulele when I went to college — I was trying to be the ‘douchey ukulele guy.’ And then I’ve been playing guitar and learning for the last three years. I think I’ve had a lot of experience with different types of music, listening to everything and playing instruments that I don’t really play just to see what I can do with it.” His experimental style is exactly what has elevated his music so early in his professional career.
Earlier this year, Verdes dropped his debut album, TV. The album’s breakout single, “A-O-K,” was met with critical acclaim and currently has nearly 70 million streams on Spotify alone. On the recording process, he says, “TV was like a year and a half project that I tried to tell a story with. It was a hard process because I didn’t know how much music I wanted to put on the project, and then I ended up at 13 songs telling my entire story as a diary from front to back. I hope anyone who listens to it just feels okay to have and feel the same thoughts that I do.”
Now that he’s dropped his album and is back on the road, what’s next for Tai Verdes?
He says, “Only thing I can say… dope-ass shit. That is it.” Whatever form it may take, it’s sure to prove successful if Verdes believes in it.
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