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Sometimes timing, hard work, and luck all find their way into the same arena – and in this case, Tai Verdes was ready to shoot his shot. This 24-year-old pop/alternative singer-songwriter is a lesson in believing in yourself and your work. His recent single “Stuck in the Middle” hit number 1 on the Spotify US viral chart within 30 days and was put as the cover of Fresh & Chill as well. Currently, Tai is working on his debut EP, which is sure to be something to get hyped about. You can find Tai working at a Verizon store in the LA area, making TikToks about his story, and singing in his parking garage. 

Not only is he finding success during unprecedented times, but he is also doing it with no marketing budget. Instead he is showing that independent down to earth artists can find their footing even in a deeply saturated market with enough charisma and dedication.

 The song itself is the perfect summertime song to vibe to if you need something to brighten up your mood. It tells the story of being stuck in the middle of a relationship between being lovers and friends –  with all the complexities of the situation. “Stuck in the Middle” feels like staring at the sunset on one of those days when the truth comes easy. Get to know Tai better below as he talks about the sudden success, authenticity as a new artist, and how he has managed to find space for his music in all the online noise.

How are you today?

I’m doing a lot better nowadays. So today, I’m beautiful.

How has the process of your song doing so well on Spotify been for you?

Surreal. Nothing has changed in my day to day life… but when I check the numbers sometimes that shit doesn’t make sense.  I don’t think I’ve ever done a million of anything… maybe blinking?

What’s your favorite lyric in the song? 

Probably the line “friends turn into sleepovers and sleepovers turn into love.” There’s no one on this planet that can tell me that shit isn’t 100% accurate.  I was really in a flow of honesty when I wrote this song. 

What does authenticity as a new artist mean to you? 

Everything. I think some artists like to bend the truth in order to make the song more entertaining. Something like “she kissed my lips then I saw stars.” That’s cool and I think there’s a place for that in music, but I also think that the more honest a songwriter is, the more a listener can connect with the strong reality of the lyrics

Outside of music how have you filled your time over the years? 

I thought I was going to be in the NBA.  I always had illusions of grandeur.  I played basketball in college and that schedule is no joke. Took up all my time.

How has it been working on getting people’s attention for your music with no financial backing? 

To be honest good music always finds a home, with or without financial backing. What I try to do is respond to every single person that interacts with my song/comments/dms/anything just to show how much I appreciate them taking out time in their day to enjoy something that I created.

How do you feel about working on your debut EP this year? 

I’m more impatient than anything. I had a whole release schedule planned and was ready to GO.  Then “Stuck in the Middle” blew up and I had to focus on marketing one song.  I didn’t want to distract listeners with another single right away. So all my plans flew out the window… but good problems are always welcome! 

If you could sum yourself up in three words, one quote, and a color what would they be?

Three Words: Just. Stupid. Enough.

Quote: “The most influential people listen, please everyone, and always ask permission” – said no one ever

Color: I’ve never had a favorite color. Don’t plan on choosing one today. 

Is there anything you would like to add? 

I just want to say this interviewer is great.  So professional. She’s making me feel way more important than I really am hahaha.



photos + story / Weslee Kate

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