From Selling Phones to Selling Out Concerts, Thanks to TikTok
How a young indie artist, with no ties to the music industry, made it big with the help of TikTok videos.
Let’s Rewind Back To The Beginning:
Tai Verdes is a 26-year-old singer songwriter artist who grew up learning to play multiple instruments such as piano, guitar, and ukulele.
Raised in California, Tai Verdes went on to study and play basketball for Babson College. During this time, he had aspirations to play basketball in the NBA.
However, sometime during college, Verdes realized his true dream in life was to become an artist, and he ultimately decided to drop out and pursue a career in music.
Surprisingly, one might credit the pandemic to his early hard work; Verdes stated that having to quarantine meant that there wasn't much else to do other than work on his music. Therefore, he became fully immersed and plunged himself head-first into his work.
Around this time, he decided to apply to appear on the MTV dating show "Are You the One?" and actually ended up winning the show as well as $50,000.
While working hard on his new music, Verdes was working and selling phones at Verizon Los Angeles, as well as working other jobs in order to make ends meet.
His strategy was to work during the day and focus on his music at night, when he would spend hours hunting on YouTube for new beats. Eventually, he fell upon the instrumental, which would later be used in one of his hit songs, 'Stuck in the Middle.'
After multiple unsuccessful attempts at entering singing competitions such as The Voice and American Idol, Verdes persisted and stayed focused as he was determined to make it in the music industry.
He decided he simply needed to try a new approach. If at first you don’t succeed, "change your name, maybe get a fucking haircut, and try it again," he says. So, he sang in his car for over an hour every single day for a duration of 6 months to work on his singing ability, which was not yet up to par with his songwriting
Path to stardom
In August 2020, he finally got the big break he was working so hard for with the help of the social media platform, TikTok. Being based on user-generated content, users tend to post lip sync videos and various TikTok challenges.
Hoping to appeal to TikTok users, Verdes posted regularly, with his video content consisting mainly of teasing new music.
He also tried his hand at TikTok music marketing promoting his pop music and reaching out to multiple influencers to feature his music in a video.
Eventually, Verdes posted July that year a video in of himself singing his original track "Stuck in the Middle," captioning it with "If this gets 1000 likes, I’ll put this song out." (Check it out here.)
It's safe to say he definitely got more exposure than he thought he would, as the video received over 4 million views, with multiple well-known TikTok influencers posting their own videos to his track.
After years of hard work, he became just one of many new artists who benefitted from TikTok, the social media platform with an incredible ability to promote music.
Thanks to his newfound virality, Verdes ended up gaining over 1.7 million followers on TikTok, and he was able to create a music video to top the trending song. This new boost of popularity meant he could finally quit his job to pursue a career in music.
Watch the TikTok performed here, where Verdes calls his boss and informs him that he is quitting his job.
His original song "Stuck in the Middle" was written and inspired by being in a rocky relationship with a girl he was seeing at the time.
The meaningful and poetic lyrics resonated with his fans. Verdes stated that his fans were able to connect to his song on a deeper level and could relate to how he felt during his limbo relationship.
"When I talk about something so specific that happened literally just to me and then I get hundreds of DMs that the same thing happened to other people, it really makes you realize how human everybody is."
Now getting a better sense of his target audience, and a taste for what the people wanted, he immersed himself into the development of his first album, 'TV.' The overarching principle being that it's his "life as a TV show, with each one being a different episode," meant that each song was unique and could appeal to a wider audience.
Where is he now?
His hit song was not only popular with TikTok users on social media, as this popularity spread to multiple music streaming services.
For instance, 'Stuck in the Middle' has been streamed on Spotify over 118 million times and currently has just over 7.1 million monthly listeners.
Furthermore, he has an impressive profile on Apple Music. As a result, he has reached verified status on other social media platforms, and currently has a whopping 781k followers on Instagram.
With this newfound fame, Verdes became the target of multiple record labels and eventually signed with Arista Records. Furthermore, ever since his initial viral TikTok video, he has gone on to release multiple albums and singles.
One of his more recent songs, ‘A-O-K’, is a single from his debut album, 'TV'. Currently, it has been streamed over 274 million times on Spotify. In May 2021, his song managed to
peak at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
TikTok Music Promotion
Verdes is just getting started in his musical journey and is ready to show more of the world what he has to offer. He has gone from selling phones all day to making it on the music charts and signing with multiple record labels, all thanks to the help of TikTok music promotion. He really has been able to show aspiring independent artists out there that determination, creativity, and a vision to succeed can go a long way.
Once again, TikTok music promotion has demonstrated its incredible ability to turn struggling artists into stars with nothing more than a viral video. TikTok is currently the leading social media platform, promoting your music on TikTok is essential for every artist. TikTok content is created by the millions every day, and featuring your music in some of these videos could be a game changer for artists.
Verdes himself was amazed that, through the use of TikTok music marketing, he "turned my little balcony song that I wrote in two hours into public information because of TikTok - it’s just wild." For TikTok promotion services as well as those for Spotify playlists, YouTube channels, radio stations, blogs, and labels, you can check out our platform, One Submit.
"If you’ve got songs you haven’t released, you’re just waiting, put them out," Verdes says. "Everyone needs to take their shot as many times as possible. At the end of the day, it’s all lottery tickets. You've got to fucking get one."
Read more: Visit our blog to learn more about TikTok Music Promotion