A year after a socially distanced version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the long-running holiday tradition returns in full force – and Tai Verdes is helping to make the 2021 edition the best one yet. The 26-year-old entertainer has amassed a following on social media and on the radio. He’ll be riding on the Jennie-O float, which is shaped like a giant turkey with a Thanksgiving surprise under its hat, and performing his song “A-O-K.” “Honestly,” Tai told ABC Audio, “they could put me on any float and I’d be happy” (per KS95).
For Tai, this is an opportunity to reach a larger audience than his 1.9 million TikTok followers or the millions who have streamed his songs on Spotify, Tidal, or Apple Music. “It’s always really cool to see the different steps that you can take to be exposed to more people,” the California native said to ABC Audio.
“It’s kind of cool, especially with something like the Macy’s Day Parade, to see something that I’ve seen for years and be a part of it.” He also stated that he isn’t too upset that he will be spending the holiday away from his family and on the other side of the country. “My family usually just eats dinner together; we don’t have any crazy traditions, so I’m not missing out on much.
“”But I’m also going back and having a ‘Thanksgiving dinner’ after that — like, Saturday and Sunday,” he explained. Here’s what you need to know as the rest of the world prepares to eat their own turkey dinner and watch Tai in the parade.
1. Tai Verdes Is A TikTok Star & MusicianTai grew up in Southern California, where he was born Tyler Colon. Tai has always had a passion for music and has learned to play the piano, guitar, and ukulele. He went to Babson College in Massachusetts and played basketball there. He dropped out after his love of music triumphed over his desire to be the next big NBA star (among other factors). (We’ll get to that later.)
2. Tai Failed In 2020Tai’s success occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic’s lockdown months in 2020. His song, “Stuck In The Middle,” found an audience and began to gain popularity. It has over 85 million subscribers on Spotify alone as of November 2021.
Tai started 2020 sleeping on a friend’s couch while working at a Verizon store, so his success came almost overnight.” I’ve listened to a lot of different types of music,” he said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife. “And I believe that combining my sound with a variety of other sounds means — that’s how you get those interesting products.” Because I want to make music in places where it is a scarce resource.”3. He’s Had a Run-In With The Law In The Past”I just signed up for a random reality TV show and won $50,000 to live in LA for two years,” Tai told HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview in July, shortly after releasing his debut album, TV.
While Tai prefers to focus on his present and future rather than his reality TV past, he isn’t ashamed to admit that he auditioned unsuccessfully for American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent. “I wouldn’t even go past the first producer,” he joked.4. Tai operates on his own terms.”
There is some stuff that you have to do that is unavoidable,” Tai said of the musician’s life, “but in terms of overall important things — I’m not making songs I don’t like.” I’m working on my music. I’m promoting in the manner in which I want to promote. I’m marketing in the manner in which I want to market. My team is made up of people I handpick because I believe in curating good people. So that’s how I feel.”TikTok is one of the keys to Tai’s success.
Tai, who has nearly two million followers (as of November 2021), has used the platform to connect with fans, showcase new music, and simply let his personality shine through. “I’m not pretending to do anything,” he explained to HollywoodLife. “This is what I really enjoy doing.” This is what I prefer to wear.
It’s what I actually enjoy singing. I honestly believe that because I’m doing me, and it’s genuinely the essence of me in all of the songs.”5. He’s a Southern California native.
Tai dislikes the cold weather. “I’m too cold to go to New York.”
“I dropped out of school partly because it was too cold and miserable out in Boston,” he explained to HollywoodLife during an interview. Fortunately for Tai, the forecast for his scheduled appearance in the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Holiday Parade included a “heatwave.” Thursday (Nov. 25) was expected to have a high of 53 degrees Fahrenheit before dropping to the low 40s for the rest of the week.
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