Singer/songwriter and TikTok star Tai Verdes is moving up the charts with his hit “A-O-K,” from his debut album, TV. But a music career is something he finally settled on after trying acting, modeling, working in retail and even coaching volleyball. Luckily, Tai was able to support himself throughout — thanks to reality TV.
In 2017, under the name Tyler Colon, Tai was a contestant on season six of MTV’s Are You the One? and ended up winning $50,000. But he says unlike all those contestants on The Bachelor, Tai definitely didn’t go on the show “for the right reason.”
“I did it for the money completely,” he laughs. “I did it for the money, and I also did it for the platform.”
“I heard that you could win 50 grand. And I also had just dropped out of college,” he explains. “My parents stopped supporting me. So I was like, “I need money!'”
“I didn’t want to take any money from anyone, so I was like, ‘The quickest way that I can get fifty thousand dollars is this crap shoot audition for this reality TV show,'” he recalls. “And I ended up getting it and living in LA for two years and being able to try different things. With a little bit of money behind me, [it] was great.”
Tai eventually focused on music after COVID-19 shut down some of his other career options. He began posting songs to TikTok. One of them, “Stuck in the Middle,” took off, leading to his record deal and, now, “A-O-K.”
As Tai notes, “I would not change anything that I did in my past, but it’s just crazy how things work out.”