Validating is the least of it, for this up-and-comer who made it to Hollywood week on American Idol and then took it to Singapore to record his EP, which was released in May and you can listen to below.
Tao started singing in junior high, after he gave up the piano after seven years. “I wanted to do something in music, so I tried out for choir. I’m sort of an introvert who wants to be an extrovert, so my first year I was quiet, but the next year I had a solo.” From there, he ended up in any number of school performance groups (“I’m thankful for the music program at my school, he shared), and his teacher helped him land in a music program for college.
“I learned the basics of opera, but I always knew I wanted to sing pop” he explained. After an early graduation, he spent six months singing on cruise ship before his move to L.A.
“I had a crappy apartment and a restaurant job, but I had to find a way to keep singing. I learned that, even when you don’t want to do something, to just do it because you don’t know where it might lead.” After a meeting a producer on Craiglist (“That NEVER happens.”), the rest is sort of history.
“It took me a long time to start writing [original songs] because I was involved in so many A Capella groups, but it’s a great thing and an interesting thing to do — I’m still learning — but I want to connect with people.” and that’s the best way to do it. He’s also playing live shows, which are “a mix of originals and covers,” because he also wants to please the crowd.
“There are so many things to keep in mind,” while doing this, he shared. “But the main thing is to have a tough skin and confidence, because there’s a lot of rejection and criticism. Also, networking. You never know when you’re going to meet someone who can help you, or when you’ll be able to help them” back.