Whether it be on TikTok or Instagram, you've definitely come across Tayler Holder before. Well known for his involvement with the TikTok Hype House collective, acting on Brat, and music creations, Tayler is synonymous with today's modern internet star.
The mega-Gen Z star has accumulated a mass following on all platforms and is only about to get bigger.
The Teen Magazine had the chance to sit down with Tayler and have a talk on his life—ranging from his rise to fame to his future plans, we discuss it all!
So, does fame actually impact a TikTok star's life? For Tayler, it's undeniable. "It's impacted my personal life tremendously," he exclaims. "There are ups and downs for sure, but I would say it's allowed me to live out the dream I've always dreamed of and pursue what I'm really passionate about."
photo by @nolanomura
However, Tayler's rise to fame wasn't an overnight fluke. "It was such a long process, honestly," he explains. "I started making videos when I was 16 back in my hometown, but never really did anything with it. I mean, I've raced motocross my whole life, but when I turned 18, I told my mom, 'Mom, I want to move to LA.' I literally had no followers, no nothing, no idea if I could actually do it. Then, a year or two after I moved here, I started making a little bit of an income. But it wasn't until TikTok came around until it really took off.
It's funny because I used to watch all the OG's back in the day, thinking, Yo, that would be so crazy to have a million people watching my videos. Never in a billion years did I imagine it would happen to me. I still remember the day I hit a million followers. It was on my 21st birthday, and I was doing a birthday bash in Texas—music, party, all the good stuff—and at midnight I must've gotten the notification. I had been sleeping then, but suddenly, I woke up to all my friends jumping and screaming on my bed in celebration."
The Good And The Bad
Unsurprisingly, there are two sides to being in the limelight. Tayler admits, "I have this habit of never being satisfied, which I realize is both a blessing and a curse. I guess that's part of why I'm so successful? When I hit one million, I thought, dope, now I want to hit two million."
Unfortunately, the insatiable pit of success and fame isn't the only hardship.
Like anybody with a large platform, Tayler's had his fair share of haters, criticism, and, of course, cancel culture. "I had a super tough time with it at first because, naturally, I want to be liked by everybody, you know? But that's impossible when you bare yourself to everyone online. It killed me at first, not being liked, especially on TikTok. TikTok is the most brutal platform I've ever been on in my life. The comment section? Brutal.
Maturing and growing up over the years, I realized they're judging someone's life through a digital screen. A ton of people think I'm a sh*tty person and a ton of people think I'm a sweet guy. I can never be exactly what they want to see, so I don't hold myself to that impossible expectation anymore. That's all out of my control, and I've accepted it.
After all, they don't know me—they don't know my personality, my personal life, my actual being—they just see those short videos online. I've learned to push it all out of my mind though; I don't even go through comments anymore. The problem a lot of people have is that they don't know how to let go and forgive people for their past actions. Seriously, cancel culture is insane. The person I was when I first moved to LA years ago? That's definitely not who I am now. I was a kid, just trying to figure out how to do life."
photo by @seankennedytv
What's more, sometimes the people that hurt you most aren't unkind strangers but superficial friends. "Ah, fake friends," Tayler muses. "It's bound to happen to anyone, but especially when you're in the spotlight as much as someone like me. It's awful because often it's the people I trust the most or am the closest to that are the ones that stab me in the back."
"I was always a big music kid," Tayler tells us.
"I played so many instruments: piano, guitar, saxophone...the list goes on. I can still see myself as a kid, listening to my favorite pop stars, dreaming of the day that I would be able to make my own music.
And I know it's a whole thing now, the so-called influencer to music artist pipeline, people criticizing that all the TikTok stars think they can make music now. But, I think there's a big difference between just another influencer making music versus an influencer who genuinely loves creating something musical. I know that there are some influencers out there who do it for the quick, easy cash grab, but honestly, there's no longevity in doing something you personally don't feel passionate or proud of. I honestly don't think it matters that much whether my music is super good or bad, whether it ever becomes successful."
"I genuinely love making music—I want to do it for the rest of my life."
- Tayler Holder
To fuel his musical passions and dreams, Tayler looks to many pop and rap inspirations. From the modern legends, "definitely Justin Bieber and Drake," to the Billboard toppers, "Bryson Tiller, The Weeknd, and Shawn Mendes" to talented peers, "The Kid LAROI, he's a good friend of mine and I love everything he's doing right now."
But, there's one artist that Tayler holds a bit closer to heart than others. "Bieber for sure influences my music the most—I've listened to his work for as long as I remember. He's someone that has helped me without actually helping me, music and vocal-wise.
I'm definitely not a natural singer; I was actually a sh*t singer when I first started, but I just sang every single day, watch vocal warm-ups and lessons on YouTube, studied Bieber's live performances and runs like they were homework, mimicking the skills and technique until I could improve," says Tayler.
photo by @seankennedytv
"And it's so crazy because now, we kind of know each other," he adds, "Like obviously, we're not 'boys boys', but we have tons of mutual friends and I've seen him around every so often. And as someone that comes from a super small town, I still get starstruck by all this stuff."
A Cowboy Childhood
Tayler grew up a Texas boy through and through. "I lived in Alvarado, TX, a super small town: think population 3000-4000. My dad and I used to team rope on horses together—yes, I was a cowboy. I would walk around in my boots, spurs, and cowboy hat, the whole outfit. I've also been motor racing since I was three years old, and I still do it now, though usually on pit bikes on small trails just for fun. I have six or seven of those, and also more race bikes and street bikes."
However, it's a bit difficult to find evidence of Tayler's adventurous upbringing on his TikTok page, as he "rarely posts about it."
photo by @briandoherty
"Back when I did post about it, I was in this bad mindset focused solely on getting views, views, views. And the harsh truth is, people usually start following me because of my looks. At first, that stressed me out because I always had to look great everywhere, trying hard all the time to keep it up," says Tayler, "I mean, I do so much stuff that nobody even knows about, but most people just see me through the "f*ckboy" persona, so whenever I start posting the sports I do, it doesn't do as great. Because of this, I tend not to post about it as much."
Now, Tayler has a much more free-spirited view of his content and self-expression. "I just post whatever I want. I wear overalls and Crocs if I want. It's so much easier to not care about everything everyone says."
Music Is The Future
Equipped with an empowering creative philosophy, Tayler has been able to turn his attention to his music.
His favorite type of music to listen to may be a surprise considering his admiration for cool, male rapper figures. "It's actually really funny because whenever I'm in the car with friends, I'll turn the volume up with rap on the aux, but when I'm by myself, all I listen to is sad ballads. Think heartbreak, crying, tears. I guess it's because I'm a singer myself and I can hear the emotion and feeling the artists pack into the song."
Being able to claim that singer identification has been a huge source of pride for Tayler. "I'm really happy for getting my first two songs out and being able to start re-routing my career from TikTok influencer to making music. I know I haven't done a whole ton with music yet, but I'm so grateful I've been able to release the two songs I do have, and I have loads of stuff coming out in the future."
"As far as music, my mindset is that I'm going to become one of the greatest musicians in the world. It may not ever happen, but you need that self-confidence to give you that extra push."
All About The Fans
"My fans and I have a pretty special relationship: it's like a friendship or even family without knowing each other. We talk sh*t with each other, we laugh together, we celebrate together. I'm very close with some of them, the ones that have been there DMing me since six years ago."
For his beloved fans, Tayler shares some valuable advice on how they can become influencers on their own.
photo by @seankennedytv
"Just be 100% you. When I first started, I posted myself on the internet, except it wasn't really myself, it was who I thought people wanted to see. That's why I respect even controversial people like Tana Mongeau because she has the type of attitude I could totally get behind, like this is me—f*ck with it or don't. Don't just do the same content that everyone else is doing, because that gets old, quick. I follow a lot of the same trends that everyone does but add my own unique twist to it to make it cooler and more me.
And the main thing is consistency. You're not going to grow if you only post once a month; when I was increasing my following the most, I was posting like 5-6 times a day on Instagram and 1-2 times on YouTube."
photo by @seankennedytv
Although Tayler has countless musical inspirations, he refrains from choosing any social media ones.
"I don't have a favorite influencer. If I did, I would be constantly comparing, obsessing over all the places I didn't measure up. But, to be honest, no influencer is perfect, and none of them, including me, should be put on a pedestal. I just try to be the best me I can be every day. Instead of worrying about other people, I look up to myself and the person I hope to become."
Quick Q's With Tayler
1. What is your go-to Chipotle order?
Brown rice, both beans, barbacoa, corn, hot sauce, sour cream, and lettuce. It's fire.
2. What is your favorite TV show?
My favorite TV show is on Netflix. I can’t say which one but you might be able to find me somewhere on that platform in 2022 so keep your eyes peeled!
3. What is the strangest encounter you’ve had with a fan?
It wasn't even a fan, it was a parent, during a meet-and-greet. I'm just going to leave it at that. Some fans...should practice restraint a little bit, haha.
4. Dream travel destination?
I really want to go to Iceland. Bangkok, Thailand, is my favorite place I've been to though.
5. If you were to collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Drake or Justin Bieber all the way.
6. What is your most successful pick-up line?
I'm actually the worst at pick-up lines. If I were to slide in someone's DMs, I would probably send the classic "heyyy :)".
7. What is one thing you wish more people knew about you?
That I do music! I feel like everyday people are like "Wow, I didn't know you made music." I hope that one day my music is the main thing I'm known for.
8. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Probably skydiving out of a hot air balloon. I've skydived ten times, but the hot air balloon was the craziest one I've ever done. I wasn't strapped to the instructor yet, in an untethered balloon going to over 9,000 ft, so yeah, I was freaking out.
9. Do you have any major regrets?
I wish I would've been more serious sooner. I guess this is also some bonus advice: don't sit on it too long. Time moves fast, and you get older in the blink of an eye. I moved out here six years ago, but it feels like six months. But on the other hand, it's so easy for people to beat themselves over something that has already happened, so if you feel like you missed out on something, don't. Whatever happened, happened. Instead, look forward and move on from there.
Keep Up With Tayler
This interview has been edited and condensed. Thumbnail cover photo by @nolanomura.