How Tyler Adair became a YouTube sensation
Dec. 28, 2012
The storyline is as old as Adam and Eve. Girl meets boy. Girl falls for boy. Boy breaks girl's heart. Girl writes breakup song and posts it on YouTube. Of course it's ridiculous and borderline sacrilegious to think Eve ever did such a thing. The Garden of Eden only had dial-up, and Eve didn't have the patience.
That a college student went all Alanis Morissette following a painful breakup and wrote a song about the experience shouldn't come as a surprise. Neither should the fact it's become a YouTube sensation.
The surprise is that the song did not come out of UM's Music Building or from a trained musician. It came from the dorm piano at Miller Hall, and it came from a business marketing major. And she happens to be a Griz soccer player.
The evolution of California's girls in song -- and we're talking SoCal here please, nobody north of Santa Barbara need apply -- is a storied history. It started in the 1960s with the Beach Boys singing ballads of the state's blond, bronzed babedom.
Over time that sisterhood developed an attitude of independence. No longer were they content being in-song, on-the-arm eye candy for some surfer dude's summer romance. Four decades later they became their own messengers, with their anthem being Katy Perry's "California Girls."
"We're undeniable, Fine, fresh, fierce, We got it on lock."
Born in Long Beach and raised in San Diego, Tyler Adairis a card-carrying member of the Katy Perry era of the sisterhood, but she is so much more. She is Cameron Diaz crossed with Megan Rapinoe, but only if you throw in Celine Dion's pipes.
All of which makes the pressing question not who broke Tyler Adair'sheart, but why on earth would he?
Adair is not only bite-your-lip beautiful. She is a two-time honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference midfielder who played on an NCAA tournament team her first season and was part of Montana's Big Sky regular-season champion team last fall.
And don't forget the brains. She posted 3.86 and 3.62 GPAs her first two collegiate semesters. And don't forget the part where she is a coach's dream, someone Griz coach Mark Plakoruswishes he could bottle and then sprinkle into the cleats of each year's newcomers.
Some guy had all that and just let it go? Willingly? Seriously? Just know this: He's going to miss Tyler Adairone day.
That's the baseline message of Adair's song that went from random thoughts jotted down in a notebook to a rough draft created on the Miller Hall piano to a song recorded on Adair's computer and finally to YouTube, where it has had over 18,500 views since being uploaded in August.
And those hits can't all be family members and teammates.
"I would have been surprised if it got 10 views, even counting my family," she says. "It blows me away that people like it as much as they do."
People like Linkin Park. And they like Maroon 5 and (supposedly) One Direction. But Adair's song is something more. It connects with people, particularly her female fans, because who among them hasn't been through something similar?
And of course it's gonna hurt when you take it away
They aren't pop lyrics. They tell a deep, personal story, and when Adair powers through the "you'll miss me someday" portion of the chorus and later the line "I don't want leaving me to be anywhere near easy," it comes through with raw feeling.
It's not unlike the experience of listening to another singer.
"Adele is someone who is passionate in her lyrics. I think that's one of the reasons for her huge fan base and how popular she's become," says Adair, whose formal musical training was two years of piano lessons in grade school, the violin in fifth-grade orchestra and sixth-grade choir.
"There is a lot of passion in my song, because I cared about him a lot. Hopefully that message comes across to the listener. I hope they see that it is a song filled with deep care for someone, more so than a song about vengeance and bad feelings."
YouTube gets an average of 60 hours of uploaded video for every minute that passes. That's another 120 hours of cute cats and stupid human tricks just since you started reading this article. Yet Adair's video -- just three minutes, 48 seconds long, with nothing but a still shot of Adair on a beach somewhere to accompany the music-- somehow rose above the clutter.
It hasn't posted Psy or Justin Bieber numbers, but that was never the expectation.
"Once I had it on my computer I wasn't going to share it at all," she says. "Then I shared it with my mom and family and my friends back home, and they all said, `You should share this with people. Put it on YouTube and see what happens.' "
It's drawn comments -- grammarians proceed with caution -- like "Wow, girl you have a voice! you are gonna be famous one day" and questions like "can i buy this on itunes!?" All from a fan base seemingly oblivious to Adair's second Batman-like life as a Griz soccer player.
"It's inspiring, because I didn't know how much people would respond to it," she says. "It can be a scary subject to write about. Maybe I'm doing some good by giving people something to enjoy."
Click here to enjoy.
"You'll Miss Me Someday" by Tyler Adair
I never knew what they meant, when they said they're free falling while standing still
Cause you crushed me, kept me, held so, gently
Between you and me, we were perfect, we were breathless, we seemed worth it
And you... (chorus)
Sometimes I like to pretend that you're
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