|Birth name||Adam Nyerere Bahner|
|Born||July 6, 1982|
|Occupations||singer, actor, announcer, musician|
Adam Nyerere Bahner (born July 6, 1982), better known by the pseudonym Tay Zonday, is a American musician, voice actor, and film actor. He entered mainstream exposure when his song "Chocolate Rain" and accompanying video on YouTube became a popular Internet meme in July 2007. By late February 2010, it had over 48 million views.
In July 2007, Zonday went from a grad student in Minneapolis, Minnesota to appearances on national television. He appeared on the Opie & Anthony Show, G4TV's Attack of the Show!, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Lily Allen and Friends, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Maury where he performed "Chocolate Rain" on national television a little over three months after he posted his composition on YouTube. He made the front page of Sunday's Los Angeles Times on August 12, 2007 with additional features in The Toronto Star, The Chicago Tribune''s RedEye, The Star Tribune and People and has appeared on CNN for a televised interview. He also has appeared on Fox News. On February 12, 2008, he appeared on the television show Lily Allen and Friends on BBC Three, and performed a cover of Lily Allen's debut hit "Smile". In March 2008 this popular video won a YouTube-award in the category "Music", and he was also spoofed in the South Park episode "Canada on Strike".
The Australian Daily Telegraph newspaper wrote: "Tay Zonday has written perhaps the most listened to song in the world right now." People said: “He's scored a YouTube hit with his repetitive, keyboard-driven "Chocolate Rain", and after a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Tay Zonday's star is shining even brighter.” The article also noted that celebrity musicians paid tribute to the song as its popularity rapidly peaked in August 2007. Singer John Mayer reportedly mimicked Zonday's keyboard riff with his guitar in concert, along with appearing on Best Week Ever improvising a parody to the tune of Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right". Green Day drummer Tré Cool recorded a cover of "Chocolate Rain" which he posted on Youtube. Zonday also became the subject of thousands of other parodies and remixes on YouTube. A clip of his video was also shown on CW11's Online Nation, a new series. Zonday has been interviewed twice on Good Morning America, in March and November 2008.
A singing tip in Guitar Hero World Tour advises the player to "move away from the mic to breathe in." Zonday has also been referenced in episodes of The Office, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 30 Rock and South Park.
Zonday starred in a commercial for Comedy Central's "Last Laugh 07", hosted by Lewis Black. He released a video titled "Cherry Chocolate Rain", in a promotion with Dr Pepper. He starred alongside Leslie Hall in a commercial for Firefox. singing a song entitled "Users Against Boredom" in a parody of We Are The World. He appeared in-person at Intel's Consumer Electronics Show booth, rendering the source files of the "Chocolate Rain" Youtube video in Sony Vegas.
The Grammy-winning music video for rock band Weezer's single "Pork and Beans" featured Zonday along with other YouTube celebrities in May of 2008, spoofing his appearance in "Chocolate Rain"; as well, he performed an acoustic version of the song with Brian Bell of Weezer.
Zonday was featured on the "Jace Hall Show," where he was comically interviewed at a famous Hollywood restaurant in a play on the dissonance between internet-fame and the traditional entertainment industry.
Zonday, who is of European and African descent, was a graduate student in American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2007 when he first came to attention. When asked about his racial identity he remarked:
The straight-faced answer is that I'm Martian. They don't have a box for me on the census form. I'm the write-in candidate that the government leaves no space for when you have to choose your race. Seriously, is race something you choose? The whole point is that I don't choose it. It is somebody else's shortcut to my soul. So journalists ask "what's your background?" like I'm supposed to retell someone else's story about me as though it's a fact of who I am and where I come from. As long as I talk about myself in fiction that someone else wrote, I might as well write my own fiction: I'm from Mars. Most believe the story that I'm a black mulatto.
He attended the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy between 1997 and 1998, leaving after his sophomore year. He then went on to earn his undergraduate degree at The Evergreen State College. He has said that growing up, his parents did not allow him to listen to popular music. When music downloading services such as Napster came around, he began to secretly build a small collection of popular music. Zonday makes many references in interviews as to how much he loves his parents.
Tay describes himself as a "musical orphan", having no influences and not feeling particularly connected to any musicians or bands. Tay says his voice is often compared to Paul Robeson, Barry White, James Earl Jones, and Brad Roberts of the Crash Test Dummies.
|Birth name||Adam Nyerere Bahner|
|Born||July 6, 1982|
|Origin||Minneapolis, Minnesota, US|
|Genres|| Outsider Music |
Adam Nyerere Bahner (born July 6, 1982), often called by the pseudonym Tay Zonday, is an American keyboardist. His song "Chocolate Rain", and its YouTube video, became a popular Internet meme in July 2007. He has won Youtube Awards and Webby Awards.