Let’s just get right to it: in a world of blink-and-you-miss-’em one song social media wonders, Tyla has what it takes to be the next truly big thing.
“Water” is a global smash, yes, but the 22-year-old South African supernova herself has a kind of undeniable X factor that suggests she’s capable of going the distance beyond one hit with a viral TikTok dance challenge. Just watch her move in the music video for “Been Thinking,” or watch her Colors Studios performance of “On & On”: with just a microphone at her disposal, she’s undeniablty captivating.
It’s giving Aaliyah. It’s giving Rihanna circa 2005. That’s a star, baby.
As one of the leading artists being amapiano to the forefront of the music scene globally, Tyla feels fresh, exciting and truly new. (The Grammys voters got the memo, too: she just became the youngest African in history to win a Grammy, taking home the first-ever Best African Music Performance award for “Water.”)
In any case, the great hurdle for any new artist on the up with a big hit is the follow-up…but I don’t suspect Tyla’s going to have an issue keeping it moving.
Case in point: “Truth or Dare,” the Sammy Soso-produced sultry kiss-off track dedicated to a flake who’s suddenly interested in coming back into Tyla’s life and treating her special now that she’s thriving. It’s perfectly timed for the present moment, as she’s living the very experience she’s singing about. (“Can’t handle what I am now, you’re a fan now, and I’m not what I was…“)
Although her Grammys win (rightfully) has dominated the headlines at the moment, the accompanying music video for her latest single also dropped over the weekend, and it’s only further evidence of her sheer wattage.
Directed by NABIL (the man behind the videos for FKA twigs‘ “Two Weeks” and Dua Lipa‘s “Don’t Start Now,” among many others), the clip finds Tyla seemingly getting dolled up to head out for the day with the fair-weathered flame – only to psych him out and go on a joyride with a bestie instead.
A hot pursuit quickly ensues, as Tyla remains unbothered, casually taunting him and leaning her head out the window, Hereditary-style. (Careful, queen!) He’s hot on their trail, resulting in some light Fast & Furious-like action, a police chase, and even a genuinely intense last-minute race across the train tracks, all leading up to him finally cornering the duo on the highway. But with Tyla’s powerful seduction skills and unbelievable hip work at play, he’s no match..and left key-less and Tyla-less at the hands of law enforcement. Light work for our girl.
With her debut studio album on the way on March 22 (complete with an incredible album cover), as well as her debut headlining Tyla Tour kicking off in March in Europe and stretching through North America this spring, I do believe we are witnessing a superstar in the making.
Photo credit: Jeremy Soma