Who Is Tyla? The South African Artist That's Taken Over TikTok With Song "Water"
Culture & Entertainment

Who Is Tyla? The South African Artist That's Taken Over TikTok With Song "Water"

If you’ve hopped on social media, particularly TikTok, lately, then you’ve probably heard Tyla’s song “Water.” So far, the song has been used in over 500,000 TikToks, and there’s even a “Water” dance challenge where people are mimicking the singer’s dance moves from her music video. The song’s virality has landed it at No. 9 on TikTok’s Viral chart. While “Water” would be considered her breakout hit, the South African singer has released other singles like her first song, “Getting Late,” in 2019, “Been Thinking,” and “Girl Next Door,” featuring Ayra Starr. She even opened up for Chris Brown on the European leg of his “Under the Influence” tour earlier this year.

The international artist opened up about her sound in an interview with Time. “I knew I wanted my sound to be a mixture of pop, R&B, Afrobeats, amapiano,” she said.

With all the talk on the internet about Tyla and “Water”’s popularity, it's time to find out a little more about the 21-year-old singer.


Dc @Litchi #tyla

Dc @Litchi #tyla

Tyla’s South African

Tyla Laura Seethal was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and she always had dreams of being a singer. “I’ve always been like a big dreamer, but it never used to be a reality for us, especially in South Africa,” she said in a video for Spotify Radar. “Like there’s not a lot of people that make it out. Growing up in Johannesburg gave me my edge, amapiano is growing, I’m so proud. Just being from South Africa, it’s just a flex.”

Tyla Revealed She’s A Little Shy 

The “Water” video shows Tyla in a sensual light, which she revealed was somewhat out of her comfort zone. “I really wanted to create a video that felt organic. I wanted something that felt hot and steamy,” she told Essence. “This is something new for me. I was kind of shy, but I mean, we made it work.

Tyla’s Musical Inspirations Include Michael Jackson, Rihanna And Wants To Work With Drake

In an interview with Real Life Street Stars, Tyla revealed that her music inspirations are Michael Jackson, Tems, and Rihanna. Later, she further explained how she would like to model her career after the "Work" artist. “I look up to Rihanna. She’s done an amazing job, and I hope to one day be on that level and even bigger.” She also shared her dream of working with Drake, saying that “he’s such a diverse artist” who has successfully crossed over to multiple genres.

Tyla Likes To Draw In Her Spare Time

Outside of music, the “To Last” artist shared that she also likes to draw. “I draw…but I don’t say it because I always feel like one day people are gonna have a drawing competition, and then I’m like, now, put on the Picasso out, and I’m not on that level,” she said to Real Life Street Stars.

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Feature image by Jason Mendez/Getty Images

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