Tyla “Water” song made history as the first award winner in the Best African Music Performance category at the 66th Grammy Awards. Tyla’s rise to prominence began with captivating performances on TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her dance routines and song covers attracted a considerable following, setting the stage for her debut song, “Getting Late,” with Kooldrink, in late 2019. The accompanying music video quickly went viral, surpassing all expectations.
In 2023, Tyla, now signed to Epic Records, unleashed “Water” as the lead single from her forthcoming debut album.
The song gained traction on TikTok, propelled by dance videos choreographed by South African dancer Lee-ché Janecke. The 22-year-old artist is the first South African soloist in 55 years to grace the US Billboard Hot 100 since Hugh Masekela’s “Grazing in the Grass” in 1968.
“Water” historic splash into Billboard Hot 100 peaked at No. 7, making Tyla the highest-charting African female solo musician in Billboard history. The song also claimed the top spot on the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs and Hip-Hop/R&B charts.
The international acclaim for “Water” continued as it climbed the charts in sixteen countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. Her accolades include not only a Grammy but also nominations for a BRIT Award, a Soul Train Music Award, a MOBO Award, and two South African Music Awards.
Born into a family of five as the middle child, Tyla embodies a rich blend of Indian, Zulu, Mauritian, and Irish heritage. Her passion for her homeland, its diverse culture, and its music resonates deeply within her. Initially pursuing a degree in Mining Engineering, Tyla made a pivotal decision to follow her true calling—music.
Her love for music became undeniable, prompting her to leave engineering behind and fully commit to her musical aspirations. Her victory is not only a personal milestone but also a groundbreaking achievement for the representation of African music on the global stage.