Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Tyla emerges with a club-ready and infectious debut


Release date: 22 March 2024
Tyla Tyla cover
23 March 2024, 09:00 Written by Amaya Lim

If you haven’t heard of Tyla yet, you definitely have.

The mononymous South African singer first rose to international fame in 2023 with her single “Water”, which has been used on TikTok 1.5 million times. TYLA is her debut album, but to say she already has a captive audience would be an understatement.

Tyla’s edge is that she has all the trappings of a real Popstar, with a capital P – last year, videos of her dancing expertly in her shows started to emerge online, sparking interest in audiences accustomed to artists of the “go girl give us nothing” variety. Her stage presence, choreography, and vocal prowess have only grown with her fame. Even under intense public scrutiny, fighting the uphill battle of an African artist trying to break into a western music scene, Tyla has never faltered, breaking new ground with confidence at only 21 years old.

Critics have called Tyla’s take on afrobeats “westernized”, but she’s one step ahead of them, stating, “My album fuses amapiano, afrobeats, pop and R&B into a completely new sound.” These diverse influences are legible but expertly blended into every song of her debut album, resulting in a record that is above all cohesive, in an age of pop albums that can feel like amalgamations of caricatures. She bridges African and western pop traditions, which has resulted in her becoming the highest-charting African female solo artist ever on the Hot 100 chart. TYLA’S four singles, already verifiable hits, are all present on the album, giving it the feel of a victory lap even as a debut.

This celebratory mood is pervasive across the record, which only features one true ballad. TYLA is turned up to 11 – there is little emotional or energetic dynamism on the album, but every song is club-ready, danceable and infectious. As audiences emerge from winter into spring, Tyla presents them with 14 songs of the summer, perfectly timed to take the world by storm.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next