African Music Culture

21-year-old South African Artist Taking The World By Storm

tyla south africa
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Tyla South Africa is one amazing singer rising through the country’s music industry so fast and Africa by extension, thanks to her hit song ‘Water’.

This hit single became an anthem on TikTok for weeks and this viral smash song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100. Tyla making it on this list is a huge feat because the last time a South African artist made it to this chart as Top 100 was 55 years ago. And it was the legendary jazz artist Hugh Masekela’s ‘Grazing in the Grass’ hit song.

Now, ‘Water’ is rewriting history by becoming the first solo track to reach the top of the charts.

How Old is Tyla South Africa?

Tyla South Africa is 21 years old and a darling for all music lovers on the continent. She says that thinking about the success of the song that is now on Billboard 100 is ‘crazy’ and hard to comprehend. She was born in Johannesburg in 2002 and also grew up here.

tyla south africa

Tyla, South African singer. Photo/Uncut Media Kenya

Her exposure to music at an early age inspired her desire to pursue it on a professional level and she is now a hit at 21. She signed to Epic Records in 2021 after the domestic success of her debut single “Getting Late” featuring Kooldrink. However, it is ‘Water’ that thrust her to international fame after entering the charts in 17 countries including reaching the top ten of the UK Singles Chart.

How Did Tyla From South Africa Get Famous?

‘Water’ made Tyla South Africa famous. Released in July, Water started gaining popularity in August when she started sharing TikTok videos of herself dancing to it seductively. The song blends a diverse array of musical genres, such as Afrobeats, pop, R&B, and Amapiano—a style of South African electronic dance music.

This infectious track rapidly gained immense popularity on TikTok, spawning the viral “water dance challenge,” which has been featured in over 500,000 videos on the platform. The TikTok dance challenge also introduced the South African Bacardi dance routine to a global audience. This captivating routine, originally choreographed by South African dancer Lee-ché Janecke, incorporates a dynamic sequence of movements, including hip-shaking, belly dancing, twerking, and legwork, all while pouring water down one’s back.

Tyla’s most prominent TikTok dance video featuring her song has amassed over 70 million views. The music video for the song achieved a remarkable milestone by accumulating over one million views on YouTube within its initial day of release on October 6th. This achievement marks a historic moment, as it’s the first time a song by a South African female artist has accomplished this feat, as recognized by the World Music Awards.

The song’s video has now garnered more than 3.6 million views on YouTube, and Tyla boasts an impressive 10.7 million monthly listeners on Spotify. “Water” has also earned recognition on music charts in the United States and the United Kingdom, including the Billboard Afrobeats and R&B charts.

What Is Tyla Real Name?

While most people recognize her as Tyla South Africa, her real name is Tyla Laura Seethal. Amapiano sounds got her in the game as a teenager and she is now a big name in Africa’s music industry. Although “Water” is the song that has propelled Tyla to mainstream success, establishing her as one of Africa’s emerging musical talents, several of her earlier tracks have also garnered acclaim.

tyla south africa

South African musician, Tyla. Photo/Essence Girls United

These include “Been Thinking” and “Girl Next Door,” a collaboration with Nigerian Afrobeats sensation Ayra Starr. Notably, earlier this year, Tyla had the privilege of being the opening act for Chris Brown’s “Under the Influence” music tour in Europe.

In the midst of the ongoing success of “Water,” Tyla, who has plans to release her inaugural album in November, is becoming part of a new generation of global musical talents who are elevating South Africa and the entire African continent onto the world stage.


With her unique blend of pop, R&B, and amapiano, Tyla is creating music that is both fresh and familiar. Her songs are catchy and danceable, but they also have a depth and meaning that resonates with listeners. Her success is due in part to her talent and hard work, but it is also a testament to the growing popularity of South African music. She is also a charismatic performer with a natural stage presence and a way of connecting with her audience.


  1. Who is the South African artist with Kim Kardashian?

It is Tyla. She was captured with Kim Kardashian at the Milan Fashion Week in Italy.

  1. What is Tyla ethnicity?

She is South Africa-born to multiracial parents of Irish, Indian, Mauritian and Zulu descent.

  1. Is Tyla in a relationship with Rema?

The South African singer and the Nigerian Afrorave duo haven’t addressed dating rumours yet but they work closely together in producing a collabo.

About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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