Exclusive: Tyla Talks Breakout Success, Debut Album, & African Takeover

Published: Friday 10th Mar 2023 by Ryan

Tyla is taking over!

Born in South Africa, the rising star has been lighting up the music scene and blazing the charts all across the globe.

Signed to Epic Records, Tyla – who is currently on tour with Chris Bown – sat down with That Grape Juice to dish on everything from her humble beginnings to baking her debut album in the studio with industry heavyweights such as Tricky Stewart, and so much more.

Head below for our exclusive chat with the name on the lips of many…

That Grape Juice: Tyla, you have been lighting up the music scene and stirring up quite the buzz in the process. On a global scale, at that. For those who are getting to know you, tell us a little about your journey to date.

Tyla: Well, I’m a singer-songwriter from South Africa. I’ve been singing literally all my life. It’s been a hobby and something that I just love. But I seriously got it. Getting into it almost three years ago.

That Grape Juice: You’re signed to Epic Records – home to some of music’s heaviest hitters. What’s it like being on a roster of titans?

Tyla: When I released my first song ‘Getting Late’ and the music video a year later, it started picking up and it gained the attention of many – including Epic, which now is the label I’m signed to. And yeah, I’m basically now chasing my dream, traveling, recording, and getting ready to release my first debut album.

That Grape Juice: We particularly were drawn to your song ‘To Last.’ Tell us a little about the story behind the track.

Tyla: I actually wrote the hook in the shower (laughs). I was literally just singing and the lyrics just came to me and I wrote it down. And then a year later, I was in a session here in South Africa where they played these beats. And I don’t know, the beat just felt…it sounded emotional. So, I remembered the lyrics and I went back to it.

Also, around the same time a friend was opening up to me about a breakup she was going through and how she was feeling. And I kind of related in a way. So, when writing the song, it came out of me so quickly. It was almost 10 minutes and I was done writing it. And it’s still one of my favorite songs and it’s basically about the feeling of being disposable in any situation. In relationships of all kinds – lovers, friends, and family. It’s just about the bad feeling of feeling disposable.

That Grape Juice: Who are some of your influences and how would you describe Tyla’s sound?

Tyla: I feel that I get inspired and influenced by so many different things when it comes to writing. Sometimes it would be something a friend told me, something I’m feeling, or another song that I’ve heard that I really wanted to make a song similar to. When it comes to lyrics, I get inspired by so many different things. But with my sound, I just really love the sound of Amapiano music and Pop and R&B. So, I really just wanted to fuse them all together.

That Grape Juice: Let’s talk Amapiano more…

Tyla: It’s a genre that originated in South Africa. It’s a new genre that we created. My teenage years, Amapiano was all I listened to. You can hear my music with the drums and the shakers. Everything that makes it more African. You can hear that influence in it.

That Grape Juice: We hear you’ve been in the studio with Tricky Stewart. How has that been? And when can we expect the album?

Tyla: Yes! I’ve been in multiple sessions with Tricky. Working with him was amazing! He’s obviously a legend. He worked with crazy artists before me. So just me being in his presence and being able to work with him was a blessing. And ‘Been Thinking’ was a Tricky Stewart song, actually. I’m so happy that it’s finally released and it’s doing so well. And yeah, I have a few other Tricky songs to come.

That Grape Juice: How about that album? Do you have a timeline of when that can come out or is it all tentative at this point?

Tyla: Definitely this year. I can’t give a specific date but it’s definitely coming out this year.

That Grape Juice: We’re in a time where African acts making waves globally, from Wizkid to Burna Boy (who are now Grammy winners) to Tiwa Savage and Ayra Starr. Why do you think it’s being received so well globally now?

Tyla: I feel people just want to hear something new and fresh. And literally, that’s the music back home, we’ve always had amazing music, but we haven’t had the audience. So now that it’s building massively is amazing, I’m happy that people are realizing the greatest music that we have back home. And people have an interest in learning about Africa and our culture. So yeah, I think it’s a good time, especially the youth now, they’re very interested in Africa and what we have to offer. It’s an amazing time to be an African artist.

That Grape Juice: Best and worst advice you’ve received on your journey?

Tyla: The best advice is the advice I got from my mother long ago, and it was just to treat everybody the same no matter who they are, no matter where they come from. Always be humble, and just treat everybody with the same amount of respect. And I’ve kept that and I still keep that till this day.

I feel the worst advice was that I must just be reckless, have fun, be reckless. Because I understand you must have fun and everything, especially in the industry. But for me, I personally am not reckless, and I don’t act up.

That Grape Juice: Been Thinking is lighting up the charts across the globe and it was recorded in the same studio that Michael Jackson worked in. How do you feel about this? Do you feel he’s made an impact on you?

Tyla: Definitely, I remember, growing up watching his concerts. My father would have a tape and we’d watch it all the time. So, watching him and his music had a huge impact on the whole world. He’s a legend. So just being in that studio was crazy. I just went in there and I was listening to the whole album before we even started recording. And we even had a chance to listen to some of his, takes his sessions and it was unbelievable. I feel we were definitely inspired by him because of the song I feel you can hear the Michael influence in it; especially in the beats.

That Grape Juice: We’re at the start of the year: what does the rest of 2023 and beyond hold for Tyla?

Tyla: A lot of music, a lot of shows, traveling. I’m so happy that I’m traveling more now and performing more. So, I can meet people and people can just watch me do my thing. And I’m just starting to now be releasing the album this year. And finally, taking off in my career, and following my dream.


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  1. common March 11, 2023

    beauty & talent

  2. Tongue’Fcukk March 11, 2023

    Real talent comes from africa fr

  3. Are You Kidding Me? March 11, 2023

    She looks so young and innocent. I pray she has women surrounding her to protect her, not exploit her for the male gaze and to guide her.

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