The recent release of two remixes for Tyla’s global hit single ‘Water’, featuring Travis Scott and Marshmello respectively, seems to have inadvertently drawn a wave of interest, and scrutiny, from black Americans around her racial identity.
Over the past few days, black Americans and South Africans have been engaged in a heated debate on X (formerly Twitter) about Tyla’s identity as a coloured woman.
Given historical racial connotations of the term “coloured” in the US, black Americans have been arguing that they will refer to her as black and have every right to do so.
As South Africans fight back in their numbers, local comedian Dillan Oliphant has joined his compatriots in criticising this stance.
“Black Americans Refusing To Call Tyla Coloured,” he captioned his post of a video sharing his views. He went on to explain, “So black American are refusing to call Tyla coloured cause in America it’s a slur.
Black Americans Refusing To Call Tyla Coloured pic.twitter.com/Ob1R363eq7— Dillan Oliphant (@dillanoliphant) November 20, 2023
“And I don’t understand, it’s not like we’re asking them to call each other slurs, we’re not asking them to make songs called ‘Coloureds In Paris’.
“The world is bigger than you. Black Americans are not the main characters everywhere, the world is not a Tyler Perry movie. This is Tyla’s movie, and in Tyla’s movie she identifies as a coloured… You can’t erase a whole identity to suit your comforts. Don’t be like the people who took you to America.”
Meanwhile, in the time since the debate began over the weekend, Tyla’s ‘Water’ has jumped up three places to a new high of #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Tuesday morning also saw Tyla announce that the pre-order for her upcoming single would be made available on December 1. An official title or release date has not yet been announced.