Podcast & Performance

Tyla - To Last (Live)

There’s a new genre coming out of South Africa, and Tyla is one of its most promising young talents. “Amapiano, it’s the sound right now,” she explained to us after gliding through her DSCVR performances, where she put the emerging blend of house, R&B, and African dance genres such as Kwaito in the spotlight. In Zulu dialects, Amapiano means “the pianos,” a reference to the lounge keys usually weaved into its dembow and four-to-the-floor rhythms. Tyla herself is a master of taking its glossiest elements and imbuing them with the sensuality of American R&B. “Getting Late,” her breakout debut, was all about making the most of a night’s final hours. Considering she designs her songs in the shower, it makes sense that a certain steaminess and nonchalance runs through recent bops “Been Thinking” and “Girl Next Door.” But like a rose garden, there’s thorns nestled between those Tyla’s delicate sonic petals and romantic aromas. “My first love was not my first heartbreak,” the Aaliyah and Rihanna disciple whispers in “To Last,” which she performed for us on DSCVR. Ouch. Clearly, she’s learned how to pack punches from her pop-R&B heroes. “Water” is a particularly fetching track. “It’s kind of a naughty song,” she confessed, before adding, “It’s a summer song.” What else is there to say: dive in, but don’t expect to cool off.


Related article - Tiny Desk Concert - Chlöe