Tyla addresses misunderstanding about her cultural identity

Tyla Laura Seethal. Picture: Tyla Instagram

Tyla Laura Seethal. Picture: Tyla Instagram

Published Jun 14, 2024


Tyla Laura Seethal, one of 2023's most electrifying breakout stars, has recently found herself at the centre of an unexpected controversy regarding her racial identity.

After her debut single, "Water", soared to over 670 million streams on Spotify and her album, featuring hits like "Jump" and "Truth Or Dare", solidified her status in the music industry, Tyla faced accusations of colourism from her online followers.

In the latest news, the singer who is dubbed the "Queen of Popiano”, addressed the controversy surrounding her racial identity after an awkward moment in a recent interview.

The singer was a guest on “The Breakfast Club Show” on iHeartRadio radio when host, Charlamagne tha God, asked her to explain what she meant when she said she identified as a "coloured" person.

This term is commonly used in South Africa for mixed-race individuals but is considered a slur in the United States.

Taking to X, Tyla wrote: “Never denied my blackness, idk where that came from.

“I’m mixed with Black/Zulu, Irish, Mauritian/Indian, and coloured. In Southa I would be classified as a Coloured woman and other places I would be classified as a black woman. Race is classified differently in different parts of the world.

“I don't expect to be identified as coloured outside of Southa by anyone not comfortable doing so because I understand the weight of that word outside of SA, But to close this conversation, I’m both coloured in South Africa and a black woman.

“As a woman of the culture. It’s and not or…with that said ASAMBEEE.” she said.

If you recall, Tyla sparked an online controversy back in November last year after explaining that in her country she grew up identifying as a “coloured” woman.

Seeing as though the term had a more derogatory connotation in America, it sparked a heated discussion among internet users, with black Americans accusing her of attempting to disassociate herself from the black culture despite making R&B music.

However, many South Africans came to her defence, arguing that there was a difference between the way South Africans and Americans used the term.

Soon after she addressed the misunderstandings, X users reacted to her statement.

One user wrote: “Tyla has always been a proud South African girl before everything and she will forever represent her country in every way!

“She never made her music to appeal to certain races but she does music to showcase her talent & the beauty of South African culture to the world!”

A second user wrote: “They’ve already started. Tyla baby, you said what you said and you don't ever have to explain yourself again to anyone, especially not to people who wanna act dumb.”

A third commented, “You’re not a black woman, you’re an African woman and that’s okay. You don’t have to falsely claim Black to be accepted.”