Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Tyla’s Monumental Journey To Superstardom

In the past year, Tyla has experienced a near meteoric rise to fame. The South African born popstar hasn’t just gained relevance in the spheres of the African music space, but has also garnered success in the west, scoring herself a crossover hit, Water buoyed by some ingenious, strategic choreographic antics on TikTok and genuinely being a good record by itself.

In a matter of months, Tyla has become Africa’s crowned jewel. Winning a Grammy award at her first nomination, amassing over half a billion streams on her hit record and also gradually getting integrated into the western mainstream consciousness and pop culture. There is no doubt about the fact that she’s easily one of the biggest exports out of Africa of any era.

TYLA for Billboard Mag
TYLA for Billboard Mag

Her self-titled debut studio album, Tyla has been out for more than a week also and has been smashing records left, right and center. It is already the most streamed album ever by a South-African on Spotify with 617.5m streams. The previous record was held by Master KG’s Jerusalema at 428.1m streams. This record really puts into context how meteoric Tyla’s rise to fame is, given the fact that in no less than 2 weeks her album has crushed a record of such significance.

On the Billboard 200, the album debuted at #24 with 24k units sold in its opening week. This is the second highest first week sales for an African album, following the year 2020. That coupled with the fact that it also debuted at the top of the Billboard world albums chart speaks volume of its dominance so far.

Tyla debut album cover
Tyla debut album cover

On US Apple, the album also peaked at #5 despite the large influx of albums that dropped on the same day with it, from heavyweights like Future & Metro Boomin and Big Sean. The album also peaked at #4 on UK Apple, which is another commendable feat. In total, it charted in 142 countries—setting a new record for any South African artist.

On Spotify, Tyla has now claimed the title of the African artist with the highest Spotify monthly listeners, surpassing Rema who has 29.7 million to reach a new milestone of 30.1 million. It’s pixel clear that her play for global superstardom is on and in fact, only getting started.

One can only wonder the heights she would reach from here on out.

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