Tyla and Tems

Frazer Harrison / Staff via Getty Images and Aliah Anderson / Staff via Getty Images

Tyla Praises Tems For Her Role In "Opening So Many Doors" For African Artists' US Breakthrough

  /  03.28.2024

From Wizkid and Davido to Ayra Starr and Tiwa Savage, African music — spanning Afrobeats to Afro-pop — is experiencing a global renaissance, especially in the United States. According to Tyla, the resurgence is partly thanks to Tems’ rise to acclaim. 

Today (March 28), the “Water” songstress spoke with NPR about the future of talent from the continent breaking through the mainstream as she has. “We’ve obviously had African artists that have pushed boundaries, but I feel like now is a time when people are actually paying attention to us properly, and actually latching on to the music and the culture, and showing interest beyond the trends,” she explained. “And we have African artists leading it.”

When speaking on her hit-making formula, Tyla shared that she and many other acts often lay pop and R&B melodies over beats that pay homage to their cultural roots and influences. Specifically, she cited Nigerian singer Tems for inspiring her to do so. “Of our generation, she’s like the example,” the Grammy Award winner stated. “She’s been killing it, and she’s been opening so many doors for us.”

Elsewhere in her conversation with the outlet, Tyla revealed that she pushed back her album deadline to work with Tems. The pair teamed up for “No.1,” which came out last Friday (March 22) alongside the rest of the LP.

TYLA hit streaming services with additional guest appearances from Gunna, Skillibeng, Kelvin Momo, and Becky G. She tapped Travis Scott for the remix of her international smash hit “Water.” Tracks like “ART,” “Truth or Dare,” and “On My Body” also received plenty of love from fans.

Tems, who is expected to release her debut LP later this year, has similarly rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest artists in the U.S. She helped write Beyoncé’s “MOVE” and Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up.” Not to mention, Future’s Drake-assisted “WAIT FOR U” sampled her 2020 offering “Higher.”

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