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Tyla Voices Her Frustration Over Persistent Comparisons To Previous Pop Icons

  /  06.05.2024

Tyla is done with the déjà vu. Since her rise to fame, the South African artist has repeatedly been compared to pop icons of the early 2000s, a narrative she’s evidently eager to shed.

In a cover story with Dazed published on Wednesday (June 5), Tyla expressed her irritation with the constant analogies drawn between “Water” and Britney Spears’ iconic “I’m a Slave 4 U” visuals. “It’s getting boring now,” she remarked while addressing how frequently her work is likened to previous cultural staples despite her team’s efforts to innovate. 

The songstress added, “Honestly, when people bring up these references, most of the time, there was never a reference. It’s never, ‘Make the video look completely like this.’” She further emphasized her dedication to originality, particularly praising cinematographer Frank Mobilio, who enforced a ban on storyboards during the production of the “Water” video.


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“We have so many cool things of this time, new creatives. I just love working with people who have new and fresh ideas,” Tyla said. She also highlighted the spontaneous nature of the choreography in her projects, which more or less contrasts with the precision often expected in pop music. 

“If you’re dancing and sweating, you’re doing too much,” she explained. “Even the dances that we come up with, it’s literally random people who just did something they felt in the moment, which just caught on and now the world is doing it.”

The Grammy winner released TYLA in March after months of anticipation. It contained contributions from Travis Scott, Tems, Becky G, Gunna, and Skillibeng, to name a few. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to tour immediately after the project due to an undisclosed injury.

“I’m still listening to my body,” the “Jump” creator told Dazed. “I think I need to take my time, not rush. I want to give people art and good performances, but I need to listen to my body and what I need.”


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