Tyla: Photos From the Billboard Cover Shoot

When South African singer-songwriter Tyla turned 22 years old in late January, she was on top of the world — literally.

Her label, Epic Records, invited a few hundred music executives, artists and fans to Harriet’s Rooftop in West Hollywood, Calif., for her birthday bash. The party was a dual celebration: Tyla had also recently scored her first Grammy Award nomination, for best African music performance — one of three new categories the Recording Academy introduced this year — with her 2023 breakthrough hit, “Water.”

Waiters surprised Tyla — who had transformed a corner of the rooftop bar into her own private VIP section, complete with glam shots of herself decorating the walls — with a glittery sheet cake. Epic chairwoman/CEO Sylvia Rhone and president Ezekiel Lewis presented her with three plaques commemorating the success of “Water”: gold and platinum certifications in over 18 countries (including the United States and South Africa); surpassing 1 billion views on TikTok; and reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s U.S. Afrobeats Songs, Rhythmic Airplay and Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts.

Then, five nights later, Tyla got the best belated birthday present of all: her first Grammy, the inaugural win in its category, which Jimmy Jam presented to her during the awards show’s premiere ceremony. “I was in such shock,” Tyla recalls on an early March afternoon. “It’s something that a lot of people strive toward and want to win at least once in their lifetime. And I’m so blessed to have received one so early in my career.”

Read the full cover story here.

Powered by Billboard.

Related Articles

Back to top button