Tyla’s responds to her Breakfast Club interview controversy

South African singer Tyla recently stirred the pot with her appearance on The Breakfast Club. During the interview, the “Water” songstress deftly dodged a probing question about her racial identity, igniting a fiery online debate.

The ever-curious Charlamagne Tha God put Tyla on the spot, asking if she identifies as colored. Instead of diving into a potentially contentious topic, Tyla turned to her team for backup. A team member quickly intervened, saying, “Can we not, por favor?” Charlamagne, ever the provocateur, made it clear that their plea to sidestep the question wouldn’t be edited out.

In a previous interview with Cosmopolitan, Tyla explained that racial terminology differs significantly between South Africa and America. In South Africa, “colored” refers to biracial individuals, a term laden with historical baggage in the U.S. due to its association with Jim Crow-era racism.

After the show, Tyla took to Twitter to clear the air: “Never denied my Blackness, idk where that came from.” She emphasized her mixed heritage, comprising African, Irish, and Indian ancestry. She further clarified the South African perspective on race, stating, “…I’m both Coloured in South Africa and a black [woman]…”

During the interview, Charlamagne also mentioned a humorous exchange between Kevin Hart and Kai Cenat, adding a light-hearted twist to the otherwise serious discussion.

Predictably, social media lit up with a spectrum of reactions. One user, @jaysun_rand, pointed out, “This is primarily an American obsession. She is from SA…We should respect her decision to at this time not be classified into the ‘American box of Race check marks.’” Another user, @tumexxjr, added, “Americans really think the world revolves around them. yall better travel outside of Miami and get educated.” @y0_53f chimed in, “She’s right, race isn’t your whole identity.”

Tyla’s interview and subsequent clarification have shed light on the complex and varied understanding of racial identity across different cultures, pushing forward a more nuanced conversation about race.