Tyla Says She “Never Denied My Blackness” After Refusal To Answer “Coloured” Interview Question

Tyla is addressing this controversy yet again

Tyla is pushing back on the backlash she’s received following a recent interview in which she and her team chose not to answer a question about her being identified as a “coloured” woman in South Africa.

On Thursday (June 13), the “Water” vocalist shared a statement on Twitter (X) after a clip of an exchange with Charlamagne Tha God taken from her interview with The Breakfast Club went viral. To be specific, Charlamagne asked Tyla to elaborate on what it means to identify as a “coloured” woman in South Africa while referencing the negative connotations the word has here in the United States.

Tyla opted not to answer the question, turning to her team who also expressed their desire to move on—which prompted Charlamagne to make a comment about not cutting the back-and-forth from the interview.

In the lengthy message Tyla shared with her followers, she explained that while she has never avoided embracing her ethnicity, there’s more to her identity than just one singular demographic.

“Yoh guys,” Tyla started off. “Never denied my Blackness, IDK where that came from.”

As she continued, Tyla broke down the complexities of her racial makeup and how that translates to how she identifies her ethnicities on multiple continents.

“I’m mixed with Black/Zulu, Irish, Mauritian/Indian and coloured,” she said. “In Southa I would be classified as a coloured woman in other places I will be classified as a Black woman. Race is classified differently in different parts of the world.”

Finally, Tyla explained how she compartmentalized her experience as a mixed race woman of color through her own understanding and perspective of race relations.

“I don’t expect to be identified as coloued outside of Southa by anyone not comfortable doing so because I understand the weight of that word outside of SA, but to close this conversation I’m both coloured in South Africa and a Black woman…As a woman for the culture. It’s and not or.. with that being said ASAMBEEE,” she wrote.

Despite the fact the exchange with Charlamagne began trending on social media, its a topic that’s not new to Tyla and one she has previously addressed before. In a quoted reply to the thread the South African native shared, a Twitter (X) user pulled the receipts showing Tyla taking the question head-on in a previous interview where she delivered a similar response.

“When people are like ‘You’re denying your Blackness,’ it’s not that at all,” she said. “I never said I am not Black it’s just that I grew up as a South African knowing myself as coloured and now that I’m exposed to more things it has made me other things too. I’m also mixed-race. I’m also Black.

“I know people like finding a definition for things, but it’s ‘and,’ nor ‘or.’ As young people we have a platform where you can speak about things like this things that are new and controversial and scary at the perfect time for this conversation to happen.”

Check out the full interview below and watch the clip of the exchange below.