Burna Boy, Bad Bunny, and Dua Lipa are part of a wave of international artists who have dominated the American charts. Another is Tyla. Thanks to her viral song, “Water,” the Grammy Award nominee is bringing the flair of Johannesburg, South Africa to every corner of the globe. The song’s fusion of pop, R&B, Afrobeats, and amapiano has made Tyla a new artist to watch.
But what is the song actually about? Let’s just say when Tyla sings the chorus — “Make me sweat, make me hotter / Make me lose my breath, make me water / Make me sweat, make me hotter / Make me lose my breath, make me water” — it’s more than her just being steamy.
Tyla hasn’t said what the record is about, but the lyrics leave little room for interpretation. Fans online have given their attempts at the “Water Challenge,” in which they tried to recreate the drenching dance break in the video. Some offered a theory: It’s about a woman’s desire to reach a squirting orgasm. Unfortunately, Travis Scott didn’t lean into the concept when he appeared on the song’s official remix.
This wouldn’t be the first time a raunchy sex song was cleverly masked by poetic songwriting. Aaliyah’s “Rock The Boat,” Britney Spears’ “If U Seek Amy,” and Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” are just a few examples.
Read users on X’s (formerly Twitter) reactions to the now viral theory.
everyone finding out what Tyla is singing about reminds me of the summer of 2006 when found out that Cassie’s me & you is about her wanting give head to some guy
— pound the yams (@kemeeee) October 27, 2023
Damn I thought Tyla’s “Water” was a wholesome family vibe. Whole time she singing about squirting .
— Gass (@HHPGass) November 16, 2023
Do all the kids who are singing Tyla’s song ‘Water’ know that it’s about squirting?
— MacDarLeo (@MacDarLeo) October 26, 2023
That girl Tyla really got the whole country singing along to a song about squirting lol
— LiteBrite (@cntr_of_attn68) November 11, 2023
Watch the full video for Tyla’s song “Water” above.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.