Tyler ICU is ensuring Mzansi feels his music with back-to-back hit releases

Tyler ICU. Picture: Instagram

Tyler ICU. Picture: Instagram

Published May 29, 2023


Music producer and DJ, Tyler ICU, real name Austin Baloyi, is currently dominating the amapiano scene with back-to-back hits.

The release of “Bella Ciao”, alongside Nicole Elocin, Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa from the popular “Money Heist” album put the spotlight on the young producer.

Since then, he has collaborated with several notable artists and cemented his name in the amapiano music scene.

His famous tagline, “uTyler, uTyler”, has become synonymous with the hit song and it has turned the young producer into a household name.

His moniker Tyler ICU has a double metaphor: it can be “intensive care unit” and also stands for "you see me“.

Basically, it’s “either you see me or feel my music”, and, right now, all eyes are on him because of the hot releases.

This year kicked things off with the release of “Ngimoja”, featuring Tik Tok sensation, Khanyisa and rising stars Tumelo_ZA and Tyrondee.

It was then followed with “iThuba”, featuring Zee_Nhle, and now Tyler has fans losing their minds over his current smash hit, “Mnike”.

“I’m just glad and I'm having this point like this and I didn't have to lose my sound in terms of the music that I like doing. When it comes to music, I like tapping into the unknown, trying to find new sounds, to mash things together.

“I'm a person who just likes to create something new and fusing sounds,” he shares with IOL Entertainment.

The cover art for “Ngimoja”, which means “I'm good/fine”, shows Tyler’s face having a dark and a light side, the producer explains that the darker side represents the depression he was going through, his relationship wasn't working and music was doing so well.

The lighter side of his face represents him having found the light and being in a good place.

“Most of the songs that I do, especially those that are for myself, are basically like a story. Ever since I started doing music, I just wanted to tell stories, cause that’s how I view music.

“Mnike”, which means “give him/her", made the number two spot on the Local Top 100 and International Top 200 charts on the Official SA charts. Tyler explains that this is the most fun song he has made.

“I got to tap into fusing sounds, discovering what will be nice if I throw in ‘Haike, haike’, that was really fun seeing what would work.”

He showcased his ability to fuse sounds with how he produced hip hop bangers such as Dr Peppa’s hit “What it Is”, featuring Riky Rick, Lucasraps and Chang Cello, Cassper Nyovest’s “Good For That”, which achieved Gold status.

He later worked with the late Rick again on the fan favourite hit “Ungazincishi”, featuring Focalistic. Tyler credits Rick for putting his name out in the streets and getting people to pay attention to him.

“He believed in me in a way that was shocking even for me. That someone can just believe in something you are still creating for yourself and they see the vision. He felt that a lot of hip-hop guys could have jumped on the sound that we were doing at the time.”

When asked if he would be producing another hip hop-infused track any time soon, Tyler said he would have to see, especially with all that’s going on with the genre in the country.

“I just kind of need to see where hip hop is going, what are the changers. I'm still trying to adapt to the changes, especially when it comes to the Pretoria sound. I am playing around with it, learning, haven’t gotten the crack of it yet”

On his list of successful releases, is Tyler’s collaborative EP “Banyana” with DJ Maphorisa, which features the hit song, “Izolo”, and the double platinum, “Banyana”.

Tyler shared that the talented producer has been influential in his life, guiding him especially when it comes to the business side of music.

This year, Tyler’s fans can expect more hit songs that will get them going on the dance floor as he is working with several new producers and vocalists to expand his reach.