It wasn’t so long ago that Kyla Imani turned the Internet upside down with an inspired shot-by-shot remake of Beyonce’s famous “7/11” video. The charismatic 14-year-old singer, dancer, and performer meticulously reconstructed the clip with a few strategic PG substitutions (she makes it clear that that’s lemonade in her red Solo cup, not anything intoxicating), recorded her own version of the song, uploaded it to YouTube, and watched the plaudits roll in. MTV praised her ingenuity and imagination, and called the video “flawless” — a compliment Beyonce fans in particular ought to appreciate. BET followed suit, dubbing Kyla Imani a rising star with an extremely promising future. To the Hello Beautiful website, the “7/11” remake proves that its young creator is already a force to be reckoned with. A year and 30 million social-media views later, the video still has music fans talking — and wondering about what Kyla Imani’s next move might be.
Now it’s here, and it’s bound to make another splash. Once again taking a cue from the reigning queen of pop, Kyla Imani is releasing a suite of related clips that highlight every aspect of her creativity — from her instantly winning vocals to her impeccable fashion sense to her thousand-watt smile. Five Kyla Imani videos are embedded in the twenty-four minute Sweet Tea Visual EP, and each one captures this budding star at her effortless best: onstage, at school, playing games at pajama parties, strolling in the park with her bright pink Fender guitar slung over her back. And in between the songs, Kyla Imani does just as Beyonce did during the connective bits of Lemonade: she speaks to the viewer about her life, her challenges, and her determination to make her voice heard. They feel like missives from the most talented teen on the block — somebody familiar and approachable, but distinguished from her peers by her grace and her bright horizons. Wise beyond her years, firmly grounded, and never too cool to make like the kid she is and enjoy herself, Kyla Imani is a young artist who’s impossible not to root for. So enjoy these exciting early chapters; this is a story that’s only going to get better from here.