The 20-year-old, Zimbabwe-born, Adelaide-based pocket rocket has proven to be a commanding force in both the Australian and international music scenes. Thanks to her versatility as an emcee and vocalist, as well as the complexity of the lyrics she brings to the table, it is only onwards and upwards for Tkay Maidza.
Maizda recently returned from her Europe tour and she’s feeling the enormity of it all.
“The world it’s so much bigger than just being here and I am really appreciative of all of it,” she told Blank GC.
“Going and playing Pukkelpop (Belgium) was one of my favourites but I think actually just going and playing at all the festivals was really fun. For me, I think the highlight was playing at festivals overseas and seeing what it is like outside of Australia.”
Maidza is on home soil only for a matter of weeks, performing at BIGSOUND 2016 before she jets back overseas, this time to the USA to tour with Australian producer and collaborator, What So Not.
Regarding her shows here she says she’ll play her new album, that there’s a new drummer and a sense of “really coming together as more of a show.”
Maizda will also be performing at Falls Festival. “I think when I play festivals it’s less about the set and more about the fun. The best shows are the ones that keep it moving and keeping people engaged.”
Maizda continues “When you do live shows you have a lot of time beforehand for sound check but at a festival you have to just set up and play and go. Things can go wrong but that’s part of the fun!”
What can we expect from her new album? Maizda says it’s all about experimenting.
“It’s taking what I’ve done already and trying to hone in on my sound as well as exploring new things.”
On her single Carry On, Maidza fires off on her haters and lets loose a whiplash delivery.
“The song is about people trying to invade my space and and attacking me for being me. I don’t really care because I’m too young for any issues. Life is too short to worry about that stuff,” she said.
The song deftly sets the stage for a head-turning guest verse from Killer Mike who publicly declared himself a Tkay fan multiple times throughout 2015.
“He spoke about me at a university conference and I messaged him saying thank you and he said ‘If you ever need anything just let me know.’”
Tkay seized the opportunity and asked if a collaboration was in order. Maizda says Killer Mike “killed it”. Now it seems he’s not only a fan but considers her a peer, sharing the mic with her on this epic new track.
“Mike comes in as like an older brother and kind of reasserts that what I am saying is right. I should worry about what I do, not others.”
With her past live experience, including support slots with Charli XCX, Mark Ronson, and Years & Years she tells us about her dream collaborations.
“I think the ultimate goal would be to work with Kanye West. His new tour looks so cool!”
Maidza recently lent her vocals to Martin Solveig’s chart-climbing single Do It Right. The location for the video perfectly encapsulates the style of Tkay.
“It was an apartment building in the most random place in Spain. It was so unreal.”
“They made the video really well. Music videos can be really hard to pull off and they were so relaxed about it. I’ve never really been on a set where no one is stressed out”
On the topic of her less recent lyric video M.O.B she says, “I think I know what I wanted it to look like and we found an artist that matched it, it was really organic. It was right at the beginning and I didn’t really know what my music could really do.”
“My dad had equipment and stuff at home that I just played around with… no idea what I was doing.”
Nominated for Best International Act at the 2016 BET Awards, Tkay felt it was all a bit surreal.
“I felt really lucky to be able to see Los Angeles how a lot of people probably wouldn’t. It had a real Hollywood vibe that everyone talks about but no one gets to see.”
And her parting words?
“The best thing is to trust your instinct and keep going no matter what. Just have a positive attitude.”
Visit tkaymaidza.com for latest release and tour news. And catch Tkay, Thursday 3 November at Triffid Brisbane.