Zimbabwe-born Australian rapper Tkay Maidza makes infectious synth-heavy pop crossed with hip-hop, bursting with African polyrhythms and girl power.
If you haven’t heard Tkay Maidza yet, you’re missing out.
The 20-year-old recording artist is based in Adelaide, Australia. Her family immigrated from Zimbabwe when Maidza was five. Maidza grew up performing at family parties, where she’d sing Nicki Minaj and Kanye West covers. She cites Minaj, Santigold, Azealia Banks and West as influences, but her sound is all her own.
American hip-hop star and political genius Killer Mike came across Tkay Maidza’s work and referenced it in an MIT lecture, which went viral. This prompted Maidza to contact him — and later led to a collaboration in the recent single “Carry On.”
“My whole project is based on music and having fun … and everything just feeling right. For me to be comfortable, to be happy. Maybe one day I’ll be wearing short shorts and a bikini, if that feels right for me. But if it doesn’t feel right for me now then I’m not going to do it. That’s how I see it for myself,” she says.
“It’s cool to see more girls coming up and doing what they love. Just knowing that you don’t have to do what everyone thinks you should do. You should just step outside of the box and do what you want to do,” Maidza tells Broadly in a September 2016 video interview.
“Anything that’s negative, I forget about it. If it’s from another person, it’s their problem, not mine. It’s like, ‘OK, cool. They’re just angry. I’m going to deal with what I’ve got to deal with.'”
“When you play a show, there’s just some sort of energy that just makes you happy. Like this new level of euphoria. And then you go home and then next day it’s like, ‘I get to play again!’ You’re celebrating what you have spent your whole life making. … I want to be one of those people who tours until they’re like, 50, like Grace Jones. Just keep creating, that’s my goal. Just to be happy,” Maidza explains.
Check out Tkay Maidza’s latest album, TKAY, along with her previous releases.