Tkay Maidza

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Tkay Maidza

Listening to Tkay Maidza’s track ‘Brontosaurus’ it’s hard not to fall in love with our scaly friends of the past, but for Tkay watching dinosaurs in Jurassic Park wasn’t such a pleasant experience for her. “I was actually scared of those movies … They kind of seemed like horror movies when I was younger,” Tkay adds with a laugh.
Luckily the young rapper from Adelaide could put her fears aside to create a track that would catapult her into the industry; though things for Tkay actually started when a friend convinced her to upload ‘Handle My Ego’ to triple j Unearthed, a site she was unfamiliar with at the time.
“I didn’t really know what triple j was to be honest,” she says. “I just thought that things would stay the same and that it’d be like a one-off thing I guess.”
Things clearly weren’t a one-off for the musician, as ‘Uh-Huh’ and ‘Switch Lanes’ quickly followed on from ‘Brontosaurus’, with an EP also on its way.
Though music was never an issue for Tkay, if she was to face any challenge in the industry it was performing live. With only a few nerves at the beginning of her performance, Tkay quickly became just as comfortable on stage as she is in her songs.
“Before [the gig] I’ll be stressing out and hoping everything will be really good and people will just be like, ‘Oh you’ll be fine’,” Tkay says. “Then when you get on stage you can’t really hide anything anymore, you can’t worry otherwise people will realise that you’re scared.”
The biggest test for Tkay was when she performed at Splendour earlier this year, which was pretty much guaranteed a big crowd with around 27,000 punters at the festival this year.
“There was a huge turnout and it was so much fun and everyone got really involved, and that’s the most important part, especially when you’re playing new material all the time,” Tkay says.
After not really knowing who triple j were to begin with, Tkay ended up doing an Australian tour supporting Nina Las Vegas, the programmer for the Saturday night on the radio station. The pair quickly hit it off and Nina has since become a guardian of sorts for Tkay.
“She’s like my older sister. She’s like the best person ever,” Tkay gushes. “I think she’s the best person to know, in terms of the industry, and as a person she’s really helpful too. There aren’t many girls around so it’s good to have someone like her,” she says.
Aside from admiring Nina’s work, Tkay takes inspiration from fellow female rappers M.I.A., Azaelia Banks and Santogold.
“If you want to get somewhere you obviously have to see what’s happening at the moment and learn from it, and yeah, they’re definitely inspirations for me in everything as a musician,” Tkay says.
Keeping in mind that Tkay is only 18 years old, and she’s already sought wisdom from Nina and played at Splendour in the Grass, we’re sure that by the time she plays at Queenscliff Music Festival she’s going to be a pro.
When&Where: Queenscliff Music Festival – November 28-30
By Amanda Sherring