With her rapid-fire flow, frenetic beats and fiercely inventive lyrics, singer/rapper Tkay Maidza has emerged as one of Australia’s most electrifying artists. Her 2014 EP Switch Tape was praised by Spin as “one of the most freewheeling and exciting debuts of the year” and saw her perform at Splendour in the Grass. Working with producers Salva (Young Thug, A$AP Ferg) and Dre Skull (Major Lazer, Snoop Dogg), her 2016 debut album TKAY warps genres including UK garage, grime, throwback hip-hop and trap.
Based in Adelaide, Maidza’s family of miners moved from Zimbabwe to Perth when she was 5. She grew up watching her father play in African folk bands and at 15 she started experimenting with her own music, reworking Kanye West’s “Power” with family recording gear. By 17 she’d teamed up with local producer Badcop to create tracks that were soon on high rotation on Triple J. Now aged 20, this year she was nominated for Best International Act at the BET Awards, lent vocals to Martin Solveig’s “Do It Right” and supported Charli XCX, Mark Ronson and Years & Years.