18 year old Tkay Maidza is an upcoming Australian hip hop artist who just collaborated with Night Slugs co-founder Bok Bok to produce a song called ‘Finish Them’. Tkay launched into Adelaide’s music scene last year and she’s already making waves around the world with her catchy sound. We had the chance to talk to Tkay about her background, influences, upcoming projects and future plans.
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What was it like growing up in Australia? How did your environment shape your musical preferences?
Growing up in Australia was fun; I was totally oblivious to everything. Not a lot goes down in Australia so I’ve just always watched a lot of commercial music channels. Pop music has always been my main musical inspiration because I’ve been exposed to it for so long. Just being a little kid with no troubles and running around getting into mischief has been my inspo because that’s all we really do around here.
Tell us about your first experiences with music, as well as some of the artists and musical styles that have informed your sound.
Just like I said above, commercial music was always around me. I began looking at the not-so-obvious which was hip hop: my main influences were contemporary artists such as Drake, Nicki, Lil Wayne, Kanye, G.O.O.D Music and anything that was popping at that time. Then I started looking into alternative music as well; found Azealia Banks, Iggy when she was coming up, Le1f, Zebra Katz, and Angel Haze etc.
Bok Bok is one of our favorite producers and DJs, so, naturally, we’re curious to know how you guys met? What was it like working with him?
So I found out about Bok Bok through Kelela, while listening to her music. He happened to be in Australia at that time as well, so my label asked if we could work together and things worked out pretty well! We have a couple of mutual friends also.
‘U-Huh’ is very different from your latest track ‘Finish Them’. Does this mean you are moving towards UK underground scene or it’s just a one-time experiment?
Yeah, ‘U-Huh’ totally is different from ‘Finish Them’, but I’m not really moving towards anything; I’m just going by what I feel. I love the UK underground, I love pop, I love garage, I love trap. This whole Tkay Maidza Project is always going to be pretty experimental, so nothing will really be similar if I can go by what I have made so far… I just want everything to be cool and for people to enjoy it.
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The Fader compared you to Azealia Banks. How do you respond to that?
It’s inevitable, but I think it’s a compliment because she is incredible so. YAY!
What do you want people to know most about your music? What do you want them to gain from it?
My music is basically me in a nutshell, so in a way I want people to understand me but also know that they totally still won’t know me. I want people to have a good time. And I want my music to make a couple of people, if not, a lot, smile.
Do you have any new and exciting projects at the moment? Do you have any shows coming up?
I’m working on a larger release, which will be coming out very soon but other than that I have a lot of collaborations coming out which are pretty cool and I hope people like them.
What are your future plans?
I’m playing a couple of shows overseas and touring around Australia. I’m releasing an EP and a couple of more singles and more festivals! Sorry that was so vague.
Do you have any music recommendation for our readers?
Zebra Katz is a legend if you haven’t heard him. Check him out and make sure you watch Kanye West live. Best thing ever.