Australia: Rapper Tkay Maidza wins big at SA Music Awards

Staff Reporter

Australia based rapper Tkay Maidza

ADELAIDE via Zimbabwe rapper Tkay Maidza has been crowned the queen of South Australian music, walking away with the top gongs at the SA Music Awards.

The 19-year-old took out Best Female and her Switch Tape EP was honoured with Best Release Wednesday night at The Mercury Cinema.

Working on new material interstate, the 19-year-old was a notable absence from the event, however she continued to sweep the awards with her single Switch Lanes scoring the Australian Performing Rights Association award for Best Song as well as Best Music Video by director and animator Sachio Cook.

Meanwhile, Maidza is part of the line-up at Splore 2016 New Zealand’s outdoor summer music and arts Festival scheduled for February next year at Auckland’s Tapapakanga Park.

The teenager - whose full name is Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza lives in Perth, where she's making a name for herself in hip-hop circles, having already been heralded by the likes of Killer Mike (Run the Jewels) and Mark Ronson.

She describes her sound as pop - "just pop" - choosing to ignore the hip-hop and rap labels being put on her, wanting to avoid getting boxed in to any one category.

In fact, she says she doesn't really care about the hip hop scene.

She's not trying to be anything, she's not trying to please anyone or imitate anyone - she just makes the music she makes, calls it what it is at the time and has a good time doing it.

"I was writing for myself and I was never trying to fit into anything,” she says.

“It's like, yeah I'm rapping but I'm not trying to get credit for being the best rapper ever or anything like that. I was just rapping because. It's hard sometimes because people want to box you into something.

"I just look at that like I don't care what happens, I just want to write good music now. And if it's not strong in some aspects then that's just how it is, that's just me, take it or leave it."

She says she writes her songs based on school life - "what my friends go through, what I go through, people I've met".

"My character Tkay is just a stereotypical teenage girl who just hates everything and everyone - that's basically what I write about," she laughs.

She talks vaguely of fake friends, friendships lost, and even - at just 19 years old - going through an existential crisis.

"I've moved houses a lot because my parents work in mining so I've gone to at least three high schools in different states, and six primary schools.

“So I had to make new friends all the time and you just kind of get to that point where it's like I don't need friends, and end up questioning your whole life," she says.

But music's been the way out for her. Maidza’s father plays African, reggae type music - "he's played in bands basically his whole life".

"I like tribal sounding stuff, so I guess that's something that inspires me," she says.

"My songs are really upbeat and fun because I love dance music - I like showing things in a fun way, even though they have dark undertones.”

She'll fit in well at Splore then, where artists from all genres come together to have a good time.

She's already been booking festival sets across the ditch and says the experience is growing every time.

"It's always surprising because I'm always like; this is the best moment ever and then the next time it just gets so much better and better," she says.

"My life has changed a lot. It's what I dreamed. Well, I didn't really even dream of it, I never expected this to happen - it's just one of those things you always hope will happen, and it did."

Tkay Maidza - Switch Lanes


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Denis Gwenzi
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