Tkay Maidza is the stage name of Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza, a 25-year-old singer, songwriter, and rapper from Harare, Zimbabwe. After starting her career in Adelaide, South Australia, Tkay rose to fame through collaborations with the likes of SBTRKT, Bok Bok, and other producers. She released her debut single, “Brontosaurus,” in 2013, reaching number 89 on the Australian charts and number 12 on the Australian Urban chart. The following year, she continued releasing singles that would later be featured on her debut EP, Switch Tape.
Troye Sivan, Bok Bok, SBTRKT, Rita Ora, Charli XCX
Hip hop, synthpop, dance-pop, electronic
4AD, Dew Process, KitsunA, Downtown Records, Universal Music Australia, Interscope Records
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
2013 - present
Tkay Maidza: A Quick BioTakudzwa was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, on December 17, 1995. She and her parents relocated to Australia when she was five, moving from Perth to Kalgoorlie to Whyalla throughout the 2000s. They settled in Adelaide in 2010, where Takudzwa attended St. Michael’s College and went on to study architecture at the University of South Australia. However, Takudzwa left school behind to pursue music full-time before getting her degree. Maidza released her first single, “Brontosaurus,” when she was just 17 years old with help from producer BadCop. Her debut release was created during her time as a participant in Adelaide, Australia’s Northern Sound System artist development program, which was devoted to helping emerging musicians pursue their artistic goals.
Switch TapeTkay’s debut EP, Switch Tape, was released on October 24, 2014. The project features production work by LK McKay, Alex Sushon, PACES, George Maple, What So Not, and Baauer, and it was released via Dew Process and Universal Music Australia. Described as a blend of hip-hop and synthpop, the record includes the singles “U-Huh,” “M.O.B.,” and “Ghost,” all of which were written by Maidza with help from Chris Emerson, Jess Higgs, and Harry Rodrigues. After the release of Switch Tape, Maidza was listed on the Triple J Hottest 100 list for the single “M.O.B.,” which became one of Triple J’s most-played songs of 2015. After getting considerable airplay around Australia, the artist went on to appear at numerous festivals. She was on the lineup for Splendour in the Grass and the CMJ Music Marathon, as well as St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in 2014. The following year, she toured with Charli XCX and Years and Years as an opening act.
TkayTkay’s self-titled debut album was released on October 28, 2016, via Downtown and Interscope Records. The project features production from Christoph Andersson, Noah Breakfast, Dre Skull, Daniel Farber, Friend Within, Dann Hume, Salva, Djemba Djemba, and many more, and yielded several major hits. The most popular track from the record was “Carry On,” a single that features rapper Killer Mike. Prior to the album’s release, Tkay appeared as a guest vocalist on Troye Sivan’s song “DKLA,” as well as on the Martin Solveig track “Do It Right.” These guest features got the Australian artist’s name out there and prepared the world for her full-length debut, which hit number 20 on the Australian Albums chart.
Last Year Was Weird 1-3Tkay’s most recent releases are her three consecutive Last Year Was Weird EPs, the first of which came out on August 31, 2018. Released via Dew Process, the EP features the singles “Flexin” featuring Duckwrth and “White Rose.” The EP’s release was preceded by two non-album singles – “Glorious” and “Bom Bom,” the latter of which features hyper-pop icon, Danny L Harle. Last Year Was Weird (Vol. 2) was released on August 7, 2020, and it was Tkay’s first release via her new label, 4AD. The EP features the singles “Awake” featuring JPEGMafia, “Shook,” “Don’t Do It Again” featuring Kari Faux, “You Sad,” and “24k,” and its release was preceded by the non-album single “IDC If U Be Ded.” In between EP releases, Tkay was on 4AD’s Bills & Aches & Blues: 40 Years of 4AD compilation. For the project, she performed a cover of the Pixies’ classic track “Where Is My Mind?” which had previously been released via the label years earlier. July 9, 2021, saw the release of the third Last Year Was Weird EP, which features the singles “Syrup” and “Cashmere.” The project was followed by a one-off single, “Real Nice (H.C.T.F.),” which features Young Franco and Nerve. The single served as the official theme song for the A-League, which is Australia and New Zealand’s professional soccer league. “Real Nice” was released via 4AD on November 19, 2021, making it Tkay’s most recent project to date.
Guest AppearancesIn addition to her solo work, Tkay has been featured on projects by multiple artists in numerous genres. Her features include:
- “They Say” by Kilter
- “Imprint” by MUST DIE!
- “Down Like This” by Motez
- “Do It Right” by Martin Solveig
- “Mistakes” by Basenji
- “REAL TRUTH” by Machinedrum and Jimmy Edgar as J-E-T-S
- “Glide” by Hoodboi
- “Lying Too” by HOLYCHILD
- “DKLA” by Troye Sivan