Tkay Maidza

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Tkay Maidza
Tkay Maidza (45670005945) (cropped).jpg
Maidza performing in 2019
Background information
Birth nameTakudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza [1]
Born (1995-12-17) 17 December 1995 (age 27)
Harare, Zimbabwe
Origin Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Genres Hip hop, synthpop, dance-pop, electronic
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, rapper
Years active2013–present
Labels 4AD, Dew Process, Kitsuné, Downtown Records, Universal Music Australia, Interscope Records

Takudzwa Victoria Rosa "Tkay" Maidza ( /tˈkˈmdzə/ tee-KAYMY-dzə; [2] born 17 December 1995) is a Zimbabwean-born Australian singer-songwriter and rapper.


Early life

Maidza was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. Her parents are metallurgists. [2] In 2001, her family moved to Australia when she was five years old. They lived in Perth and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and in Whyalla in South Australia before relocating to Adelaide in 2010. [3] She graduated from St Michael's College at age 16 and studied architecture at the University of South Australia before becoming a full-time musician and took part in Adelaide's Northern Sound System artist development program. [4]


2013–2017: Switch Tape and Tkay

In January 2013, Maidza uploaded "Handle My Ego" featuring Badcop onto triple J unearthed. In December 2013, Maidza released her debut single, "Brontosaurus" with producer BadCop. The song peaked at number 89 on the ARIA Charts. [5] This was followed by "U-Huh" in July 2014, which was certified platinum in 2022.

In October 2014, Maidza released her debut EP and mixtape, Switch Tape , featuring collaborations with Night Slugs' Bok Bok and producer SBTRKT. [6]

Maidza has played Splendour in the Grass and the CMJ Music Marathon in 2014 and at the 2015 St Jerome's Laneway Festival. [7] She performed at the Triple J "Beat the Drum" concert in 2015 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the radio station, both as a solo artist and with many other Australian guest rappers on an extended version of Hilltop Hoods' "Cosby Sweater". [8] Maidza played most of the Australian major festivals in 2015 including Groovin the Moo, Falls Festival, Meredith Festival and a cameo at Stereosonic with WhatSoNot.

In May 2016, Martin Solveig released the Maidza featured single, "Do It Right".

On 30 August 2016, Maidza released single "Carry On", featuring guest vocals from US rapper Killer Mike. The track is the first single from her debut album, titled Tkay , which was released on 28 October 2016. Tkay peaked at number 20 on the ARIA charts. The album was nominated for numerous awards at the ARIA Music Awards of 2017.

2018–2022: Last Year Was Weird

In August 2018, Maidza released the first of a trilogy of EPs titled Last Year Was Weird.

In May 2020, Maidza announced she had signed with English independent label 4AD [9] and released single "Shook" with praise from NME [10] and Rolling Stone . [11] In August 2020, Last Year Was Weird (Vol. 2) was released. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2020, the EP was nominated for Best Soul/R&B Release. [12]

In February 2021, Maidza released her new track "Kim" with US artist Yung Baby Tate. [13]

In May 2021, Maidza announced that the third and final EP in her Last Year Was Weird series would be released in July. [14] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2021, Last Year Was Weird (Vol. 3) won Best Soul/R&B Release. [15]

On 19 November 2021, Maidza released "Real Nice (H.C.T.F.)" with Young Franco featuring Nerve, which served as the theme song for the A-League, the Australian and New Zealand professional soccer league. [16]

2023: Sweet Justice

In March 2023, Maidza's cover of Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?" was used in an AirPods commercial by Apple. [17] [18]

In July 2023, Maidza released "Silent Assassin" with Flume. This was followed by "Ring-a-Ling" and the announcement of her second studio album, Sweet Justice , which was subsequently released on 3 November 2023. [19]


Maidza has said she admires the work of Kendrick Lamar, Santigold, Lauryn Hill and Childish Gambino. [20]


Awards and nominations

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are held in Australia and New Zealand by the Australasian Performing Right Association to recognise songwriting skills, sales and airplay performance by its members annually.

YearNominee / workAwardResultRef.
2023 "Bang My Line" (Cosmo's Midnight featuring Tkay Maidza)Most Performed R&B / Soul Work of the YearNominated [21]

ARIA Music Awards

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music.

YearNominated workCategoryResultRef.
2017 TKAY Breakthrough Artist Nominated [22]
Best Urban Album Nominated
2019 "Awake" Best Hip Hop Release Nominated [23] [24]
2020 Last Year Was Weird, Vol.2 Best Soul/R&B Release Nominated [25]
2021 Last Year Was Weird, Vol.3Won [26] [27]
Nicholas Muecke for Tkay Maidza's "24k" Best Video Nominated
2023 "Silent Assassin" (with Flume)Best Hip Hop/Rap ReleasePending [28]

BET Awards

The BET Awards is an American award show that was established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate black entertainers and other minorities in music, film, sports and philanthropy.

YearNominee / workAwardResultRef.
2016 Tkay MaidaInternational Viewers' Choice AwardNominated [29] [30]

J Awards

The J Awards are an annual series of Australian music awards that were established by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's youth-focused radio station Triple J. They commenced in 2005.

YearNominee / workAwardResultRef.
2020 "Don't Call Again" (featuring Kari Faux)Australian Video of the YearNominated [31] [32]

MTV Europe Music Awards

The MTV Europe Music Awards is an award presented by Viacom International Media Networks to honour artists and music in pop culture.

YearNominee / workAwardResultRef.
2016 Herself Best Australian Act Nominated [33]
2018 Won [34]

National Live Music Awards

The National Live Music Awards are a broad recognition of Australia's diverse live industry, celebrating the success of the Australian live scene.

YearNominee / workAwardResultRef.
2016 HerselfLive Hip Hop Act of the YearWon [35]
International Live Achievement (Solo)Nominated
2018 Live Hip Hop Act of the YearNominated [36] [37]
South Australian Live Voice of the YearWon
2023 Best Hip Hop ActNominated [38] [39]

Rolling Stone Australia Awards

The Rolling Stone Australia Awards are awarded annually in January or February by the Australian edition of Rolling Stone magazine for outstanding contributions to popular culture in the previous year. [40]

YearNominee / workAwardResultRef.
2015Tkay MaidzaBest New ArtistWon [41]
2021Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2Best RecordWon [42]
"Shook"Best SingleNominated

South Australian Music Awards

The South Australian Music Awards (previously known as the Fowler's Live Music Awards) are annual awards that exist to recognise, promote and celebrate excellence in the South Australian contemporary music industry. They commenced in 2012. [43]

YearNominee / workAwardResult (wins only)Ref.
2014Tkay MaidzaBest Electronica ArtistWon
2015Tkay MaidzaBest ReleaseWon
Best FemaleWon
Best SongWon
"Switch Lanes" (directed by Sachio Cook)Best VideoWon
2016Tkay MaidzaBest SongWon
"Do It Right" (with Martin Solveig)Best International CollaborationWon
2017Tkay MaidzaBest Female ArtistWon
2018Tkay MaidzaMost Popular Hip Hop AwardWon

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