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Tkay Maidza

Zimbabwe-born Australian singer/rapper Tkay Maidza burst onto the electronic music scene in 2014 with her debut EP, Switch Tape. The set introduced her artful pop- and R&B-infused style, drawing well-earned comparisons to established artists like M.I.A. and Banks upon its release, and the singles "Switch Lanes" and "MOB" both made strong impressions on the charts. In 2017, Maidza hit the Top 20 in Australian with her full-length Tkay, and followed with a series of equally vibrant EPs, including Last Year Was Weird, Vols. 1 to 3, the latter of which won the ARIA Award for Best Soul/R&B Release. Collaborating with electronic producers like Flume and Kaytranada, she returned in 2023 with Sweet Justice. Maidza was born in Zimbabwe, but she and her family moved to Adelaide, Australia, when she was five. She went on to study architecture at the University of South Australia but quit her studies to become a full-time musician. She was only 17 when she released her debut single, the Badcop-produced "Brontosaurus," after taking part in an artists' development program in Adelaide. The song hit number 89 on the ARIA charts, paving the way for her 2014 EP Switch Tape, which spawned two Luke McKay-produced hits in "Uh-Huh" and "M.O.B." On the heels of her breakthrough success, Maidza set about recording her debut long-player. The lead single, "Carry On," appeared in 2016 and featured Run the Jewels' Killer Mike. The album, titled Tkay, was released in January 2017 and reached number 20 on the Australian album chart. It also picked up several ARIA Award nominations, including for Best Urban Album and Breakthrough Artist. It was followed by the 2018 EP Last Year Was Weird and the single "Flexin" featuring Duckwrth. A companion EP, Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2, appeared in August 2020 and included the track "You Sad." Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3, arrived in 2021 and included the singles "Kim" with Yung Baby Tate, a cover of Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?, and "Onto Me." It took home the ARIA Award for Best Soul/R&B Release. She teamed up with Young Franco and Nerve in November 2021 for the song "Real Nice (H.C.T.F.)," which was adopted as the theme for the Australian pro-soccer A-League. In July 2023, Maidza debuted "Silent Assassin," featuring Flume, as the first single off her sophomore full-length, Sweet Justice. Along with Flume, the album featured production contributions by Stint, Kaytranada, and Two Fresh, among others.
© Matt Collar & Bekki Bemrose /TiVo


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