Takudzwa Victoria Rosa, better known by music lovers as Tkay Maidza, is a Zimbabwe-born Australian singer and rapper based in Adelaide. Since her debut single “Brontosaurus” back in 2013, Tkay has been blowing up and carving her own well-deserved space in the hip hop world. Having already built a name for herself in Australia, the U.S. and the UK, the artist is now broadening her horizons even further in 2019 by touring Asia for the first time. Metropolis caught up with the talented 22-year-old ahead of her Tokyo concert on September 16.
It’s been nearly a year since you released Last Year Was Weird Vol.1. Could you tell us what’s been happening with you?
I played a couple of festivals in Australia after the EP came out and then went to LA for a few months where I was in the studio quite a lot — I’ve been trying to sort out a lot of real life things and just get a new perspective on my life which has been cool. Oh, I also just put out a new single “Awake” featuring JPEGMAFIA which I’m really excited about. Now I’m excited to keep releasing new stuff!
This is my first one; it’ll be high energy, a lot of new music and just good vibes all round. I feel like my shows are a good balance of wholesomeness and aggressive energy.
Is there any difference between playing in your home country and abroad?
For sure, Australia is my biggest market so people are more familiar with me there and I know what to expect most of the time. Overseas it’s different as I feel like I’m still building my reputation, so it probably won’t be as crazy …yet.
You mentioned a lot in early interviews that “you had grown up,” and that’s what led you to release your EP Last Year Was Weird Vol.1 (“Growing up” also just happens to be the last track on the EP). Do you think the upcoming Asia tour will benefit you in some ways, too? Could it be another opportunity to grow up?
Totally — new experiences help you grow!
The Asian hip hop scene is on the rise with China’s Higher Brothers and Yurufuwa Gang and Kid Fresino from Japan. When you played at a festival in Shanghai in 2017, the festival had some Japanese artists including The Otogibanashi’s, Cero and so on. Did you see their performances? Do you follow the Asian music scene?
I’m not fully aware of everyone in the Asian hip hop scene but I see some artists pop up and it’s so dope and inspiring to see the culture grow the way it has in so many parts of the world and mean the same thing to so many different people.
Yes, it’s basically done. I think with this project it was more about getting the energy right. I’ve been experimenting a lot with sound and my voice, and I think I’m finally finding a sweet spot and a new found love for what I think Tkay should be.
Can you pick one album that has shaped who you are today and tell us why?
Definitely My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West. That’s the reason why I started, it’s pure art and it explores amazing concepts and sound scapes. It was so inspiring when it came out and it still is.
If you could give some advice to your younger self when you just came out of college at the age of 16, what would you say to her?
I would just say to keep going and remember why you’re doing this. It’s easy to get confused so I think just stay on your own path and things will be fine!
Tokyo tour date information: