Tkay Maidza – The Aussie Rap Goddess
The world is looking to Australia for the next big teen music star. Here’s someone who might just make it
Sony inked a deal reportedly worth $1.8 million with 13-year-old New York metal trio Unlocking The Truth last week and Australian industry execs are also on the hunt for potential stars.
With television talent shows running out of star power steam here, talent scouts are turning their attention back to gigs and online music hubs to find the Next Big Teens.
Young singer songwriters, producers and rappers are emerging via SoundCloud, Triple J’s Unearthed site, YouTube and support slots for other rising stars.
One of the most exciting prospects is 18-year-old hip hop artist Tkay Maidza whose songs Handle My Ego and Brontosaurus alerted the industry to her fresh sound.
Her latest single U-Huh was added instantly to radio playlists this week.
She has built her audience by opening for DJs on national club tours and more recently won a plethora of pint-sized fans when she performed on the Yo Gabba Gabba shows.
International interest is also swelling in Maidza’s unique dance hall infused sound because she raps and sings unlike most of her contemporaries.
As she prepares to perform at Splendour In the Grass for the first time this weekend, Maidza said the interest from labels and agents from around the world has been “pretty exciting”.
“I didn’t expect anything like this to happen. I really want to go overseas and play some festivals, basically what I am doing here,” she said.
“People think it is pretty sick that I am from Australia. It’s cool that I am the only one doing what I am doing here. I am that girl.”
Maidza said she loves the pressure that hip hop places on new artists to follow up each song with something equally as fresh.
And starting her music career at such a young age allowed her to serve her apprenticeship and find her sound.
“I think it is cool starting out in music as a teenager; I think most people who go on to make it start really early. People do notice you when you are younger,” she said.
“I have realised there are a lot of young people out there doing their thing with music and that makes me want to keep going.
“I’m loving what Montaigne is doing too. We were both on this list of Australian teenage musicians.”
As well as her Splendour performance, Maidza is booked to perform on the boutique electronic music festival Listen Out in September alongside other young breakthrough artists Flume and Chet Faker.
“I can’t wait to see them, it would be so cool to do something with them. Keep saying it and they might get the hint,” she said.