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Interview: Tkay Maidza

The past couple of years have seen Tkay Maidza absolutely blow up,and we were lucky enough to have a chat with her at Festival of the Sun in Port Macquarie. Explaining how she has had to grow up and mature quite quickly over the past year, which is quite evident in her most recent EP, ‘Last Year Was Weird Vol. 1’, Tkay gives us a bit of an insight into what went into making this release. From having to rely on herself to make decisions, to turning into a perfectionist, Tkay has proven her new found maturity and puts on a live show that rivals the most seasoned performers. 

How was 2018 for you?

It’s been interesting. I’ve had to deal with a lot of things that I haven’t had to before; not bad things, just things like making decisions and forcing myself to grow up. But it’s been really good. It’s been so exciting because there has been a lot of unknown territory that I’ve gone into.

What are some of the things you’ve had to deal with that have made you grown up?

Releasing my new EP was cool; it had a bit of a different sound and direction to what I’ve done before, so making those decisions to do that was a pretty big step up for me. And just rearranging people in my life and being able to meet new people has given me a new sense of maturity I think. So it’s been interesting; like now when you see your parents as an adult you realise they’re exactly the same as you except they are a bit older. And what makes them who they are is all the hard decisions they’ve had to make. It’s been so cool doing that on my own now, being able to go to new places on my own and growing into a businesswoman. Growing up can be painful but I think as soon as you know where you are going it’s so exciting. I’ve been overseas a fair bit, and before that I think my view of the world was a little skewed. I’ve had to learn to take responsibility for myself too. Like if I’m overseas and lose my passport I can’t just call for my mum. There was one time where I missed a flight in Singapore and I was literally by myself, so I had to go up to the counter and explain it to them and I ended up having to wait for 24-hours until the next flight and had to pay an extra $600. They were so ruthless about it but I guess every hour someone probably does the exact same thing as me.

Even your newest EP has a more matured sound to it, which I guess just emulates the fact that you have really grown up over the past year.

Yeah, when I started it was dance music that I wrote, and I guess growing up I liked a lot of different music so I wanted to be able to expand and improve on my sound, so when your wat to better yourself you start re-working things 50 times and becoming a bit of a perfectionist. But doing that this time around was really interesting because there was so many songs that I heard 100 times but I still thought I could improve them. Now that they are all out and that process is over, I really know where I can improve and I know what I can do better next time I go into the studio.

How has the response been going since you put the EP out?

It’s doing well, it seems to be getting a good reception and the streaming is still going well. Making all the music videos for the singles off that has been so much fun too, especially because I’m so involved with that process too. But it’s all been a lot of fun. This still feels like the start for me so I think the next one will be even better.

It’s great that you’re really involved with creating the videos as well.

Yeah for sure. I always have been pretty involved, but this has actually been exactly the way I wanted it to go!

And I wanted to ask you about jumping up on stage with Charli XCX earlier this year at her Sydney show, how did that come about?

I toured with her a couple years ago when she came to Australia and she follows me on social media; so I guess she knows I exist, and we have a lot of mutual friends. When she was doing the party she just asked me if I’d come along and do a song with her, and of course I said yes. It was weird when she asked because I was in LA, so I flew back just for that, which worked quite well in the end because I had a lot of other things I had to do back home. So that was a good opportunity for me to come back. I’ve known her for quite a long time though, which still seems so ridiculous to me. 

Yeah that is pretty amazing that it just happened so casually like that too! And what else have you got coming up?

I’ll be working on finishing a few songs and getting collaborations for two new songs. Then I’ll release an EP and at some stage will play some shows around the country, which I’m super excited for already.

Written by Emily Mathison