Like a technicolor cauldron of bubbling synths, trap, grime and garage, the debut album from Tkay Maidza rides the crest of a wave that is also mightily melodic (a trick also mastered by M.I.A and Santigold as nu rave gorged on its last glowstick).
And while there’s more of a nod to both throughout ‘TKAY’, Maidza’s energetic personality means she’s a worthy apprentice to the crown. From the soaring chorus of ‘Afterglow’, the savvy, Charlie XCX-esque ‘Carry On’ (which also features a guest spot from newfound fan Killer Mike) and super-catchy ‘Simulation’, it’s a great debut. Maidza’s own flow is not to be underestimated, as wordy opener ‘Always Been’ proves — “Spitting so hard I need to rehydrate” — and she’s not lying.
The Zimbabwe-born, Adelaide-raised Maidza has a fascinating history, and though many of the themes on ‘TKAY’ are based on high school experiences, this has always been the backbone of most great pop songs, so she’s in good company.
With a new crop of artists (Tove Lo/MØ) currently making moves to cross into the big league with songs and sounds spanning radio-ravaging mainstream and pleasing the production chinstrokers, ‘TKAY’ packs enough power-pop punch and sophisticated production style to do the same, and then some.
Words: Clarke Geddes
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