INTERVIEW: TKAY MAIDZA aka Adelaide’s Newest Fashion Icon

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Tkay Maidza was once a young Adelaidian with big dreams of being an emcee and now she’s one of Australia’s most promising up-and-coming acts on the underground scene. If you’ve been privileged enough to see the songstress do her thang live at Groovin’ the Moo, Splendour, or on any of her tours, you’ll understand her infectious beats combined with her funky dance moves and amazing style are traits of a true shooting star. If, like us, you’re crushing on her amazing steeze, you’ll be super glad we caught up with her recently to get the facts on her style inspo, tips, tricks and all over fashionable appearance.​

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When you Google Tkay Maidza, a recommended search is Azealia Banks. Are you in any way inspired by her?
Attitude wise I’m definitely inspired by her. I love the fact she just doesn’t care. She tries to bend the rules in terms of her music, like she says what she produces isn’t hip-hop, and that’s what I’m trying to go for. If I make a song I make a song, if it sounds like this, then, whatever. If people say they don’t like a song then I didn’t make it for them! Fashion-wise, she’s very cool. She’s always one step ahead of everyone. I think industry-wise she’s very inspiring to me too, because where she is, is where I want to be.

When you’re up onstage, obviously that requires a lot of movement and energy. Is there a particular way you try to dress to emphasise your personality or just allow you to jump around easier?
I either wear really tight clothing so it doesn’t move, or really loose so again I can move heaps. I kind of just wear what I feel like, which is often black. I love the colour black, I’ll never go past it.

When you’re out on a tour travelling around, what can you always rely on to save a bad outfit day?
I always have a leather miniskirt on me, loads of oversized mesh shirts, leather overalls and pinafores and other than that I always have parkas and anoraks. I recently invested in some hologram anoraks from Ragged Priest that I adore. My cat loves them so she often sleeps on them.

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You’re rarely seen without your black flatforms. How many pairs of those do you have?
Yes I love them! I have five pairs and I buy them all online. I only wear combat boots or flatworms onstage because I’m really short. I own a a few brands: Y.R.U., Buffalo and UNIF,  and Solestruck is always good to check out because they stock heaps from Jeffrey Campbell.

Your new film clip for Uh-Huh is very cool, very 90s. Did you get to choose the outfits you wore in there?
I get to choose it all! I use Tumblr to make a lookbook of what I want to wear and then I give it to the stylist who uses that to grab stuff for me. For Uh-Huh we got clothing from A State of Mind and Joyrich which I was really happy with. We borrow all the clothes from the brands but sometimes I get to keep them, which is amazing! I think people try to go a bit over the top with music videos, but I generally just wear the stuff I think looks great.

We actually made a video for Brontosaurus, but I was wearing tons of colour and I looked about ten years old. I really hated it and the stylists didn’t listen to me. I told the director to do what he thinks would be cool and the way he presented it was similar to Uh-Huh, but then when he made it and gave it to us it was too clean for me. I felt it was really boring and as a first video some people might take it in a way I didn’t want so we never ended up releasing it.

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Your style is quite alternative, bordering on a bit of grunge. Can you share any tips with us Adelaidians on good Op Shops in Adelaide?
I kind of just drive around and if I see an Op Shop, I’ll stop and go in. There’s a Vinnies on Grange Road with a Red Cross right next to it and I go there all the time. North Adelaide has heaps of Op Shops I frequent too, I find heaps of jackets and fur coats there. The Red Cross down Rundle St is really good as well, it’s a little more pricey but they select their products a little more so there’s always awesome clothing. I haven’t been to Savers yet but I’ve been meaning to check it out!

In Sydney there’s a street off Oxford St and they have so many awesome Ops Shops down there. There’s this one I adore that stocks heaps of vintage denim.

What other retailers are your favourite to source stylish threads from?
I like Lazy Oaf, Ragged Priest, KTZ and WIA, Rita Ora wears that brand a lot. Joyrich and A State of Mind are really cool too, and ASOS is  favourite destination of mine because they stock a lot of those brands. Kenzo is my favourite designer brand, I love their jumpers and prints. Jeremy Scott does amazing things too, I’d love to wear his stuff one day.

You’ve pretty much played at every cool festival in Australia, and now you’re joining the Falls crew to play at this year’s New Years Eve festival. Are you excited to play at such a big and well-recognised event?
I’m so excited, I feel like I haven’t done much so I don’t deserve it but it’s an amazing opportunity! I’m doing all four days but I’m going to find time to stalk George Ezra in there. I don’t know if I’m going to get much time to hang though, because everyone will be moving every day to a new state.

Do you have any Falls Festival fashion tips for the guys and girls planning on making the road trip out there?
I feel like festival clothing never really changes, people always wear prints and flowers in their hair and 90s clothes. If you want to stand out, wear grungy clothes, embrace denim and leather! There will always be lots of girl and guys wearing bold patterns and head garlands, so if you want your friends to find you think outside the box and don’t wear the traditional festival uniform.

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You’re well on your way to becoming rich and fabulous. When you get there, what’s the one luxury item you’d love to buy?
I’ve never really thought about that before! To be honest, if I ever get rich the first thing I want to do is buy a Jeep Wrangler in every colour. I have a maroon one, but I want black, white, blue, and all the other colours. That way I can colour co-ordinate my outfit to my car, and match them to my moods.

Check out Tkay’s newest collab with KILTER and her latest video clip for U-Huh below!

(Images via Rip It Up, Groovin the Moo, Speaker TV)

Journalism student, with dreams of writing about fashion, music or culture. Or maybe all three, who knows.

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