Tkay Maidza on style, sneakers and staying fit

Tkay Maidza on style, sneakers and staying fit

Girl on top

Text: Yeong Sassall

As the latest Nike Air Max ambassador, Aussie rapper Tkay Maidza has some firm ideas about sneaker style

Erupting onto the Australian music scene in 2013 with the unmistakable 'Brontosaurus', Zimbabwe-born, Adelaide-raised rapper Tkzay Maidza (real name: Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza) has quickly become a force to be reckoned with. Possessing style, swagger and a killer ear for a catchy beat, the star-on-the-rise has recently been given the tick of approval from a major sportswear giant, and was recently announced as a Nike Air Max ambassador.

Fresh from a string of crowd-pleasing appearances at Austin festival SXSW, the newly minted Nike Air Max girl talks style by cities, sneaker culture and global trends.

You have lived in many Australian cities, which Australian city do you think has the coolest style trends and why?
For me I think Melbourne or Adelaide would probably have the coolest trends that catch my eye. I just really like that natural mix between '90s grunge and hip hop. I'm a country kid at heart which is all about comfort but I'm obsessed with the idea of being an adult growing in a big city so I love the idea of being comfortable in cool looking shoes, big jackets and vintage T-shirts.

Tkay Maidza on style, sneakers and staying fit (фото 1)

How does all the travel you do influencer your music & style? Favourite city for a dose of culture?
I think travelling for me is so important, because I love to see new things... I constantly want to be enlightened by unfamiliar things that will help me understand myself and the world around me. Places like LA or New York, have helped me understand more about hip hop because I'm there to feel it, Europe... Dance music and Grime music same thing.

If anything, it also helps ne become more accepting and comfortable of who I am because everyone everywhere is so different. Paris is probably my favorite city to observe the culture because it so beautiful... but London is my favorite to be amongst. It's a great mixture of the old and new in terms of heritage, I really relate to the urban culture and I'm always learning about myself.

How would you compare style and sneaker culture here in Australia with overseas?
I think there are other places in the world where sneaker culture is definitely championed, I think people in Melbourne really love sneakers but maybe not as much? Australia's catching up. But I think it matches with urban culture.

Tkay Maidza on style, sneakers and staying fit (фото 2)

What trends are you seeing on the global style scene?
I'm seeing that rare overalls are cool again, ones with super cool patterns, comfortable is totally coming back in, it's all about tracksuits and jumpers that are practical but also really classy! And interesting one-colour outfits too! Like all khaki, or all pink etc.

What are your three favourite songs to run to?
'Cold' - Stormzy, 'Riding Round' - Kali Ulchis, 'Bloodstream' - Rudimental ft Ed Sheeran

If you had to pick the ultimate run, where would it be? 
Going for a run somewhere in the Greek Islands would be so amazing, or somewhere really tropical like Singapore too! Anywhere with a nice view. I love running in Paris.

How important is creativity to you? Do you have any rituals to get in the 'zone'?
It's super important - I don't really have any rituals I just make sure that I have a lot of sunlight and space where I'm writing and that I feel very calm.

Tkay Maidza on style, sneakers and staying fit (фото 3)

How do you express yourself through sneakers?
I like to wear sneakers based on my mood. Sometimes I wear all black, sometimes I'll wear multicolored ones. My favourite Air Max that I wear all the time are grey, black and green. They're a bit incognito but they have a lot of swag and a little pop of colour. Just depends on my mood and we're I'm going!

What similarities do you see between the culture of music and sneakers? Do they influence each other and how?
Totally, it goes back to that theme of comfort with style. I think that when you think of the stories that music can explore you think of the streets, constant movement, being on bikes, running, basketball, exploring abandoned buildings, rooftops, rain forests, daisy fields... and you can totally picture a person wearing sneakers in those places. It's a complete vibe because colours and shapes can represent a person/artist so easily/ I think sneakers complement the culture of music and vice versa.

Tkay Maidza on style, sneakers and staying fit (фото 4)

You're a powerhouse on stage, how do you keep fit to bring the energy to each of your performances?
I do a lot of running, I'm trying to teach myself to run 10k. And I go to Bikram yoga and do a bit of boxing and Pilates. It's easy to stay at a point where you don't get too taxed but it's just about pushing it to the next level for me now. It would be awesome to be athlete-level fit.

Tkay Maidza on style, sneakers and staying fit (фото 5)

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