Tkay Maidza Is Never Choosing Compliance

After uprooting her world and moving to Los Angeles in 2021, Tkay Maidza is finally back on Australian soil. Relocating to the other side of the globe is a challenge in and of itself, but moving to the City of Angles in particular is not for the fainthearted. Indeed, L.A.’s notouriously fast-paced and gruelling environment left Tkay feeling lost, and the company she was surrounding herself with wasn’t helping. She came to the realisation that she had to sever ties with the negative influences in her life in order to get the creative juices flowing. It was following those severances that her sophomore album, Sweet Justice, was born. 

Tkay came out the gate swinging when she released the album’s singles: “Silent Assassin,” a thrilling collaboration with Flume about self-improvement, and “Ring-a-Ling.” The latter was a collaboration with Amber Mark and sent a clear message in the second verse: “I’m never choosing compliance.” The singles set the tone for the album—it was clear from the outset that Sweet Justice was going to be loud, unapologetic and more cutting than her previous work.

From there she rolled out the third single “Out of Luck.” The colourful track is Tkay’s way of shutting the door on time wasters, injected with a healthy dose of candy-coated funk-pop. The final single that preceded the album’s release was the boldest of them all: “Won One” is a track that channels all the frustration and animosity Tkay feels towards the misogyny in the music industry. When asked in her interview if she found “Won One,” difficult to write, Tkay smiled broadly. In that moment it became clear that Tkay is not only the most liberated she’s ever been on an album—she’s also never had more fun creating music. On Sweet Justice she’s bright, soulful and unapologetically herself—the self-doubt she contended with when she first stepped foot in L.A. is a thing of the past. 

Speaking to Complex AU, Tkay Maidza discusses break-ups, karma and doubling down on what she believes in.

How’s it all going?

It’s been good, it’s been a lot of press and a lot of signing albums—I think I’m signing like 500 albums.

Oh your poor hand, I would get carpal tunnel if I did that much signing. How does it feel to have your album finally out in the world?

I’m really excited. I feel like this has been a full circle moment where I’m accepting my past and also really growing into who I believe I can be. So I’m just excited to show this next chapter of me and continue growing.