Australian female rapper Tkay Maidza has scored a BET Awards nomination for Best New International Act, catapulting the 20-year-old further onto the world stage and capping off an impressive and rapid rise over the last couple of years.

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Tkay is the second Australian to be nominated for a BET Award after Iggy Azalea in 2015, and has received a glowing endorsement from Killer Mike of Run The Jewels last year, in reference to Tkay being the female rapper Americans should know about.

Tkay is against five other international acts this year in the viewer-voted category that will be announced on June 26 in LA. As the sole representative from the Asia-Pacific region, Tkay’s competition is South African emcee Emtee, Nigerian rapper FALZ, French rapper MHD, British Hip Hop crew Section Boyz and fellow UK collective from West London, WSTRN.


The electric Tkay Maidza was born in Zimbabwe before moving to Australia with her family when she was five years old. Living throughout Western Australia and South Australia before settling in Adelaide, she graduated from high school at 16 and like a young Ice Cube, studied architecture at university before concentrating full-time on music. Tkay got her break through Adelaide’s Northern Sound System artist development program and at 17 released her debut single “Brontosaurus.” She has since released the EP Switch Tape, while she currently prepares the release of her highly anticipated debut album.

Maidza has played the music festival circuit throughout Australia and her own national tours, as well as recently performing throughout the UK and continental Europe on their festival circuits. She debuted on American radio as part of Skrillex‘s OWSLA Radio second episode in February 2016 and has also recently performed in LA. She has also been branching beyond her Hip Hop roots collaborating with various dance and pop producers in Australia and internationally.

You can vote for Tkay by tweeting the BET Awards (@BETAwards) with the hashtag #IPickTkay.