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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
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Tkay Maidza tears up Ann Arbor from the Down Under | Tkay Maidza Live at The Blind Pig

Tkay+Maidza+performs+at+The+Blind+Pig+in+Ann+Arbor%2C+Michigan+on+Feb.+18%2C+2024.
Cam Carmichael/WDBM
Tkay Maidza performs at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Feb. 18, 2024.

Zimbabwean-born Australian singer-songwriter and rapper Tkay Maidza is touring her 2023 album Sweet Justice, and after many Twitter users begged her to play in Michigan, her tour finally had a stop in Ann Arbor. I was stoked.

I’ve been listening to Maidza since her 2020 release Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2 and fell in love with her music. The Last Year Was Weird trilogy is an EP series where after every year she wrote about instances that occurred within that time. I was enamored by the 2020 release because in the song “Grasshopper” she referenced the ongoing pandemic with the line “Stay out if it ain’t urgent.”

What I was surprised to see was that there were multiple fans like me in the crowd.

I love when artists come to Detroit — and Ann Arbor — for a show for the first time. I think there’s something to be said about how we all collectively try to make it a good time for them as we welcome them to the state. All these fans, including myself, took the concert and knew that Maidza came from pretty far to play here. Let’s have fun.

Before she came on, Ann Arbor-based vocal looping artist Ki5 got the crowd dancing and jamming. I’ve never seen live vocal looping and it was magical to see how everyone was so silent to maintain a good sound for the artist to loop and make music out of. And he sported extremely cool pants.

After the opener, LA-based DJ Piab came on stage to hype us up before Maidza entered the stage.

I was really surprised at Maidza’s stage presence. From her music, she gives an extremely cool persona, but onstage she is just a sweet person. It might’ve been the top that had a puppy on it, but she was so smiley and kind to all of us. The juxtaposition between her going “hehe awkward silence” and then immediately rapping non-stop was so endearing and cool at the same time.

Tkay Maidza performs at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Feb. 18, 2024. (Cam Carmichael/WDBM)

Especially during her song “AWAKE (ft. JPEGMAFIA),” she took us by storm by doing her bars and, in addition, doing the Peggy feature. Afterward, she shouted out a guy in the crowd who knew all the words — I wish I was him.

For anyone who just went through a breakup and needs a pick-me-up tune, or for those who need to feel that pandemic-style rage, give her a listen so she can maybe come from Australia again to play here in good ol’ Michigan. 

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