Soundclouds of the Underground: Down Under/On Top Edition

Published April 16, 2015

ABOVE: TKAY MAIDZA

With an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses, music truly lives online. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the newest and most exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute music around the world. In this weekly column, Internet sleuth Christopher Klimovski goes into the depths of the music-sharing site.

In this digital age, musicians around the world are able to share their unique and brilliantly crafted tunes from the comfort of their own, often isolated, homes. In Australia, the music scene is close-knit with musicians offering a support net of symbiotic adoration. This week, we have selected our top three emerging Australian artists—those who come from a land down under and who will soon be on top.

Tkay Maidza: “M.O.B.”Who: Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza—better known by her stage name Tkay Maidza—is an Australian singer and rapper, currently based in Adelaide, South Australia, but born in Zimbabwe in 1996. With musical stylings comparable to M.I.A and Azealia Banks, this budding musician has taken Australia by storm, slaying both intimate club performances and grand festivals alike. She recently performed at SXSW, solidifying our idea that she is on the rapid rise. Her mixtape Switch Tape features samples from Kanye West, sound effects from Street Fighter, and even voice snippets from TitanicThe Song: Maidza describes “M.O.B.” as “An ode from the present me to the future me, talking about what I hope to achieve and what I hope to be.” The track’s title stands for “Money Over Bitches,” which harbors an ethos that favors “hard work over stupid shit.” Produced by DJ Elk and mixed by Andrew Dawson (who has mixed for Kanye and Childish Gambino, among others) this upbeat and up-tempo track is the first taste of her forthcoming album.

Current Project: You can download Tkay Maidza’s mixtape via Soundcloud, but follow her on Facebook to stay up to date on performances and future drops. 

PACES ft. KUÄ?KA: “Nothing’s Forever”Who: Mikey Perry, aka PACES, is a rapper, producer, and mixer from Gold Coast, who has worked with the likes of Safia, Ryan Hemsworth, Danny T, Parachute Youth, Sampology, and many others. Carrying a truly unique sound, PACES mixes influences from Jersey club, future beats, and garage into a futuristic and melodic hybrid.

The Song: Featuring beautiful, haunting vocals from Perth lyricist KUÄ?KA (Laura Jane Lowther), “Nothing’s Forever” is an anti-Valentine’s day anthem that showcases PACES mastery of genre-mixing with his electronic, almost reversible samplings. This track both empowers independence and lays down a beat that you can make love to.

Current Project: Currently touring Australia and New Zealand, follow PACES on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for his latest drops.

What So Not ft. George Maple: “Gemini”         Who: What So Not was initially comprised of musical mavericks Flume and Emoh. Recent developments, however, have led to Emoh taking on the project alone. Based in Sydney, Australia, What So Not formed because “the world needs more bangers,” and Emoh expertly delivers upbeat club anthems that satisfy on a multi-dimensional level.    

The Song: “Gemini” features musical influence from Flume’s signature sound and is also accompanied by incredibly beautiful lyrics from George Maple. The first single off What So Not’s debut EP, the track begins as a mellow slow-jam and quickly turns into a twerkable club banger. Layered samples, deep 808s, and expert mixing make “Gemini” a song that will forever be stuck on repeat. 

Current Project: What So Not is currently touring the U.S., with dates available on its Facebook page.

Soundclouds of the Underground runs every Thursday. For more, click here.