For most of us, the ease back into life has been gradual — catching up with a few friends at the pub, heading to a small gig here and there and testing the waters with a trip to the shops at rush hour. Tkay Maidza‘s reintroduction was a bit more full-on. When the US’ restrictions eased, she suddenly found herself on Billie Eilish‘s massive North American tour.

She went from playing intimate shows to arenas absolutely packed with screaming fans in the space of about 24 hours.

Tkay sat down with PEDESTRIAN.TV to goss about her experience on tour with one of the world’s biggest stars, where she finds inspiration for her incredible fits onstage (and what she goes for to be comfy) and if she shared any style tips with Billie herself.

“It was actually super last minute,” Tkay said.

“I was asked the day before to fill in for an artist who had contracted COVID, so we put our hands up for it straight away. [It made] things easier that my set-up could be a DJ set-up.”

Tkay said it was “unreal” to play the massive arena shows with Billie, but found ways to make it less intimidating each night.

“I think when performing at arena shows, you have to think of it like performing in an intimate setting,” she said.

“That’s what makes the whole experience less daunting. Having played at lots of festivals, and also the fact that her fans were really welcoming, made all the difference for me.”

Both Billie Eilish and Tkay share a fashion-forward and experimental approach to what they wear in the spotlight, whether that’s onstage, at awards shows or just out and about.

Tkay said she realised they actually wear a lot of pieces from the same clothing labels and she’s found it powerful to see how Billie subverts expectations with her fit choices.

“We actually tend to wear the same brands!” she said.

“So, it’s super cool to see how she changes up her looks, and also how comfortable she is taking on the more relaxed silhouettes.

“I think there’s a power to it, because it seems more intimate. She’s really kept the same energy throughout all of her career.”

Back in Australia, Tkay was named as one of the Bonds ambassadors for 2022 alongside model and activist Mahalia HandleyHeartbreak High star Ayesha Madon, non-binary environmentalist Daila Melkins and model Dechen Grenfell.

Being a part of the team has made 2022 feel like a real full-circle moment for Tkay. Not only is she the face of a brand she’s known her whole life, but she’s also coming back to Australia to perform her first shows at the iconic Sydney Opera House for Vivid Festival.

Her phenomenal EP trilogy might declare that Last Year Was Weird but 2022 is Tkay Maidza’s year — and she’s feeling confident and comfortable to take it all head-on.

Image: Instagram / @mattyvogel / @tkaymaidza / Supplied