FKA twigs is a lightning-don’t-strike-twice kind of musician: Her music combines realism and the avant-garde, abrasiveness and vulnerability, intellect and instinct. Born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, she got her stage name during her career as a dancer, from the way her joints cracked when she was warming up (the FKA part stands for “formerly known as”). She danced professionally through her teen years, then she quit to make music full-time. She taught herself to produce music and to direct videos; today, she produces most of her songs and controls all her videos and imagery. The fruit of all her hard work is a very personal world that is completely magical and unique, as heard on EP1, EP2, and her latest, the excellent LP1.
This is the second time I’ve spoken to twigs, and each time I’ve been struck by how cool she is. In conversation, she’s a little shy and quiet, but very honest and thoughtful, and when she gets a little more comfortable, she talks and jokes like you’re family. This time around, we talked about being a lifelong professional artist, body image and beauty standards, and what becoming an adult means to her.