For breakout artist FKA Twigs, image isn’t everything

Tahliah Barnett, 26, better known as British singer FKA Twigs.

NEW YORK — FKA Twigs floats about as far away from the mainstream as one can get, but not even she can avoid Meghan Trainor’s inescapable All About That Bass.

“Who’s that girl that sings that one song? ‘Well, I’m all about that bass, ’bout that bass,’ ” she asks out of the blue, singing faintly as she slumps over a table in her Midtown hotel. “That song is everywhere. Since I’ve come here, every shop I go in plays it.”.

It’s a recent Tuesday morning and the avant-garde British singer is sitting down for breakfast, having just played two sold-out shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn as part of her U.S. Tour, which wraps in early December. Picking at a bowl of oatmeal and sipping green tea, it can be jarring at first to think that the petite, unassuming woman across the table is the same one that wowed Jimmy Fallon with her U.S. Late-night debut on The Tonight Show the week prior, delivering a brazen performance of single Two Weeks that Fallon said was unlike anything he’d ever seen.

Explore more:  A fee for arriving to airport by car? Boston decides 'no'

But chatting with Twigs, who’s dressed comfortably in a light-gray beret and sweater with wire-rimmed glasses, it becomes easy to see why she’s one of the most talked-about names in music right now — nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize and BBC Sound of 2014 honors this past year, with an eye-popping style that’s been mirrored by more radio-friendly pop stars Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj in their videos.

Born Tahliah Barnett, Twigs, 26, grew up dancing ballet in a small town in rural England, receiving the nickname “Twigs” for the way her joints crack (“FKA” stands for “formerly known as,” born of a legal spat with another artist of the same name). At 17, she moved to London and worked as a backup dancer in videos for Jessie J and Ed Sheeran, eventually dropping out of dance school and pursuing music full time, releasing two EPs since 2012.

Two sides of success.

On debut album LP1, released this summer, Twigs explores erratic emotions she says she felt at a particularly messy point in her life. Layering clicks and metal sounds into her blend of trip-hop and R&B, she serves a line of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poem I Find No Peace as the album’s central theme: “I love another, and thus I hate myself.”.

“You try to do something, and it makes you feel disgusted in yourself,” Twigs says. “Whether it’s loving someone, trying to make music or trying to finish something and it’s painful, you’re constantly confronted with your lack of skill level, or you’re trying to love someone and you’re confronted with all the demons you have.”.

Explore more:  Contact

Despite the critical acclaim that met LP1, Twigs has also encountered an uglier side of fame since stepping out with reported boyfriend Robert Pattinson, of Twilight fame, in September. Faced with floods of racist remarks and death threats on Twitter, and swarmed by paparazzi, she has since taken a step back from social media — after all, she says, she has no control over the online venom of “14-year-old kids that should be in bed” — but she still finds the constant attention difficult.

“I really enjoy the fun of putting something out and people liking it or hating it or talking about it, but vacuous attention, it feels disgusting. It’s like a hangover,” she says. “It’s weird, I know that’s not really because of me or what I’m doing,” but nevertheless, “the positivity that I get from (my relationship) makes the more challenging aspects … Very worth it.”.

A different approach.

Instead, Twigs prefers for the focus to be on her talents, which is part of the reason why she chooses to distort her image in her work, whether it’s enlarging her eyes in her Water Me video or twisting her face unrecognizable in the artwork for Pendulum.

“Being beautiful isn’t everything. … Sometimes it’s interesting to show how you feel on the inside on the outside, just through expressing yourself,” Twigs says. “Sometimes I look at someone like (singer/producer) James Blake, and I kind of envy the fact that he’s a 6-2 English guy and no one will say he’s changed his T-shirt from black to blue. People will only talk about his music.”.

Explore more:  hilliard davidson football

One way Twigs draws attention to her songs are through her provocative music videos, which she insists are not meant to shock people, but are instead a product of her dark sensibilities. In Video Girl, which plays more like a black-and-white art film, an inmate receives a lethal injection before she mounts and dances around his dead body. And with Papi Pacify, in which a man shoves his fingers down her throat, “everyone was like, ‘You’re going to get so much (flak). It’s not beautiful, it’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,’ ” she says — only for them to backtrack when the clip won rave notices and nearly three million views on YouTube.

At this point, it’s probably best that people stop second-guessing Twigs altogether. After all, her singular vision has gotten her this far.

“I’ll go shopping and I’ll be like, ‘I want to buy this,’ and they’re like, ‘You don’t really,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah,’ ” she says, smiling. “Then I’ll wear it, and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, actually, that’s cute. Can I borrow it?’ “.

Related Posts

Terms & Conditions

Maybe you are interested Julio Jones willing to take slow route to opener Today in the Sky schedule update trinidad and tobago national football team vs usmnt…

Return & Refund Policy

Maybe you are interested Malone wins first US gymnastics title, with Tokyo in sight Ryan Lochte settles for third; Anthony Ervin wins 100 Police: Kentucky man with…

Cookies Policy

Maybe you are interested Interview: Sophie Barnes, ‘The Trouble With Being a Duke’ Fact check: Denmark is among world’s happiest countries, but it’s not No. 1 ‘Slap…


Maybe you are interested buckeye soccer league No. 21 North Carolina rallies to beat No. 9 Duke 82-78 Detroit Mercy’s embattled women’s basketball coach AnnMarie Gilbert leaves…

Privacy Policy

Maybe you are interested soccer planet J.D. Martinez ‘bummed’ to miss time with elbow injury Rare flesh-eating bacteria kills 5 in Florida, 3 in New York, Connecticut…


Maybe you are interested bolivia national football team vs ecuador national football team lineups Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar tied for lead at British Open Arsenal-Man…