If you’re searching for an artist as rare as her sound, you can call the search off. It’s FKA Twigs. In less than a year, she’s become one of the chief females reshaping the landscape of R&B. Between her dark, surrealistic album art to her scattered beats, and breathy vocals, FKA Twigs is way more than just a singer — she’s an all-around performance artist.
Born Tahliah Barnett, FKA Twigs was raised in rural town called Gloucestershire, four hours outside of London. Music wasn’t always the dream . . . at least not completely. She actually first pursued a career in backup dancing, and a really successful one at that. She was featured in videos with Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, and Kylie Minogue (among many others), becoming a highly-desirable backup dancer for musicians and video directors alike. But, much like many artists, her work became more obligatory than enjoyable. Speaking from her own experience, she admitted to Rolling Stone last year that, “If [she] didn’t connect with it creatively, sometimes it would be a bit like, ‘Ugh, why am I doing this?’ Like a tiny cog in a wheel.” We feel you, Twigs.
Since she set her musical career into motion, the 26-year-old FKA Twigs is better known for her seething, sensual songs like “Papi Pacify” and “Two Weeks.” Her full-length debut album, LP1, released last year, is brim full of hauntingly beautiful tracks that somehow manage to be both cerebral and emotional.
Not one to play it safe, FKA Twigs has also released a slew of highly-evocative music videos. Having worked with artistic geniuses like Jesse Kanda (“How’s That“) and Khalil Joseph (“Video Girl“), she has built quite the reputation for being a creative risk taker. In fact, her latest, self-directed music video for “Pendulum” has been making heavy Internet rounds since yesterday. The bondage-themed video has moments reminiscent of Janet Jackson/Busta Rhymes ’90s-futuristic video, “What’s It Gonna Be.” Feast your eyes on the masterpiece below:
In a music industry filled with endless more-of-the-same, corporate artists, FKA Twigs’ daring creativity is fresh and new. And while she vehemently denies wanting to be a “pop star” who “[reigns] over all forever,” we sure as hell wouldn’t mind!