It’s almost a periodical event, that a new electro artist who is discovered in the depths of the internet, gets hyped out of proportions in the following months. But there are those rare instances, where most of the fuss is well deserved. The release of FKA Twigs’ first full-length album ‘LP1’ is one of those events where I will happily join the overly enthusiastic crowd. Not only because it’s one of this year’s best and most captivating electronic albums, as of yet. But also because of FKA Twigs herself, who surely deserves all the praise she gets lately.
A great driving force behind FKA Twigs’ popularity is definitely found in her record company, because every now and then there is that perfect combination of Label and up-and-coming artist that just screams success. Young Turks signing of FKA Twigs in 2013 and the subsequent release of her 2nd EP (‘EP2’) definitely is such a rare occasion where everything seems to intertwine for the greater good of everyone involved, including us, the audience. Before that she only released one other EP, unsurprisingly named ‘EP1’, that was enough to grab everyone’s attention.
FKA Twigs, or Tahliah Barnett, was born in Gloucestershire in 1988 and since then has moved her residence to London, from where she began to take over a big part of the electronic music world and the blogosphere in particular. She is of partly Jamaican descent and her mother was a trained dancer and gymnast, which surely had a big influence on her decision to pursue a career as a dancer as well. She even appeared in quite a few video productions and in the video for her very own track ‘tw-ache’, she proofs how good of a performer she really is.
Tahliah’s style is part of that ethereal female-vocal sound that has been dominating much of the electronic music scene lately. She has added a certain R&B sound to it, which compliments the production and the subtle demeanor of her sound really well. It makes for a warmly comfortable listening experience, that is still full with enough doubt about life and oneself, to stick with you for longer,
But it’s not only her music that is captivating, but it’s her whole persona that has an undeniable attraction to it as well. She also certainly knows about the particularities, that being a women in a male dominated industry brings with it. And she doesn’t only let her deeds, namely her strongly sexual videos and her self-executed production, stand against all the prejudices women encounter, as Music.Mic points out. She also happily and honestly talks about the topic of independent women. In an interview for pitchfork, for example, she speaks about Scarlett Johansson’s character as a seductress from another planet in ‘Under the Skin’. “I loved her strength and then her vulnerability[.] There’s a moment when all of a sudden her power is gone and she’s just a scared little girl—and then she didn’t have a vagina. I was like, ‘Oh my god, girl!’”.
But the strong and upfront sexuality that is found in many of her songs also has a different side to it, as it is interpreted by Twigs herself. “Some of the songs that people think are the most sexual are not at all to me,” she says. “Like when I sing, ‘If you want to touch me you can do it with the lights on,’ that’s a metaphor for letting certain people see the different, ugly sides of you that others won’t be able to see.”
With ‘LP1’ FKA Twigs is destined to become a main figure of UK’s electronic music scene and MIMO has called her a hot contender for taking the crown of the queen of R&B in the UK in the coming years. One can only hope that at least the days where she has to ask her step-dad for money are over and she can go on a proper vacation after all. The first reviews are very much in her favor and I definitely won’t stop listening to it for a good while either. Wrapping myself in that ‘big warm blanket’ that is FKA Twigs, simply feels too damn good.
Genre: Experimental / R&B