Tahliah Debrett Barnett, known professionally as FKA Twigs, was born on January 17, 1988, and raised in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. She moved to South London at the age of 17 and became a backup dancer. She made her musical debut in 2012 with the extended play “EP1,” which was followed by “EP2” in 2013. Her first studio album titled “LP1” came out in 2014 and instantly became popular, reaching #16 on the U.K. Albums Chart and #30 on the U.S. Billboard 200. Her latest release is titled “Caprisongs,” which came out in 2022. Let’s find out more about this amazing artist.
Tahliah Debrett Barnett was born in the small town of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England. Her mother was an Englishwoman of Spanish descent, and her father was a Jamaican musician. She didn’t have the chance to meet her father until she was 18 and was raised by her mother and step-father, who loved Jazz. She was given the nickname Twigs at a young age because of the sound her bones made when she cracked them. She played with a Jazz band at the age of 13 and went to a private all-girls Catholic secondary school after receiving a scholarship. As the only mixed-race student, she often felt isolated, which drove her to write songs inspired by classic Jazz and soul singers of that time. She also took inspiration from the post-punk and new wave.
At the age of 17, Barnett moved to London and pursued a career as a dancer. After appearing in a few videos, she realized that her true passion was in music. She formed a punk band called Delirium Tremens with her friends CY AN and LJ Howe. She also worked as a bartender while playing gigs with her band. Her band manager connected her with many producers, including Mike Chapman, who proved to be a driving force when it came to refining her songwriting. She self-released “EP1” in 2012, which included self-directed videos.
As she gained popularity with her “EP1,” twin sisters named Twigs, who had been using that name for nearly two decades, requested that Barnett change her name, and she agreed. After changing it to FKA Twigs, she released her “EP2” in 2013. She was nominated for the B.B.C.’s Sound of 2014 prize that same year. In June 2014, Barnett released a single titled ‘Two Weeks,’ which paved the way for the arrival of her debut album, “LP1.” The album featured her production work and collaborations with Paul Epworth, Dev Hynes, Arca, and Sampha. The album received critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for best recording package.
Before she released her second album, she worked on projects that used her background in filmmaking and choreography. In October 2014, she released “#throughglass,” a short film that acted as a promotional piece for Google Glass. She directed the film, which featured a couple of her songs. In 2015, she performed ‘Congregata,’ an interpretive dance performance. She used her album “LP1” as inspiration and borrowed pieces from the same album. In August that year, she returned with M3LL155X (“Melissa”) E.P., which featured collaborations with producer Boots. The E.P. peaked at #63 on the Billboard 200. After 2015, she continued on her musical journey by releasing more albums, such as “Magdalene” in 2019. She also collaborated with other artists such as A$AP Rocky and 645AR. Additionally, she made her film debut with “Honey Boy” in 2019. She followed 2019’s second album “Magdalene” with a comparatively light-hearted 2022 mixtape “Caprisongs,” confirming she is one of the most accomplished singers of her generation.
Barnett begins her career as a backup dancer and appears in music videos such as ‘Do It Like a Dude,’ ‘Price Tag,’ and ‘Yeah Right.’
Barnett is photographed to be on the cover of the “i-D” magazine as she makes her music debut with "EP1" on December 4.
Her debut studio album, "LP1," reaches #30 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and #16 on the U.K. Albums Chart.
Barnett’s dance film Soundtrack 7, which she directs herself, premieres and is performed and filmed for seven days at Manchester International Festival; she also directs, narrates, and stars in a television ad for Nike and dances in Apple's advertisement for HomePod, thus gaining worldwide popularity.
As planned, Barnett drops “Magdalene” on November 8, 2019, and receives universal critical acclaim; the album ranks #1 on four year-end lists and in the top five of seven other lists.
Why We Love FKA Twigs
Barnett's got the sound of the moment
Barnett's voice is languid and expressive without making you feel emotional. Even her lyrics are almost painfully intimate.
She’s a true polymath
She is truly a person with many talents. Apart from her performance skills, she also has a keen eye for video directing and offers her services to other artists as well.
Barnett knows how to keep a low profile
Barnett is low-key in real life. She has even admitted to watching trashy T.V.
5 Surprising Facts
Barnett featured in many music videos
She was a background dancer for Ed Sheeran, Kylie Minogue, and Jessie J, and has appeared in many of their music videos.
Barnett has revealed her inspirations
She has revealed that she was influenced by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Marvin Gaye.
She is a ballet dancer
At her mother's insistence, she started studying classical ballet when she was around seven or eight years old.
Her first kiss was at 16
Barnett revealed on Twitter that she still remembers her first kiss, which was to the soundtrack of Nelly’s ‘Dilemma.’
Her favorite color is red
She feels that the color red brings her luck and that it is a winner's color; accordingly, all her artworks have a hint of red in them.
FKA Twigs FAQs
What does ‘FKA’ stand for in ‘FKA Twigs’?
While people believe it stands for “Formerly Known As,” Barnett has confirmed that it doesn’t and she just threw a bunch of letters together to make something that sounds powerful.
Is FKA twigs' ‘Cellophane’ about Robert Pattinson?
The song opens with a series of emotional questions, and they seem directed at her ex-boyfriend, Pattinson.
How did FKA Twigs meet Robert Pattinson?
There is no news about how exactly they met but the rumors of them dating started in 2014, and Pattinson was spotted at FKA Twigs’ concert with a bouquet of roses.
FKA Twigs’s birthday dates