This year, we’re celebrating an extended Black History Month by highlighting a variety of rising artists who are creating history before our very eyes. Tahliah Barnett, better known as FKA Twigs, is making some of the most bewitching music in the world right now, and creating her own rules when it comes to artistic expectation.
Growing up in Gloucestershire, England, Twigs started off as a dancer and appeared in videos for artists like Ed Sheeran and Jessie J, among others. Soon, she realized that she wanted to make music full-time—and began working with some of the most forward-thinking names in music, including Arca, Sampha and Dev Hynes.
Debut album LP1 won raves from the indie blogosphere and mainstream press in 2014, vaulting Twigs onto year-end lists too often dominated by white artists. With a hypnotic stage show, eye-popping music videos, celebrity romance (with Robert Pattinson) and groundbreaking new EP last year (M3LL155X), FKA Twigs has shifted R&B music to a place where the rest of the pack is trying to keep up with her ideas.