FKA Twigs

Real Name : Tahliah Debrett Barnett

Born: 16/01/1988 (35 yo)
Birth place: Gloucestershire, England

Citizenship : United Kingdom, (British)
Ascendant : Jamaica
Ethnicity : Jamaican father and British/Spanish mother

Occupation : Singer , also songwriter, producer and dancer
Active Years: 2012 to present


Tahliah Debrett Barnett, known by the stage name FKA twigs, is a British singer, songwriter, producer and dancer. She was born and raised in Gloucestershire, and became a backup dancer after moving to London when she was 17 years old.

Barnett first entered the music industry with the release of her extended plays EP1 (2012) and EP2 (2013).

Her debut studio album LP1 (2014) peaked at number 16 on the UK Albums Chart and number 30 on the U.S. Billboard 200.


Early life and career beginnings

Tahliah Debrett Barnett was born in Gloucestershire. Her father is Jamaican, and her mother, who used to be a dancer and a gymnast, is of part English and Spanish descent. Barnett was raised by her mother and stepfather. She did not meet her father, a jazz dancer, until she was 18. She grew up in Gloucestershire, and she has described the county as "kind of in the middle of nowhere." She attended St. Edward's School, Cheltenham, a private Catholic school. She came from a low-income family and her education at the school was paid for by an academic scholarship.

At 16, Barnett started making music in youth clubs. At the age of 17, twigs moved to London to pursue a career as a dancer. she worked as a backup dancer in music videos by artists such as Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, and Taio Cruz. She was a backup dancer for Jessie J in her 2010 video for "Do It like a Dude", and appeared again in her 2011 video for "Price Tag". In 2011, she appeared in a two-minute BBC comedy sketch titled Beyonce Wants Groceries, in which she was a backup dancer in a supermarket. In August 2012, twigs was photographed for the cover of i-D magazine.

She became known as twigs for the way her joints crack. She added the initialism FKA to her name when another artist called the Twigs complained about her use of the name. "FKA" stands for "Formerly Known As".


2012–present: EP1, EP2, LP1, and EP3

twigs self-released her music debut, EP1 on Bandcamp on 4 December 2012. She posted a video for each song on her YouTube channel. In August 2013, twigs released the video for her first single "Water Me" on YouTube. The video was directed by Jesse Kanda. That same month, The Guardian profiled twigs for their "New Band of the Day" feature, describing her as "the UK's best example to date of ethereal, twisted R&B."

twigs's second extended play, EP2, was released through the Young Turks record label in September. It was produced by twigs and Arca. Pitchfork gave EP2 a rating of 8/10. In December, she was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2014 prize, and was chosen by Spotify for their Spotlight on 2014 list. twigs was then featured on Billboard‍‍?'‍s 14 Artists to Watch in 2014.

In April 2014, twigs appeared on the cover of The Fader for its 91st issue. She then directed and starred in the music video for "Ouch Ouch" by rapper Lucki Eck$. She also produced the track. twigs's debut album, LP1, was released in August through Young Turks. Time magazine gave the album a positive review, saying that twigs has "made that transition to one of the most compelling and complex acts in R&B." twigs then announced a world tour starting on 2 October at The Dome in Brighton, England and ending on 3 December in Orlando, Florida at The Social. FKA twigs posted three videos on her YouTube channel: a video starring London dance crew Wet Wipez, directed and scored by twigs; a remix of the song "Ache" titled "tw-ache"; and the Lucki Eck$ track "Ouch Ouch", which was produced by twigs. twigs's album LP1 was one of the nominees for the 2014 Mercury Prize. In September, FKA twigs performed on BBC's Later with Jools Holland. In October 2014, FKA twigs released a video for 'Video Girl' while she also filmed an advert for Google Glass. twigs made her American TV debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on 4 November. In February 2015, she performed Congregata, a theatrical "coming together" and choreographed performance that visualised “the story of my life while making this album” at the Roundhouse in Camden London.

On November 7, 2014 producer Boots announced he was working on EP3 with twigs. The video for "Glass & Patron", the first song released from the EP was posted on twigs's official YouTube channel on March 23, 2015. On May 15, 2015, on her official Instagram account, she posted a picture of men posing with jackets on that had an image of twigs' face from the "Papi Pacify" video with twigs captioning the pic "coming soon...


Musical style and influences

FKA twigs has been described as "catchy pop" with "whispery vocals". It has been compared to the work of Tricky as well as the xx and Massive Attack. Her Slate review pegs her as distinctive in a way that rises above her influences.

The first singers who had an impact on FKA twigs were Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Marvin Gaye. When she started composing songs, she wanted to reproduce music she liked: "every bit of music that I made sounded like a pastiche of Siouxsie and the Banshees or Adam Ant. But through that I discovered myself". Describing her artistry, she said: "I am not restricted by any musical genre. I like to experiment with sounds, generating emotions while putting my voice on certain atmospheres. Younger, I only listened to punk, Siouxsie and the Banshees and then I found my own way of playing punk. I like industrial sounds and incorporating everyday life's sounds like a car alarm."


Personal life

In April 2015, it was confirmed that Barnett is engaged to actor and musician Robert Pattinson.

Websites & Social Networks


Studio Albums

  • 2014 LP1

Extended Plays

  • 2012 EP1
  • 2013 EP2


  • 2014      "FKA x inc."
  • 2014      "Two Weeks" (Album LP1)
  • 2014      "Pendulum" (Album LP1)
  • 2014      "Give Up" (Album LP1)
  • 2014      "Video Girl" (Album LP1)

Awards and nominations

  • 2014 Mercury Prize Best British Album of 2014
  • 2014 BBC Sound of 2014 Sound of 2014 Herself Eight
  • 2015 Grammy Awards Best Recording Package LP1
  • 2015 IMPALA Awards European Independent Album of the Year 
  • 2015 Brit Award British Female Solo Artist
  • 2015 British Breakthrough Act 
  • 2015 NME Award Best New Artist 
  • 2015 Best Video Clip "Two Weeks" 
  • 2015 YouTube Music Awards 50 greatest artists and YouTube performances (Won) 
  • 2015 BET Awards Best International Act (Pending)