we speak to fka twigs about dreaming of motherhood and defying expectations
Last night FKA twigs played the first show of her sold out Australian tour in Melbourne and it was every inch the celestial experience we dreamed of. Emerging on stage in Melbourne, dressed in all white and wearing a single thigh high strapped black boot, Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known as 'Twigs' performed a dizzying set complete with those bold dance moves under theatrical lights. As she embarks on her tour down under, we caught up with i-D cover star Twigs to talk about the musical Cats, interior design and being a good mother.
You made an impact online a while before your mainstream crossover. How do you find suddenly being thrust into interviews like this?
I don't know, maybe I'm deluded but I don't feel like anything has changed too much. I don't have Twitter or Instagram on my phone, and I don't read stuff about myself on the internet, I find it hard to gage what the level of things are, or how they've changed. I don't even really understand.
You have become a cultural note though, you're being referenced in the mainstream now. Do you ever notice yourself reflected back in pop culture?
Yeah, sometimes I do.
How does it feel?
Kind of weird.
Can you feel yourself changing in the face of all this?
No, not at all. But I think that's because I have really amazing friends. I don't know if I'm changing, I don't take any notice of it.
You've had a big two years, what's been the most surprising thing?
I don't know, I don't know if I get surprised. I don't know if I can be surprised. I'm not really sure.
Have you always been like that?
Yeah, I can be quite linear sometimes. Despite my music being all over the place.
Lets move away from music for a bit. What else do you like to do?
I like writing things.
Not really stories, I like inventing things in my head. Like scenes, I like writing scenes, but maybe in the scene no one talks and it's just a series of images.
When you were a kid who did you love?
I really liked the white cat in Cats. She was really flexible; all the cats were really flexible.
If you could be really good at anything what would it be?
I want to be a really good mum.
Oh that's such a nice answer.
Yeah, I'd want to be a good mum and an excellent wife.
I like that focus on something that's not ephemeral, but will make you happy.
Yeah it's so boring isn't it? I think if you just always focus on your art all the time you're probably a pretty two dimensional person. I think some people who aren't creative think that doing something creative makes them three-dimensional. But I think if you're a creative person then doing something loving and giving makes you three-dimensional. You don't have to be the weirdest creative person.
When you meet people do you sense they have an expectation that they want you to be an eccentric piece of performance art?
Yes, definitely. I mean in some ways I am 100 percent that, and in some ways I'm not, but you're not going to get it in an interview. You're not going to get it from meeting me in a club. I'm pretty dry really. I guess we're all eccentric in our own way; you could probably try and look for something more interesting in me than there is. I just like making things and I'm a real person. I'm not a pretend person; I'm a real, actual person.
Do you find yourself trying to protect yourself when you meet people because of the concern they're looking for a story or an angle?
I mean I've always been like that. I've always been quite quiet and sometimes I just don't like talking. It's not like something that's suddenly developed. I've always been that kind of person, I just don't want attention.
Does that make the success bittersweet?
I don't do that much coverage, it's kind of okay. I did lots of promo in the beginning and I realised I didn't like it and it made me feel uncomfortable and now I don't really do it.
Lets stop talking about work. In your everyday life what are you excited about at the moment?
I've rented a flat and I'm decorating my bedroom and my friend's helping me. She's a really creative interior designer and so funny. I don't get to see her that much because we're both really busy. She does houses in other countries and works in Ibiza quite a lot doing up villas, but I love that she said she'd help me make by bedroom really nice and organised.
She said she was going to make me a wardrobe in my room so that I can organise all of my costumes properly and have everything laid out. And she's making me a headboard for my bed, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm going on tour in the next few days and I'm going to give her a key to my house and she's going to come and do it.
How do you not just burn out from all the travel and performing?
I think you do get burnt out. You just have to keep on going. You get burnt out but it's just not really an option. You just keep on going, and keep on going, and keep on going.
Text Wendy Syfret
Live photography Courtney DeWitt
Twigs portrait Matthew Stone
Styling Matthew Josephs
The Just Kids Issue, no. 320, Pre-Fall 12