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November 13, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Brit sensation FKA Twigs to make Seattle debut | Concert preview

“I just wanted to be really honest and open, and make music that was egoless,” said U.K. artist FKA Twigs of her moving and personal debut album, “LP1.”

Twigs — already a sensation in England and chosen by Billboard magazine this year as “an artist to watch” — makes her Seattle debut at the Showbox Tuesday, Nov. 18.

“I was heartbroken, everything was going wrong,” she continued. “I’m paranoid, I have anxiety. You know, in those moments when you feel your ugliest — it’s more just putting that on the table and realizing that that’s OK and that’s really beautiful.”

The 26-year-old singer-dancer conveys these conflicts with an emotional, seductive sound — breathy, angelic, yet also somewhat uneasy, with spacious, swelling, futuristic downtempo electronic beats as a backdrop.

Born Tahliah Barnett (“FKA” stands for “formerly known as,” to distinguish her from another artist who took the same stage name), Twigs was born in a rural county of Gloucestershire, England. She left her small-town, Catholic-school upbringing and moved to London at age 17, where she pursued a career as a dancer.

She found moderate success dancing in videos for U.K. pop stars such as Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, Taio Cruz and Jessie J, then in December 2012 launched a singing career with “EP1.” She wrote and co-produced all four songs and also co-directed four strange videos to go along with them.

A fair amount of the buzz around her has been focused on her viral, eyebrow-raising videos, beginning with last year’s “EP2” tracks “Water Me” and “Papi Pacify.” “Water Me” shows her with cartoonish, anime-like hair and makeup, her eyes bugging out as she silently cries. “Papi Pacify” exposes her in little to no clothing in a variety of sexually-charged poses.

Twigs was more interested in talking about her new album, which expands on her deconstructed electronic style by incorporating the production talents of Emile Haynie, Clams Casino, Sampha and Arca (who also co-produced “EP2”). It is her most personal work to date.

“ ‘LP1’ is more me because I did it more by myself,” she said. “I learned to program, so I was more in control of the effects that were used. I think I created my own sonic palette aside from anyone else.”

Twigs said she finds it “quite annoying“ to be asked about her humble beginnings, which stand in such sharp contrast to her current London life and career — which includes being linked romantically to “Twilight” actor Robert Pattinson. But perhaps that is the source of the anxiety and vulnerability so aptly expressed in her music.

She shrugs off that suggestion, asserting that the past is just that.

“I don’t really enjoy intellectualizing things,” she said.

FKA Twigs

9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $20-$25 (888-929-7849 or

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "LP1", "Water Me", Concert Preview


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