In our preview of FKA Twigs (given name Tahliah Debrett Barnett), who plays the Showbox Tuesday, we repeated an explanation of “FKA” originally published by Pitchfork, taken up by Wikipedia, then repeated a gajillion times in a gigajillion publications.
When Seattle Times freelancer Mike Ramos spoke with the British soul sensation on the phone last week, however, she said that explanation was false.
“FKA doesn’t actually stand for ‘formerly known as,’ it’s just a collection of letters,” she said. “I was gonna be like FK1 Twigs…or AFK Twigs…I just wanted a selection of letters that sounded quite kind of masculine and strong. FKA just worked.
“It doesn’t stand for anything, it’s just capital letters. Twigs has been my nickname for years and I guess a lot of people close to me called me Twigs like as a nickname. Before I even did dancing properly or anything like, substantially creative, I was still Twigs.
“Now I think I’m more comfortable with people calling me Tahliah, in a weird way. I don’t know why, I think I’ve just grown into my name a bit more. I always felt like Tahliah’s a very grown-up name to have. It’s a pretty name when you’re young and then I think when I became a young lady it felt kind of like a lot to grow into for some reason. I don’t know. It sounds kind of regal. I never really liked it. I always felt like I couldn’t live up to it. Now I’ve become a bit older and I feel like I can introduce myself as Tahliah and it feels a bit more natural, I feel like I’ve grown into it.”
Well, all right then, Tahliah it is.