Just a few months after sharing her story of domestic abuse with the public, FKA Twigs is covering the new issue of British style publication The Face magazine with an interview by her good friend Michaela Coel. Coel, the mind behind series such as Chewing Gum and I May Destroy You, apparently befriended Twigs after they randomly ran into each other in London while Coel was shooting IMDY during the covid-19 pandemic. The pair became close quickly, and have quite literally held and supported each other through the ups and downs of the past year—in fact, Coel is one of the few people who has heard anything from Twigs’s upcoming album. During the interview, the two touched on everything from Blackness and Twigs’s childhood to her current creative projects and the challenges of being in the public eye.
On her experiences of racism while growing up in an almost entirely white village:
MC: Do you remember experiences of feeling othered? Or racism?
T: Oh my gosh, 100 per cent. The first day I went to school, someone wouldn’t hold my hand in case the brown came off. It was pretty much, yeah, straight away. It was worse, I think, as I got into my teenage years. You know, I looked very different and my hair was very different. I had massive wild hair, and I’ve spoken about this experience before, maybe even with you, of me going to London and going into a Black hair shop and getting all these oils for my hair. I must’ve been about 15. And it was just like I’d walked into heaven, all the different products with girls on the packaging that looked like me. I remember my mum spent quite a lot of money in this hair shop. She said: “I’ll get you this stuff but you have to use it and you have to look after your hair.” I was like: “OK, OK, I will, I will…” And it all smelled so good. It was Dark and Lovely [hair care products] and it was a leave-in conditioner that smelled like bubblegum.
On going public with her experiences of domestic abuse:
MC: Yeah, it’s a lot. You are a lot and you’re very small but incredibly mighty! Incredibly mighty. I guess on that topic of sharing about the domestic abuse that you experienced, how did it feel before you shared it? When you had to keep it?
T: I felt like I was holding on to somebody else’s dysfunction. And now I feel like I’ve given it back to him. It’s his to hold and rightly so. He can hold it because it’s not mine. That’s how I feel now. I can only hold my things, which is fine, I like holding my things because I know where everything is in my handbag, do you know what I mean? I know how to organise it, how to organise my handbag so I can get through the day. Whereas if I’m holding someone else’s dysfunction it’s heavy and I don’t know where everything is, and it comes up at weird times. It’s chaos, you know? I don’t feel like that anymore…
On her new television series (which, unsurprisingly, sounds dope):
T: Oh, sad day! So off the back of sad day, a music video that I did for one of my songs off Magdalene, I’ve developed it into a TV series and they’ve picked it up. So I’m currently making my first TV series.
T: It’s like a martial arts TV series which is very much centred around outsiders. And the idea of wanting to fit in but not being able to. I’ve been putting a lot of research into the way that the Black community and the Chinese martial arts community have a really deep connection. It goes into music: the Wu-Tang Clan came together almost through martial arts.
MC: It sounds so unique and like, SICK.
T: I mean, honestly, God knows, I’ve never done it before. So we’ll see. I’ve been working on that and just allowing myself to try new things and not be restricted. But I’ve not been coming to you about it because I know you’re probably like: “twigs, no.” I send you my music…
Check out the full interview here.