English songstress FKA twigs covers Complex June/July 2015, where she speaks on her forthcoming EP3, racist attacks on social media, being labeled “alternative R&B,” and much more in a dynamic, animated editorial.
For her Matt Irwin-photographed shoot, she wears selections by Alexander McQueen, Rachel Entwistle, DR4BP, Ed Marler, Fannie Schiavoni, Marina Hoermanseder and KTZ chosen by stylist Karen Clarkson.
On dealing with racist backlash since beginning a relationship with fiancé Robert Pattison:
“I wouldn’t say I’m completely numb to it now, but there’s definitely a numbness there… It is pretty horrible. But ultimately, I’m in an amazing relationship. So it doesn’t matter.”
On her mental state while working on her debut album, LP1, which released in August 2014:
“Looking back on when I did LP1, I had a really deep, weird self-loathing. I was weirdly self-harming through the people who I was forcing on myself… The two years previous to me doing LP1, I just didn’t have a lot of… I didn’t have a lot of respect for my heart. Now, I have way more respect for my heart.”
On how most interviewers make her feel:
On being designated under “alternative R&B” by the media:
“If this is what being an artist is. I’m just not really sure this is for me. This”—the press cycle— “is horrific. I could be doing dance class right now.”
“It’s a little bit because of how I look. Maybe if I looked differently, then people would be like, ‘Oh, I can hear these classical sounds in her voice.’ It’s not that I don’t want to be called R&B, but there are lots of other things, as well. So let’s talk about everything.”
On how EP3 represents the next stage of her womanhood, post-LP1, which largely reflected on a torturous relationship with an ex-boyfriend:
“It’s a lot to do with more openly female energy, and things that affect that balance. That’s why I wanted to be pregnant in the video [for “Glass & Patron”]. The EP is called Melissa, and ‘Melissa’ to me is my personal female energy. I’ve never called it ‘Melissa’ before the EP. It’s not a weird alter ego. It’s just my way of separating it from myself.”
On honing in on her “Melissa,” with the help of voguing and her vogue friends:
On a new song from EP3 titled, “Mother Creep,” which she describes as an “apology”:
“Voguing has helped me grow into the best young lady that I can be at this time. Through these boys—the dancers—I’ve learned to embrace parts of my femininity that I wasn’t in touch with before.
“[It’s about] the time when you realize that when you were 15, you didn’t know everything.” [It’s also about] understanding— through becoming the alpha female in my household now—how the other alpha female in my life did things.”
On others’ perception of her:
“I feel like people don’t realize that I have a sense of humor about things.” I’m very goofy, and I’ve enjoyed being able to incorporate some of that into my work, but still have a really serious message behind it. I think I’ve really enjoyed making this EP because of that…”
On her life as it stands:
“I haven’t had an easy life at all, but everything seems to be working out. I’m so grateful for that, because at times, especially when I was a teenager, I just couldn’t see how things could ever get better, or how I’d ever be able to do this. I don’t know what I thought I’d be doing. I’d always worked hard at music and at dancing, but I never thought I’d get the opportunity to be doing this, and have the belief of people to give me a budget to make a video.”