FKA twigs loves to vogue — this much we know.
But the degree to which the ever-elastic performer holds the underground-turned-sorta-mainstream community responsible for her own development has never been made quite so evident before as with “Figure 8,” an ode to the art of vogue — and a statement of self as a woman.
Almost exactly one year to the day after the release of her intoxicating debut LP1 (read the review), the shape-shifting voguestress-in-training premiered the latest song from her upcoming EP Melissa, which will include her still-awesome Google Glass ad song-turned-single, “Glass & Patron.”
True to twigs form, the twisting track is a bunch of things in one: sexy, primal, jarring, eerie and obtuse — to say the least.
“I was just feeling actually quite sad and feeling a bit lost, because after you release a record you get thrown into this weird world and it’s difficult to keep hold of who you are and what you want to do,” she said of writing the song late last year during the Beats 1 interview with Zane Lowe.
Voguing is what’s kept twigs balanced, and in return, she’s paying tribute to the legendary voguers who have taught her along the way, including Jamel Prodigy, who taught her that every move in vogue relates back to a figure eight, representing eternity. “LOOK at my face, LOOK at my face, LOOK at my face. Look at how powerful I am, look at how beautiful I am, look at how confident I am,” she explained to COMPLEX while demonstrating the movements.
“I take a step, I break my neck/Teach me how to lead with my middle finger/Boys growing boys growing girls into women/Teach me how to live life like I’m not a singer/3-3-3-3-3-3, hold that pose for me,” her voice twists and turns, alien style, above the strange, swinging pendulum of otherworldly textures before a deep, pleasurable groan at the end of the song. (“Hold that pose for me” is also a line from “Glass & Patron.”)
That other line — “Boys growing boys growing girls into women” — is an important one she’s referenced before in interviews, including one recently with V: “I’ve felt more like a woman since I’ve met these men so in touch with their femininity. They teach me how to be a woman, how to feel, how to have class and poise, and how to feel good about myself. I’ll dance for them and I’ll dance for myself, as thanks.” LGBTQ warrior, basically.
Don’t ‘get it’ when it comes to twigs? Like Björk, it’s worth reminding everyone that FKA isn’t trying to be a pop star by any means, despite her growing popularity. The music is more about raw, avant-garde self-expression than radio-friendly hooks.
Her otherworldly vocals and enigmatic, genre-less production are what’s kept fans captivated, as well as her striking visuals and live performances, which are, as we’ve seen time again and again, unparalleled.
Keep being weird in your own way, twigs. It’s working.