FKA Twigs has hit out at her music being labelled “alt-R&B,” saying the comparison only arises because she is mixed race. The London artist recently unveiled her debut full-length album, which Music Feeds reviewer Tom Williams called “her most intricate and gripping work to date.”
“It’s just because I’m mixed race,” the singer, real name Tahliah Barnett, told The Guardian after an interviewer mentioned how her music has often been compared to that of alt-R&B stars like Banks and SZA. Barnett said the comparison only arose after her promo photos came out.
“When I first released music and no one knew what I looked like, I would read comments like: ‘I’ve never heard anything like this before, it’s not in a genre.’ And then my picture came out six months later, now she’s an R&B singer,” said Barnett, going to describe the eclecticism of her sound.
“I share certain sonic threads with classical music; my song Preface is like a hymn, so let’s talk about that. If I was white and blonde and said I went to church all the time, you’d be talking about the choral aspect. But you’re not… because I’m a mixed-race girl from south London,” she said.
Barnett’s comments recall similar statements made by Santigold back in 2008. As NME reports, the singer told The Lipster that her music is “pop” and that comparing it to R&B is “racist,” saying, “Why does R&B keep coming into my interviews? It’s pissing me off. I didn’t grow up as a big fan of R&B.”
Last month, Music Feeds reported on rumours that Barnett had been confirmed to play the 2015 instalment of Laneway Festival. The news came via News Corp journalist Mikey Cahill, who interviewed the critically acclaimed singer and tweeted that she “will play Laneway 2015.”
Watch: FKA Twigs – Two Weeks