The Guardian (UK) - November 30, 2014
FKA twigs calls Robert Pattinson "the man that I love"
“Oh, I’m nothing. I’m nothing right now.” Twigs offers a neat delineation on the different sorts of repute a “weird” artist can
attain. “I think it’s easy to sit in this trendy cafe, in a trendy little area of New York, and say ‘Ooh, I’m FKA Twigs’. But
outside of these four blocks, does anybody really give a shit? Probably not. I’m well aware if I walk down one street in New York,
I’ll hear people say: ‘Oh my gad!’ And if I walk down another street: nothing. And those streets are blocks apart from each other.
“I’m appealing to people who want something different,” she says, “but the world, on the whole, doesn’t really embrace different
things. Not on the whole.”
This might be a subject on her mind because she’s been wrestling, of late, with a fairly major collision between the worlds of the
niche and the mainstream. When her relationship with Robert Pattinson became public, a couple of months ago, it narcotised her
public profile – a profile that had until then been pretty subtle and quiet and under Twigs’s direct control. Pattinson retains a
lot of manic fans from his days as a young-adult idol in the Twilight film franchise. Twigs is mixed-race, her mother part Spanish
and her father Jamaican, and when the relationship with Pattinson came to light she received a lot of crude online abuse from his
fans. “I am genuinely shocked and disgusted at the amount of racism that has been infecting my [Twitter] account the past week,”
she tweeted in September.
Twigs tells me: “Obviously I know if you’re putting yourself out there, saying, ‘Hey! Listen to my music!’, with pictures of yourself
in the magazines, then people are going to judge you. ‘I hate her music. I hate her hair. I hate her production. I hate her videos.’
Fine: don’t care. That’s the great thing about art, it’s not for everyone. But when it comes to racism, really? In this day and age?
Pattinson has joined her in these early stages of her US tour, a sweet gesture that has unfortunately launched a grim game of cat
and mouse around the city, the pair trailed everywhere by a school of paparazzi. There were especially awkward photographs taken the
night before our lunch, Twigs pictured getting out of a cab with one hand in Pattinson’s and the other trying to shield her face
from flashbulbs. I tell her how uncomfortable the images were to look at, her distress plain. She doesn’t want to go in to specifics
of her romantic life (who would, after two months of gossip-page commentary?) but she says something rather lovely about the
compromises required of this new relationship. I think it’s worth quoting in full.
“That side of my life [the paparazzi] is nothing to do with me. That’s, like… That is the… side of life of the man that I love. And…
when that started happening I had to… Because that is the opposite of who I am as a person, and it was weird… Then I had to sit back
and have a conversation with myself and I had to say: that is something really horrible. No, not horrible, I don’t find it horrible,
it’s something that’s very challenging. I look uncomfortable because I am uncomfortable. But then it’s, like, is this person in my
life worth that? And he is, without question. Do you know what I mean? In comparison to how happy I am. And how I feel with him.
It’s 100% worth it. Does that make sense?”
“Good,” she says. We eat our trendy food.
From a balcony at the back (a few seats down from the famous boyfriend) I struggle to recognise the lunch buddy who quoted The Lego
Movie at me and got sad over a memory of commemorative coins. I’m watching Twigs in performance mode, obscure and remote. During the
final sequence of songs there’s a sudden, sustained ovation, after which she breaks character for a second to say a flushed thank
you. Afterwards, outside the venue, one fan turns to another and says: “I had no idea until then she was even English.”
Thanks to Robsessed !