Photo: Courtesy of Young Turks.
Sex. Just sex. It's scary, messy, and complicated. The idea of it has always been more enticing to me than the actual act. However, my opinion shifts when it's presented as a performance. Sex, then, becomes a tool; a medium for expressing an individual's deepest cravings. When presented publicly, the vulnerability of the act is powerful and makes for a damn good piece of music. Right now, Gloucestershire-born music artist FKA twigs is set to reign over the changing attitudes toward sex and the shift away from the Rihanna style of vulgarity — an attitude that's pervaded the pop scene since Lady Gaga's disco-stick "LoveGame."
I was first introduced to twigs through a friend whose music taste has brought us closer together. She didn't say much other than I had to watch "Water Me" by some unknown artist called FKA twigs. The three-and-a-half minute video, which largely focused on twigs' digitally-exaggerated face, left me speechless. Here was a woman, fragile with a knowing look in her eye, telling a man her strength is found through sex. Her unflinching stare showed she was no hopeless case, either. The audience is not meant to feel bad for her, but rather be intimidated. It reminded me of certain Björk videos from the Vespertine era: an era of self-actualization through sexual experimentation.
After combing through her YouTube page, it became clear everything in her then-tiny oeuvre was just as conceptual and sexually charged. Her sex is far from vulgar. It's calculated. It's raw. It's body-centric. I've said it before, but her music itself — aside from the stunning visual complements — plays like an immediate and sustained orgasm. The catharsis is found in her hypnotic, swirling productions and high-pitched vocal delivery of lyrics like "My thighs are apart for when you're ready to breathe in."
FKA twigs knows the power of sex and has crafted a persona enigmatic enough to keep audience's interests piqued rather than confused and indifferent. Even when she's being dominated, like in "Papi Pacify," she's the one in control. Submissiveness is power. And, power is her vice. It's her satisfaction. The foreplay leading up to her forthcoming debut LP has spanned two EPs. And, it will likely continue past her August release, because twigs understands the power of anticipation. Foreplay is the most satisfying part of sex, after all.