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FKA twigs in the Summer 2014 issue of Dazed
FKA twigs in the Summer 2014 issue of DazedPhotography Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, styling Karen Clarkson

Amandla: why twigs is important for black artists

Dazed cover star Amandla Stenberg praises the singer, saying that black musicians aren’t usually ‘permitted to be weird’

British avant-pop auteur FKA twigs is a verified visionary. Her visual EP, which premiered earlier this month, features pregancy, voguing, sex dolls and Michèle Lamy – along with some of London’s finest fashion talents including Craig Green and Faustine Steinmetz. In a new interview with ES Magazine, Dazed’s current cover star Amandla Stenberg has spoken about twigs’ importance to black artists. 

“FKA twigs gets so much attention because she expresses herself in her own say,” says Stenberg. “She’s so out there, which you don’t see in many black artists. You have Björk and Grimes who are eccentric, but it’s like black musicians aren’t permitted to be weird.”

“I’m just somebody that has always done really weird things,” twigs told us last year. 
“Everybody was like, ‘Why do you do ballet?’, and, ‘Why do you wanna sing opera?’, and like, ‘Why are you singing jazz with 80-year-olds? Why do you wanna do those things?!’”

Stenberg herself is resistant to the status quo. The American teenager belongs to a new generation of politicised young women – one that includes Tavi Gevinson, Willow Smith and Kiernan Shipka. Well-versed in intersectional feminist theory, the Hunger Games actress turned activist speaks out on everything from cultural appropriation to the representation of black women in Hollywood. 

“I definitely feel that the roles that exist for women of colour are often one dimensional and lack substance!” she told us in her Facebook Q&A. “My dream is to change this and create my own projects – and in terms of roles I’d like to be offered, I’d honestly just love to see a movie with a black female lead who is allowed to be nuanced.”