Following a stellar performance earlier in the night, FKA Twigs – real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett – was presented the award by Soul II Soul legend Jazzie B during the ceremony which took place March 2 at the O2 Academy Brixton.
“It’s incredible that I’m here to deliver this award to a young sister,” Jazzie B said of giving Twigs the honour, highlighting the fact that she is the youngest winner in history.
He added: “Did you hear me, Brixton? This is a young lady at the very top of her game. You’re blessed baby, you truly are blessed,” before introducing a montage of Twigs’ best impressive moments.
“I’m really so grateful,” Twigs began as she accepted her award, before telling a story about previous Godlike Genius winner Noel Gallagher.
“I was out drinking the other day and I was in a bar and Noel Gallagher was there so I was quite starstruck and I went up to him and said I was receiving the same award as him and he was quite sweet but quite iconically unimpressed with me,” she said.
“I could tell that I’d had a couple drinks and he didn’t really care. I asked him about his music and asked what he was up to at the moment and his face lit up and he started talking about the amazing music he was making and how he was so inspired and how all he wants to do is write songs from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to bed.”
Twigs continued: “I don’t know a godlike genius but it’s a godlike strength to carry on throughout difficult times, the personal experiences, through world experience, the hardest thing to do is to keep going and I feel so grateful to know people like Jazzie who I know stayed up all night music and people like Boy George who do the exact same, staying up all night making art and music.
She concluded her speech: “That’s what I’m doing and I’m just so grateful that there’s a space for me here. Thank you for the support, be safe and let’s just be kind to each other.”
Also honoured at the BandLab NME Awards 2022 were Liam Gallagher (Music Moment Of The Year), Griff (NME Radar Award), Halsey (Innovation Award), Neneh Cherry (Icon Award) and Jack Antonoff (Songwriter Award).