FKA twigs has form when it comes to casting a spell over Brixton Academy. At the 2020 edition of the NME Awards, a magical performance of ‘Magdalene’ highlight ‘Cellophane’ proved a spellbinding highlight. It’s fitting that two years later, she’s returning to show another equally thrilling side to her versatile universe – with a stand-out cut from this year’s mixtape ‘Caprisongs’ – as the winner of this year’s Godlike Genius award. The final gong of the night, she’s already been crowned the winner ahead of taking to the stage, but tonight’s performance of ‘Meta Angel’ really sees the multi-talented musician claiming her crown.
“It’s a Godlike strength to carry on through difficult times… ” she said, accepting her award. “The hardest thing is to keep on going,” she added. “That’s what I’m doing and i’m so grateful there’s a space for me here.”
While ‘Magdalene’ was a raw and emotionally eviscerating masterpiece – charged with heartbreak and the frustration of physical limitation (shortly before its release, twigs was recovering from surgery) – ‘Caprisongs’ shows a free-rolling side. An artist of near-endless talent, twigs already has pole dancing and intensely complicated sword-twirling under her belt: and now, she’s also a restless collaborator, teaming up with the likes of Shygirl, Pa Salieu, The Weeknd, Sega Bodega, Daniel Caesar, Tobias Jesso Jr, and Rema for the loose, constantly evolving collection of low-key pop bangers.
Flanked by a brigade of masked dancers, twigs amps up the drama from the off with a huge piece silver, alien-butterfly attire that flaps and unfurls to mark each crucial moment. Strutting across the front of the stage as the giant wings are shed, her performance of ‘Meta Angel’ – with a touch of ‘Tears In The Club’, for good measure – is the perfect match to ‘Caprisongs’ fun-loving feel.
The youngest ever winner of Godlike Genius, twigs follows in the footsteps of Johnny Marr, Blondie, Courtney Love, Dave Grohl, The Cure, Ozzy Osbourne, and all the prize’s legendary victors. And as one of the most exciting, innovative and boundary-pushing artists of our age, there really isn’t a more fitting musician to join them.