Where Does FKA Twigs’ Name Come From?

FKA twigs has been making music for the better part of a decade. As an artist, the British songbird has been praised for her unique style of genre-bending in her music. Even her name itself has an interesting backstory.

FKA twigs wearing an orange hood
FKA twigs | Samir Hussein/WireImage

FKA twigs debuted in the early 2010s

FKA twigs started out in the entertainment industry as a backup dancer for major artists. She appeared in music videos for artists such as Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, and Taio Cruz in the early 2010s.

Twigs launched her own music career in 2012 with her debut EP EP1. She released her debut album LP1 in 2014, which included the popular singles “Two Weeks” and “Video Girl.” She was praised for her avant-garde take on R&B and the way she blended various genres together.

In 2019, twigs returned with Magdalene, her second full-length album.

The origin of FKA twigs’ name

In 2013, the rising star was profiled in an article for Pitchfork. She revealed that she had gotten the name Twigs because of the way that her joints crack and how loud they are when she stretches and contorts her arms and legs.

She added the letters FKA to her name when another act called the Twigs asked her to change her stage name. The Twigs are a sister duo and have been active since 1994, and at one point were embroiled in a legal case against the singer about her name. And while many believe she added “FKA” to stand for “Formerly Known As,” she stated in a 2014 Dazed interview that that wasn’t the case.

“I was actually gonna be AFK twigs, but then somebody said to me, ‘that stands for ‘Away From Keyboard’, and I was like ‘Oh my God! Away From Keyboard twigs?’ I know I’m aloof, but that’s pushing it a bit too far!” she said. “I just swapped around two of the letters to FKA twigs. And I was pretty annoyed about that anyway, but I got used to it.”

“I didn’t realize that FKA stood for ‘formerly known as.’ And then The Twigs said that because I’m saying ‘formerly known as twigs’, that means that once I was called ‘twigs’, and so I can’t be called twigs now,” she continued. “The only way I won’t have to change my name is if they say that I don’t have to. And they’re not gonna say that. I’m not angry, but I do feel sad about it. It’ll be fine. I might call myself FKA tree trunk. Or FKA baby branches. Or IRL twigs.”


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FKA twigs’ career today

Since then, FKA twigs has been able to hold on to her name. And not only that, but she’s been able to build on her legacy with every passing year.

In early 2022, twigs returned to the music scene with her debut mixtape Caprisongs. The project is meant to be a celebration of Capricorn season and was released just a few days before her 34th birthday in January.