“cellophane” was British singer, songwriter and performer FKA twigs’ (real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett) first single in three years and was released on the 24th April 2019 as the lead single from her second studio album “Magdalene”, which was released in November later that year.
Written and produced by FKA twigs, Jeff Kleinman and Michael Uzowuru, “cellophane” is rumoured to be about FKA twigs’ former relationship with actor Robert Pattinson, who became known for his roles in the Twilight Saga series. Many of the Twilight fans did not approve of Pattinson and Twigs’ relationship, leading to FKA Twigs’ being the undeserving target of insults and bullying. In October 2017, it was reported that the two had ended their engagement. In an interview with Australian radio show Double J in June 2019, FKA twigs revealed how “cellophane” came to exist. “I wrote the song probably just over a year ago, but I think the feeling for the song maybe started a year before that. I was in a lot of solitude and everything just started to change in terms of my home life. That started to spread out into the clothes I was wearing… I went to a vintage fair and found this one dress, it was a white medieval dress. I just lived in it. I lived in that one dress for ages.
I isolated myself a lot, I was in LA and I was moving around LA by myself, I wasn’t talking to my friends or my family, really. I was just wandering around in these medieval dresses.” The song received widespread acclaim from music critics, particularly praising twigs on her vocals and range. Pitchfork named it the best song of 2019 and the “Best New Track” award, with other music publications such as NME praising the song for its vulnerable and emotional lyrics and sound.
The music video for “cellophane” was released alongside the song on the 24th April 2019. When the video was released on YouTube, FKA twigs released a statement via Twitter thanking director Andrew Thomas Huang for helping fulfill her vision for the video. “when I wrote cellophane over a year ago a visual narrative came to me immediately, I knew I had to learn how to pole-dance to bring it to life, and so that’s what I did. thank you @Andrew_T_Huang, for elevating my vision beyond words. you are a visionary.” The video shows FKA twigs pole dancing in front of an audience that cannot be seen, climbing up the pole when she meets a large flying insect who has a face like hers, leading her to fall into an “underworld” of sorts, and then being covered in clay by two female features. According to Huang in an interview with British newspaper the Evening Standard back in October 2019, the video is supposed to be “imagery of her [FKA twigs] ascending and then falling through an image of herself. As of February 2019, the video has over 7.8 million views and 277 thousand likes.
Release Date: 24th April 2019
Songwriter/s: FKA Twigs, Jeff Kleinman & Michael Uzowuru
Producer/s: FKA Twigs, Kleinman & Uzowuru
Label: Young Turks
Music Video Release Date: 24th April 2019
Music Video Director: Andrew Thomas Huang
Chart Certifications, Nominations & Awards: “cellophane” reached #30 on the New Zealand Hot Singles chart in 2019, but despite the track not reaching mainstream charts, “cellophane” was nominated for multiple awards at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2019: the “Best Direction” award, “Best Visual Effects”, and “Best Choreography”, but failed to win any of them. However, at the UK Music Video Awards in the same year, “cellophane” took home 4 awards out of 5 nominations; “Best Alternative Video – UK”, “Best Cinematography in a Video”, “Best Editing in a Video” and lastly, “Best Visual Effects in a Video”. In 2020, the video was also nominated for the “Best Music Video” award at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
The lyrics to “cellophane” can be viewed here: LINK