It was a pleasure to feature such an innovative artist in our Issue 7 magazine, as Twst was one of the most fascinating people we had a chance to speak with.
Who or what inspired you to start making music? Have those inspirations changed over time?
I think that growing up in Barry, Wales, where there isn’t much in the way of art / culture, made me wanna travel in my mind and create my own sort of hyperreality. Michael Jackson was one of the other big reasons I started using music as a form of expression. He really transported me to a different world and I wanted to create the same experience within my music.
I understand you write and produce all of your songs. What is your creative process? (Are you putting yourself in a certain mental state or just free flowing through the process?)
I see the creative process for me to be somewhat academic, almost like a dissertation or something (which lowkey is ironic because I’ve barely ever gone to school). I like to immerse myself in the topic I’m writing about by reading books and poems, watching movies, and kinda living that character for the duration of the time I’m writing a specific song.
I read that you use the term “hikikomori” to describe a moment of reclusion in your childhood. Would you like to elaborate on that? How has this term come to influence you and your music?
I don’t want to elaborate on it that much right now tbh. However, I have started writing directly about my experiences from that time recently, which I’ve never really done before, as a way to understand and digest that time period.... so I guess y’all will hear about it at some point. I very much feel like that time period truly shaped who I am today though, for real.
Do you have any favourite stories behind your songs, whether that’s in the studio or the inspiration behind them?
When I wrote Are You Filming Me, I had just returned from “the jungle” in Calais, where I was volunteering during the refugee crisis. This was a very poignant moment for me, and really made me question my existence in such a heavily surveilled western world.
Do you find it challenging to share your personal experiences with the world?
Yeah of course, being vulnerable is always challenging but I see that as real strength when I experience that from other people. It is really important for me that there is a vulnerability at the core of what I do, and that I continue to be honest with myself and my experiences through my music.
You also incorporate technology into the themes of your music videos. What’s your relationship or opinions on technology?
I honestly feel like I was brought up by the internet. It was and still is a portal for me to travel, educate myself, experience nature, and mass connection. I like being able to have so many one-on-one relationships.
I’m also pretty interested in transhumanism/human enhancement... the human brain hasn’t evolved in a minute so I’m pretty curious to see how transhumanism could further us as a species. I'm also equally terrified for what this could mean in terms of data security and furthering inequality.
What is one aspect of your music that you want to resonate with your listeners?
That people can feel the truth/vulnerability in what I’m saying.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone new entering the creative industry?
“learn to do shit yourself. don’t wait on anyone. invest in yourself. create within communities/friendships that accept and challenge you.”
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Happiness is a Warm Gun.
Are there any projects in the works we should be looking out for?
yh for real. some interesting collabs comin thru.