Monday, August 2, 2010

World inclusive Sky Ferreira interview

Well, I couldn't call it an exclusive, since Sky has spent the last week speaking to most of the major music sites (and some more obscure ones as well). But good for her. It's nice to see a burgeoning pop star making an effort - and her single, One, a brooding electropop melodrama is totally worth it.

Spurred on by her tireless promotional duties, I've worked my fingers to the bone (spent 10 minutes in Photoshop) producing an artist profile, like you used to get on the back page of Look-In. Cut it out, pin it to your wall, then read the interview below. Amazing.

Mrs Blue Sky

Hey, Sky! How are you?
I’m good, how are you?

I’m great, thanks. So, how did you choose One as the next single?
Actually, I’m surprised the label chose this as a single – I thought they weren’t going to. It’s kind of a sad song. It’s about the feeling of being numb, and wanting to feel something.

Feeling alone even though you’re with somebody.
Yeah, exactly. And it's also about being – not in an abusive relationship, but being neglected by someone.

The songs on your MySpace page showcase a lot of different styles – from glam to punk and hip-hop. Were you just casting around to find the one that suited you best?
I wanted to do each track on the album in a different genre, but it didn't turn out that way. I love doing top 40 and I love hip-hop beats, and I love 80s and 70s and French music. There’s so many different things that I love and I’m trying to combine all of it.

But I think I have a sound – it might not be a specific sound, but melodically and lyrically there’s a pattern to what I do. And my voice is pretty distinctive.

It’s quite deep for a young singer.
That's because I started off singing gospel, then I was classically trained to sing opera. I was a soprano.

What’s your range?
It used to be four octaves. I don’t know what it is now – I haven’t done the opera training for about a year.

Do you have perfect pitch as well?
I try to!

Sky Ferreira - One

The album comes out in January – can you tell me about who you worked with?
I worked with so many different people, so many characters. Paul Epworth, Bloodshy & Avant, Greg Kurstin, Linda Perry, Dallas Austin, Rob Fusari, Aeroplane, The Shoes. A lot of people. Pop music, dance music.

When you work with people like that, who have a very established sound, is it difficult to create something that's specifically tailored to you?
That’s the thing – but you learn from each of them. Paul Epworth and Greg Kurstin work so differently from each other.

What was the biggest lesson you learnt?
You can accomplish a lot more than you think you can. And you have to go through a lot of hardship before you get what you want.

Yet you've seemed to land on your feet pretty quickly. The legendary story is that you contacted Bloodshy And Avant, who are multi-million selling producers, on MySpace and they agreed to work with you almost the same day. You must be pretty persuasive!
I was very bold, a bit bratty – but that’s kind of who I am. I’m just very driven. If I want something, I will very much go after it and bother people.

Don’t you get nervous?
It depends on the person, but usually I just go for it. It’s more personal relationships when I get like that. With me, Sky Ferreira and the artist are almost like two different people. I mean, it’s kind of disgusting and wrong for my mind to think like that. It’s like living two different lives.

So you’re essentially Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana?
Yeah. Except minus the huge, famous and rich part.

Sky Ferreira

You moved in showbusiness circles as a child [Sky’s mother was a hairstylist for Michael Jackson]. Did that make you more comfortable about approaching people?
I think it made me more confident. And watching successful people made me more driven. It made me realise what I needed to do to get to that level. And I suppose it made me a little less phased by the fame stuff. I want to find a balance between being successful and being famous. I think they’re two very different things.

Is there anyone you look up to who has struck that balance?
A lot of older artists, like Prince. Did he ever do tabloids?

He was followed around a bit in the 1980s, but he’d essentially bowed out of interviews by the time Controversy came out.
I don’t mind doing music press, though. I just don’t want people following me while I go to Starbucks. But I’m wondering if I can pull that off, because I’ve never seen a female pop artist get away with it.

I think Pink manages to maintain a career without excessively pandering to the tabloids.
That’s a really good example – until she falls off the stage or something!

Has anyone made you starstruck?
I kinda got starstruck over Iggy Pop. I played it cool, though. Or tried to. We have the same PR in America, so I waited ‘til after his show and then pestered her: “Please, introduce me”. I talked to him for, like, five minutes and I tried to act like it didn’t phase me. But it totally did phase me.

Michael Jackson, I never really got starstruck because I was around him when I was younger. I grew up with him, so it wasn’t like that.

Kids tend not to care about the fame thing… That was partly why he liked to be around them, I guess.
I don’t know. If I was seven and I’d met Britney Spears, I would have died.

I find that totally random people phase me. Jason Donovan was one.
I felt like that about John and Edward! It was really weird. I actually felt like I needed to impress them a little bit. I was so shy!

Sky Ferreira's single, One, is out on 22nd August via Parlophone. Her official website is here.

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