Clash spoke to Californian singer Sky Ferreira for its current issue – available here – about her delayed emergence as a pop force, and how her star is likely to ascend to new heights with the overdue release of her debut album, ‘I’m Not Alright’.
Candid about her previous (relative) missteps on the road to musical recognition, including an aborted contract with Parlophone, Ferreira has seen her career take rewarding but distracting tangents.
She’s dabbled in modeling and acting – with no little success – but now it’s clear that music is her focus, as this excerpt from our exclusive interview outlines.
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As the in-house chemistry at Parlophone disintegrated the teenage dream stalled, and by the time she was 17, Sky had two shelved records, “pretty much no self esteem whatsoever”, and an otherwise atypical teenage identity crisis magnified by the pressures of fame, failure and a pointed sense of isolation.
She describes drifting aimlessly until she made a break from her hometown of Los Angeles to New York City, where she slept on friends’ sofas and in “roach-infested” rooms she found on Craigslist.
This is where she re-figured herself and got down to writing the ‘As If!’ and ‘Ghost’ EPs with friends-turned-collaborators Devonte Hynes, Ariel Rechtshaid and Jon Brion: up all night in conversation rather than under instruction.
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‘Everything Is Embarrassing’, from ‘Ghost’
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Looking back, she insists that it renewed a steely sense of conviction that she’s always had.
“I always knew I wanted to write pop music, but I’ve come to realise that the process of getting there is as much a part of the dream as having my own album in my hands, y’know? I fell hard but when people say things like ‘You only get one chance’, that’s not true.”
Her hopes are pinned on that second chance as, now at 20, she’s recorded the debut she feels she could only have written after such a prolonged, determined effort.
The mention of it however still turns her skin to rice paper: “I feel like I'm transitioning into an adult with so many eyes on me. It makes me uncomfortable, but I do my best to write about that discomfort, so I can simplify it in a way.
“Pop comes in waves. The past five have been about Rihanna, Lady Gaga… [but] the new wave will take over, and I’d like to think [I’m part of it].”
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Words: Lauren Martin
Photo: Alex Sainsbury
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