Sky Ferreira isn't your average high school dropout. Almost immediately after calling it quits on secondary education, the 22-year-old L.A. native nabbed a record deal (with a little help from MySpace), and film and modeling gigs soon followed. "I always knew I was going to do music," she told InStyle. "I already knew how to, so I just kept interacting and contacting producers online and recording videos." Her ravenous internet activity caught the attention of producers Bloodshy & Avant, a Swedish songwriter and production duo that has worked with Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Madonna, to name a few.
Now, with a critically-acclaimed debut album under her belt, a stint as the opening act for Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz Tour, and a newly-penned contract with hair care brand Redken, Ferreira is poised to prove any and all of her naysayers wrong (she recently tweeted: "I'm not a high school dropout. Just a middle school graduate"). We caught up with the singer at the Boston Calling Music Festival after she performed a 50-minute synth-infused set. Here's an excerpt from our chat:
Your music has a distinct '80s feel—especially your videos. Who are your primary influences from that decade? There are a few. Obviously Madonna’s a big one for me, and Debbie Harry also. I love Kate Bush too. Visually, my favorite movies are from the '80s, like [Lou Adler's] Ladies and Gentleman, The Fabulous Stains. I love David Lynch, [Tony Scott's] The Hunger, and [director] Ridley Scott too.
You once told us that your mother was Michael Jackson’s hairdresser. Did he have an impact too? As I got older, for sure. I never really connected the two people as the same person, because I was so young. I knew he was famous, but in my mind I was like, “This guy has a really cool house. He has a roller coaster in his house … take me with you.” It’s better than Disneyland: He had a movie theater, he had the Oscar from Gone with the Wind, he had E.T., and a zoo with giraffes and elephants that you could ride.
Some people have compared your sound to Lorde, who's also playing this festival.I feel like we’re both really outspoken. I feel like she’s very much herself, very honest, and so am I, so it’s not a bad comparison. I’m definitely not insulted by it at all.
You're both brunettes, too. What's your natural hair color? It's naturally auburn—I dyed it dark so my hair would grow back. I’m halfway there. I’m going to go back to blond once it’s long.
Does being a spokeswoman for Redken make you want to change up your color more frequently?As a performer, I feel like I connect more with blond hair. The hard part is maintaining it. It's a lot of work, but I'm willing to do it.
Listen to “I Blame Myself” by Sky Ferreira below, plus discover more bands that are currently on our radar now!