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Sky Ferreira

Sky Ferreira

Interviewed by
Courtney Sanders
Friday 21st February, 2014 8:29AM

She’s modelled for Marc Jacobs, Hedi Slimane and Terry Richardson. She was friends with Michael Jackson. She was recently busted for heroin possession alongside her boyfriend, DIIV frontman Zachary Cole Smith. She has become sexy media fodder for a myriad reasons other than her music, but the release of her album Night Time, My Time, is changing all of that. The record includes her breakthrough singles ‘You’re Not the One’ as well as the title track, and features collaborative efforts between Ferreira and Dev Hynes A.K.A Blood Orange – favoured by Solange Knowles and Florence Welch – and Ariel Rechtshaid from Vampire Weekend, who handled production duties. Night Time, My Time places Ferreira firmly at the front of alternative pop and here she discusses all of that – including her digressions into acting – from the comfort of, um, her doctor’s office.

Hi Sky, how are you?

Good thanks. I’m really cold, actually – it’s like 10 degrees here and it’s snowing!

Crazy. Where are you?

I’m actually in the doctor’s office right at this moment. These interviews are taking longer than expected and I had to come here, so I’m at the doctor’s office doing interviews, which is pretty funny.

What head space were you in when you started writing Night Time, My Time, because it’s a pretty self-confessional album, right?

I wasn’t necessarily thinking about what I wanted to say, nor was I thinking: what am I going to be? I just wanted the album to be honest – that was my only intention. I mean I was also in a weird headspace so I that went into it too, but I went into it without expectations, and the album is what came out.

What did collaborators like Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) or Ariel Rechtshaid (Vampire Weekend) add to the album, and what did you learn from them?

You know, I wanted to make a pop record but I wanted to make one that I would actually listen to, because I listen to more than mainstream pop music. So I went for all of these elements and all of these different sounds, and I was being influenced by bands that don’t have a conventional pop sound. So I wanted to put all of those things together and I think I did that by bringing those collaborators on board.

Now that the album is finished and you can reflect on it as a full body of work, is there any idea that runs throughout the album?

Nothing I’ve ever done musically has necessarily had a plan. I mean there have been little plans around some things - like the artwork. But other than that the album is very ‘of the moment’.

When I’m making music I try to avoid listening to anything else because I don’t want it to sound like something that already exists. I think subconsciously people can make a song that sounds like something they’ve heard. It’s fine sometimes but on this album I didn’t want that to happen, so when I was making it I just cut out music for three weeks.

The media have definitely elevated you to “pop star” status. Does this make you uncomfortable?

You know, I used to be way more uncomfortable with it, but now it just is what it is. It’s just a part of my job and I just take it for what it is, which can sometimes be really funny. For the most part I try not to pay too much attention to it or buy into it because I think that’s how people end up going crazy.

You grew up in Venice Beach. How did you upbringing and what you were exposed to there affect your work? How is where you’re from an important part of your work?

Some parts of Venice Beach are dirty and have been taking over, but the boardwalk, where I grew up, doesn’t have gang culture or anything like that. But I was never sheltered as a kid and I was very independent so I guess how I was raised has affected my work more than where I grew up.

Outside of music, you recently acted in a film by Eli Roth called The Green Inferno, which is loosely about a group of college kids who get abducted by an Amazonian tribe, right?

It was one of those random collaborative relationships that I was talking about before. I met Eli and we both share a love of horror films. He called me and said: “Sky, I wrote this part and I think you’d be perfect for it, will you read for it?” I read it and then I got the part, and I managed to fit it in between everything, because I really wanted to do it. It ended up being a lot of fun. I feel like if you do a horror movie you need to do it with the king of horror movies, so working with Eli Roth was great. I’ll make things work if I really believe in the project or I really want to work with someone - I’d rather not sleep for a month than pass on an awesome opportunity.


Sky Ferreira's Night Time, Your Time is out now - here are a couple of clips from the album:


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