HYPETRAK: Sky Ferreira – Unified Versatility
After first convincing Swedish producers Bloodshy & Avant to work with her when she was only 14 years old, singer/songwriter/model/actress Sky Ferreira made her recording debut with last year’s As If! before following it up with her first full-length LP, 2012′s I’m Not Alright. As Ferreira prepped for the release of her new EP, Ghost, HYPETRAK had the opportunity to speak with the Los Angeles native. Touching on a diverse array of influences and her co-writing experience with Ariel Rechtshaid, Ferreira also spoke about her latest release, its core theme, and its differences from her previous recordings. Choice excerpts from the interview can be seen below while it can be read in its entirety here. Ghost dropped today via Capitol Records and is now available from iTunes.
You cited diverse artists such as Miike Snow, Emma Bunton, Blondie, Prince, Elton John, Serge Gainsbourg, as your musical inspirations. How is your diverse translated into your own sound? Is it steadily developing?
It’s slowly developing…My songwriting (lyrics/melody) are starting to have the same tone, I guess. I’m starting to take it a lot more seriously, focusing on themes & joking around. I’ve grown a lot more as a songwriter within the last few years, but I’ve also lived a lot more. I’m testing the waters in production and various genres. Some of those aren’t my main influences but my wikipedia seems to say so? :/ Ariel, Jon Brion, Dev Hynes, Cass Mccombs & Blake Mills have really inspired me and taught me a few helpful tricks.
Your single “Everything Is Embarrassing” has been co-written by Ariel Rechtshaid who has penned hits for artists like Major Lazer, Solange. How did this collaboration come about? Have you guys collaborated on other tracks? What is the message of the song?
Ariel Facebook messaged me. I’m pretty sure Dev was our connection, but I think we were hearing about each other through multiple sources. Yes, Ariel produced the half of my album that has become “the dreamy pop section”. The message is: Breaking up REALLY sucks. You love the person, but neither of you are satisfied and you both are kind of trying…so what else can you do?
You released your LP I Am Not Alright earlier this year, and are currently readying your Ghost EP. Can you share some details on Ghost? What is its core theme? Were these songs initially recorded for I Am Not Alright or is it completely new recorded material? How does Ghost differ from I Am Not Alright?
Ghost shows what’s about to come. Red Lips was more of something I wanted to try because I’m SUCH a Shirley Manson fan. She’s one of the smartest and coolest ladies I’ve ever met, but it’s not the direction I’m going. Half of it is produced by Ariel, which has songs like “Lost In My Bedroom,” “Everything is Embarrassing.” It’s more uptempo and electronic based. The other half is produced by Jon Brion and Blake Mills which is more stripped down and organic. The subject matter of the songs tie it in all together. I was really angry and upset for a very very very long time and had no idea how to express it. I was at the point where I became a little jaded and it made me physically ill. Even when something great happened, I was still doubtful. Which I point out in the “happy songs”, you know? Except “Werewolf” which I wrote when I was 16 or 17. This was the first time I actually wrote something personal, so I’m feeling a bit vulnerable about it.
How much creative control do you possess when it comes to making music?
I went from having NO creative control to basically having all of it. It’s amazing.