LA lovely Sky Ferreira is in London to play a host of gigs so Wonderland talked to her about changing direction, crying at Fiona Apple concerts and being the face of Saint Laurent Paris. Plus, a Unicorn Kid remix of ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’.
Tell us about your change of direction since ‘One‘.
I got signed when I was 15, and I had a lot of people telling me what I should do, and I didn’t necessarily agree with it but I was like, “I guess I’ll try it”. After ‘One’, they were like, “Oh your song didn’t do well…” It got attention, but it didn’t sell anything, which was actually for the best, because I don’t think I really wanted to make that kind of music to begin with.
It was a great track though.
It was a great track – totally. I don’t regret it.
Tell us how you hooked up with Dev Hynes for ‘Everything Is Embarrassing‘.
I met Dev Hynes through mutual friends. We were always trying to work together. My publicist sent it to Pitchfork and they posted it and made it best new track, and it got traction from there.
Your album will be dropping later this year. You’re like a Cassie figure – the longer you’ve been away, the more the mystique and expectation have built.
Yeah, that’s why I have to make sure it’s good! Some people might be disappointed because it’s not ‘One’ or ‘Obsession’, but there are still a lot of pop elements in it. It’s a lot more guitar driven, there are acoustic songs and it’s very stripped down. A lazy, easy comparison would be Blondie.
Who have you been collaborating with on this one?
I worked with Jon Brion on half of it and then Ariel Rechtshaid on the other half. Ariel produced that Usher’s song ‘Climax’, which is completely different to what we’re doing, and then he did Vampire Weekend. Jon Brion did Elliott Smith and Fiona Apple.
I was going to say that some of your new work has a bit of an early Fiona Apple feel to it.
Yeah she’s a really big influence – always was. She was my number one idol as a kid. I’ve seen her play like 10 times, and I cried the second time. I cried at the front.
It was so embarrassing!
Discreet tears or full-on sobs?
I wasn’t sobbing. Definitely tears though!
A lot of your artwork and videos remind me of a young Vanessa Paradis.
Yeah, and Nastassja Kinski is a very big person for me. Vanessa Paradis as a teenager! She’s still glamorous. I love all that look of French girls, like Brigitte Bardot.
How did you get approached to be the face of Saint Laurent Paris?
Hedi Slimane and I met a few years ago, and always kept in touch. He took photos of me for his diary, then he did my artwork, and then asked me to do Saint Laurent. So yeah!
You’re touring North America with How To Dress Well. Great combo.
Yeah it’s going to be a cool tour I think. We have mutual friends, and we like each other’s music. We thought it’d be a fun tour.
What’s your go-to album at the moment?
Kendrick Lamar. That’s my favourite album of last year. I love his music, but I think it’s also the LA in me. I’m from Venice Beach. When I listen to him, I’m like “LA! Yay – repping the West Coast finally.”
Are you off to some Paris fashion shows whilst you’re here in Europe?
Yeah. I skipped New York fashion week this time, but I’m going to Givenchy and Saint Laurent next week. Riccardo Tisci was one of the first people – even during my whole break – who had me play his parties. He’s really supportive. And I’m playing a show at Silencio, David Lynch’s nightclub there.
They’re all quite different. Hedi’s thing is quite intimate, you know, and then Terry is just like my friend. We just hang out.
Is he still getting his dick out all the time?
I think he’s stopped that – too much commercial work! And Testino’s a bit more glamorous. That’s like shooting like a diva.
Sky Ferreira’s EP Everything is Embarrassing will be released 8th April on Polydor. She plays tonight at White Heat and tomorrow at XOYO, London. skyferreira.tumblr.com
Words: Stuart Brumfitt