Sky Ferreira Is Sad All The Time (But Glow-In-The-Dark Stars Help)

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sky-ferreiraAs Coachella has grown, so have the parties –– to the point where you could have a jam-packed weekend in Palm Springs without so much as setting foot on the festival grounds. Case in point: Last Saturday, we took a break from the sweltering Polo Fields of Indio and headed to a pool party thrown by Forever 21. DJing the bash was rising pop star Sky Ferreira, who had just finished a nationwide tour promoting her fantastic new EP Ghost.

After an eclectic set that ranged from Kendrick Lamar to Julee Cruise, we sat down with Ferreira to catch up about her last few months on the road. Over the course of our conversation, Ferreira opened up about her notorious stage fright, her trip to Casa Bonita (of South Park fame), her love of Arthur Russell, and how she decompresses with her band. Lots of lasers are involved.

Have you been enjoying California? How long have you been out here?
"I've only been here for three days. I just got off tour, which is kind of insane."

Congratulations. How did the tour go?
"It was my first tour ever. And I realized I've never been through America. I was like 'Oh, I'm American...I'm kind of American?' It was different than what I'm used to. I grew up in L.A. — in Venice Beach. It was like, oh wait, this is a lot different...I don't want to go to Olive Garden!"

Having grown up in L.A., how has it been living in New York for you?
"The energy is completely different. New York is way more fast-paced. Way more on it. L.A. is like, 'Oh, we're gonna float by and do what we want to do...' Personally, I like New York. It brought something out of me that I didn't have before. I'm so sensitive — and, I mean, I am sad all the time — but it brought a tougher skin out of me. Even though I am vulnerable, if I had stayed in L.A., I would be a lot more vulnerable."

What did you guys do for fun when you weren't playing? Did you see any cool sights?
"It's basically me, a bunch of boys, and my bass player, Jessica. We went to laser tag. We went to Casa Bonita from South Park! Basically, I'm now a 20-year-old boy instead of a 20-year-old girl. It's kind of weird. You know, I never used to go a day without showering. Now it's like, we're on the bus, maybe I'll just skip this day. And I'm going to wear the same outfit twice because no one is going to see this, even though everyone does because it's on Tumblr and stuff."

Did you get to do any shopping?
"You know what I did? I went to Spencer's Gifts. Even though they have weird sex toys and shit like that. I bought black lights, lasers, stars — you know the glow-in-the-dark stars that go on your ceiling? When I was getting depressed, I put those in my bunk. It made me feel a little better."

I love those. I had them in my room as a kid. Are you going back on the road after this?
"We're going on multiple tours. But luckily, I have a great band that I get along with. They totally get it. We listen to Arthur Russell. We listen to Aaliyah. We set up lasers in the bus or the van. We have fun constantly, which balances out the stage fright that I have.... I get this fucking terrifying stage fright."

That's terrible. How do you deal with that?
"I can't drink, because of my voice, to make me feel comfortable. So, I just sit there and sing the songs and get through it. Sometimes I end up crying, and they're like 'she's emotionally unstable. She's crazy!' I'm trying though. It's just hard."

It looked like you guys were having fun DJing today. How did you choose the tracks you played?
"The thing about playing a DJ set here is it's just like quote/unquote 'tastemaking.' I play things that I'm inspired by, but not necessarily. I just choose what I like. I'm the worst DJ. I just want to listen to what I want to listen to, from Arthur Russell to Kendrick. The Coachella crowd doesn't appreciate that. Maybe they want to listen to Skrillex or something. 'Spring break, y'all! Spring break!' [laughs]. I love that, though. But I want to switch it up. We've been stuck in that world for the past five years; I think we should do something different."

That's cool though. We think people were digging it. This is only sort of related, but what's your favorite song to sing karaoke?
"'Heroes' by David Bowie."

You didn't play that though.
"I thought it would be a downer. Maybe not. But I guess I played plenty of downers."

Are you excited to get over to the festival later today?
"Yeah! My boyfriend [DIIV's Zachary Cole Smith] is playing the festival, so I'm excited for that. This is my sixth or seventh Coachella. I've been coming here since I was 12 or 13. I actually came here to listen to shit, not just go to pool parties. But after touring, I'm like, 'I don't want to see any of these people because I've seen them 10 times.' I want to see Stone Roses; they're my number one. And I want see 2 Chainz. Who is playing Sunday?"

The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
"[Laughs] Anthony Kiedis. Dude. Have you seen the YouTube acapellas of him? They are so funny. You have to YouTube it. [She does a surprisingly accurate impression of Kiedis singing 'Californication']. And Nick Cave is who I really want to see. After Casa Bonita, I saw Nick Cave. I was like, 'Shit! He's the same as he was in The Birthday Party. I had a low-key freakout. And that's the thing...I'm so involved in pop music, but I dunno..."

What else would you like to be doing?
"I love pop music, but love so many other things. I just think I was misrepresented before this. [Points to a Forever 21 catalog with her photo on the cover] I hadn't seen the billboard until yesterday. I'm Godzilla sized! And my shoulders...I have a pet peeve about my shoulders, and there they are in front of everyone in the world."

What do you think of Coachella fashion in general this year?
"Lots of gold sunglasses and halter tops. It's weird."

Photo: Courtesy of Forever 21