Sky Ferreira spoke about the “sexist” way top figures in the music industry have tried to shape her image and career, and commiserated with Nancy Sinatra about being pigeonholed as a “bubble gum” artist in a new conversation in Interview.
Sinatra asked Ferreira about some comments she’s made in the past about “not being allowed to do what you wanted to do, and feeling trapped” when it comes to releasing new music. Ferreira responded by noting that, “In the music industry, everyone’s trying to mold you,” adding that, especially when she was younger, she frequently found herself “cornered in situations” where she had to do things she wasn’t interested in.
The internet and modeling allowed Ferreira to secure some kind of independence from the music industry machine, quipping at one point, “[T]hey didn’t like that I got around them, and it didn’t make them look very good, to have a 21-year-old beat you at your own game publicly.” But even as she got older and tried to complete her long-awaited second album, Masochism (reportedly due out sometime this year), she felt like people in the industry were trying to shape and influence her career as if she was still a kid.
“You’re set up in situations to seem difficult, but also, what does that even mean?” Ferreira said. “Just that you’re not willing to be completely controlled. And it’s funny how these people think. It’s as if you’re ungrateful, as if you’re not working for it. They’re like, ‘Don’t you know how lucky you are? There’s another one of you in line.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, well go do it with them then.’”
Ferreira continued: “You could put the person with all the same people I’ve worked with, and you could dress them the same, but at the end of the day, I’m not manufactured, so it’s never going to be the same result. It’s a respect thing. A lot of it is sexist, but I also think it’s because I started when I was 14, so they feel like they can manipulate me, or treat me like a 14-year-old or something. I’m 30 years old now and it’s the same thing.”
Earlier in the conversation, Ferreira asked Sinatra if she’d gone through anything similar when she was beginning her career. “Sort of,” she replied, adding, “I was pigeonholed early on into this bubble gum image, and I had to fight my way out.”
Ferreira replied, “They always want to do that, don’t they? They love the bubble gum thing. That was exactly what happened to me the first time. I got around it and they didn’t like that too much.”
“Well,” Sinatra added, “women with power are sometimes not very welcome.”