New York, NY
Precocious synth pop singer/songwriter Sky Ferreira had built up a huge online following, worked with Britney Spears' producers, and become friends with Michael Jackson, all before the age of 15. Born in Los Angeles in 1992, Ferreira counted the King of Pop among her childhood friends, thanks to his 25-year working relationship with her hairstylist mother. She began playing Elton John songs on the piano at nine years old, before discovering her voice while singing in her local gospel choir, prompting her to take opera lessons to improve her vocal talents. After attracting the attention of Swedish producers Bloodshy and Avant via a song posted on MySpace that she describes as a "dramatic 15-year-old's version of 'Careless Whisper' in outer space," she worked with the duo behind her idol Spears' "Toxic," which eventually led to a deal with Parlophone Records in 2009. While recording her debut album with producers Greg Kurstin, Dallas Austin, and Paul Epworth, she also appeared in Matthew Porterfield's indie drama Putty Hill and Uffie's "Pop the Glock" music video, and provided vocals on the Shoes' remix of the Virgins' "Teen Lover." Her first singles, "One" in the U.K. and "Obsession," later used on the soundtrack to The Vampire Diaries in the U.S., were released in 2010. A year later she released the EP As If!, and in 2012 Ferreira returned with another EP, the five-song Ghost.