Sky Ferreira: ‘You Don’t Sell Records By Being Nude And Looking Crazy’

Singer tells MTV News the reaction to her racy album cover just proves there's sexism in pop music.

Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Death Grips are just a few the artists who’ve appeared naked — to varying degrees — on their album covers. So baring all for your art is nothing new.

Yet when Sky Ferreira released her debut album, Night Time, My Time, in October — with a topless image on the cover — eyebrows shot up, much to the annoyance of the 21-year-old singer.

“I wasn’t like, ‘OK, I’m going to be nude on my album cover,’ it just kind of happened,” Ferreira told MTV News of the LP art, which was shot by filmmaker Gaspar Noé. “We were shooting and we did different shots and he sent me all the shots and that was my favorite one that I think I connected to the most. It was kind of annoying that people say that it was a marketing-type scam, because it wasn’t.

“It wasn’t to sell records, because you don’t sell records by being nude and looking crazy,” she added.

Image has frequently been an issue, Ferreira said, as people often assume she’s a manufactured pop star rather than an autonomous artist. And that may stem from the fact that she signed to a major label at a young age.

“I felt like there was always this [perception] that there was someone behind me, someone telling me what to do rather than just the voice in my head,” Ferreira told us. “I feel like if there was someone telling me what to do and these handlers … it wouldn’t have taken five years [to finish my record].”

Image aside, Ferreira is also baffled by “conservative” reactions to the photo. “I don’t find nudity that big of a deal,” she said. “I feel like maybe if America was a little less conservative about that — because when you do see something sexy, it’s so overly Photoshopped and stuff like that — maybe there’d be less eating disorders and stuff.”

According to Ferreira, negative reactions toward images like her album cover art are plentiful at the moment. “It’s kind of like a theme right now in pop music right now, isn’t it? Sexism,” said the singer, who’ll be touring with fellow hot-button artist Miley Cyrus in February.

Brenna Ehrlich is a reporter for MTV News as well as the senior writer/editor for the O Music Awards. In the past, she served as associate editor at Mashable, penned a netiquette column for CNN and co-authored the blog and book "Stuff Hipsters Hate." She likes trying not to die in moshpits and listening to songs on repeat. Follow her on Twitter @BrennaEhrlich for news on cats and punk bands.