Sky Ferreira Shares Her Favorite Memory of Family Friend Michael Jackson (Hint: It Involves Britney Spears)
04/20/2016 AT 08:00 PM EDT
“It was intimidating!” Ferreira, 23, said of her on-screen debut as Alex Pettyfer's love interest in the film Elvis & Nixon.
But Ferreira is no stranger to Hollywood: Her grandmother was the late Michael Jackson’s hairstylist and friend.
"He was someone that was really close to my family," she shared at the world premiere of Elvis & Nixon, held at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on Monday.
As a little girl, Ferreira wasn’t fully aware of her family friend’s notoriety: "I was so young,” she said. "I never saw him in public – then one time I did and it was absolute mayhem!" It was then she "realized the extent of [his fame]."
Ferreira, who opened for Miley Cyrus' Bangerz tour and whose sophomore album Masochism is expected out this summer, accredits a lot of her musical influence to Jackson.
"He was one of the main people who really helped me and showed me so many things," she shared, adding that he not only influenced "who I am as an artist" but also impacted her "on a personal level."
"I wouldn't necessarily say [he was] a mentor, because that's a big word to put on someone like that – but he really did influence me in such a big way, and was such a lovely person."
"I always used to sing for him," Ferreira shared. "I would sing gospel music [then] he told me to do opera, so I did both."
But one particular performance she gave at Neverland Ranch stands out in Ferreira's mind.
The then 7-year-old was at Neverland Ranch when Jackson invited her to 'sing whatever you really want!' "I was sitting in the movie theatre and I [decided to perform] Britney Spears' "Lucky" for him!”
Cringing as she recalls the memory, "I also did the talking part in the beginning – the whole entire thing!"
What did the pop-legend think? "I mean, he liked it! I don't know – I think he liked it!"