''17'' and ''One'' are infectious tracks from the rising pop star

By Tanner Stransky
Updated August 06, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Few rising pop stars can claim they moved Michael Jackson to tears. But then again, few rising pop stars have the glittery potential of L.A. native Sky Ferreira, who at age 11 impressed the King of Pop with an octave-spanning take on the gospel standard ”His Eye Is on the Sparrow” (Ferreira’s grandmother was Jackson’s hairdresser). ”I was surprised he was crying,” Ferreira remembers. ”I didn’t know how to react. I had a very mature voice for a little girl.” Seven years later, Ferreira, 18, is poised for her own stardom. ”I’m a newcomer pop girl,” she says, ”but there’s a lot more to it musically than just another pop project.” Indeed, the tracks that have hit YouTube — ”17” and ”One” — are infectious, surprisingly sophisticated dance-floor electronica. ”It’s more on the Robyn and Little Boots end than, say, Katy Perry and Ke$ha,” she says. But Ferreira promises there’s a synthy radio monster in the mix, too — just look out for her official first single, ”Obsession,” which hits in September and was written by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (Beyoncé’s ”Halo”). ”It’s kind of making fun of narcissism,” says Ferreira, whose full album is due in January. ”It has an electronic edge, but it also has this whole Gary Glitter intro that’s perfect for, say, a big hockey game.”