Howard Stern is amazing. Sia is amazing. Together, Wednesday on the Howard Stern Show, they made amazing radio.
Sia, whose single Chandelier debuted on the SiriusXM Hits 1 Weekend Countdown at No. 41 on June 7, and who probably wrote or co-wrote one of your favorite songs (just look at her list of collaborators and collaborations!), spoke with Howard about her accidental rise in mainstream pop music, her reluctance to be featured in both David Guetta’s Titanium and Flo Rida’s Wild Ones, and even shared a cry when talking about Rihanna’s Diamonds, a song Sia wrote and later performed to huge Internet acclaim.
Wild Ones and Titanium
Sia didn’t envision herself singing alongside Flo Rida in the 2011 single, Wild Ones. The song was written for Katy Perry, and Sia didn’t even want her name to be attached to the eventual hit when it was released.
“I write this kind of sh– for other people that they can get away with it, but for me, it feels awkward,” Sia said.
As for Titanium, Sia said she was “actually bummed” when her demo was used in the final version. The song was originally for Alicia Keys; Sia said she’s not a fan of electronic dance music, and she was afraid her credibility as a musician could be ruined by it.
Thanks for the window treatment, Britney
Remember that label maker you had when you were little? You’d print out your name on a label, put it on your beloved plastic crayon container, and snap at anyone who dared try to borrow Fuzzy Wuzzy? Sia has one of those label makers, and uses it in a much more awesome way: As a unique celebration of her songwriting accomplishments.
“I’m getting labels to put on the back of my sofa,” Sia said, “like, ‘The Couch That Flo Rida Bought,’ and, ‘The House That David Guetta Bought,’ ‘Thanks, Britney, For This Window Treatment.'”
Good for ratings
Sia co-wrote Diamonds, which was eventually sung by Rihanna and finished 27th in the year-end Billboard Hot 100 for 2013. A YouTube video shared on Nov. 29, 2012, though, shows Sia performing the song with Mikkel Eriksen from Stargate playing piano. As of Wednesday afternoon, the video has over 140,000 plays, and 1,148 likes to just 19 dislikes.
Howard complimented Sia on her performance in the video, and argued that Sia should’ve been the one to perform Diamonds in the first place. In his interpretation of the song, Sia is the “diamond in the sky.” Howard’s kind words led Sia to break down and cry, prompting the hilarious response from Howard:
“That’s good for ratings!”
The referenced performance:
Music + Fashion
One of our favorite quotes, namely for its honesty, from Sia in the interview:
I understand that music is fashion, and I’m fashionable right now.
“You get, maybe, two, three good years running, so I’m just exploiting it right now.”
When Sia started writing Chandelier, she wasn’t set on performing it herself. By the time it was done, though, she couldn’t give it up.
“I wrote this one, and I was like, ‘Oh, this would be great for Rihanna,'” Sia said, “and then I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t think I can give it away. I think I might have just written a pop song for myself.'”
“I was attached to it,” Sia added.
The single, which Sia told Howard “is a song about the demoralization of alcoholism:”
Listen to four clips from Wednesday’s show below; for the full interview, head over to SiriusXM On Demand.