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MUSIC, POP

Sia talks party girls, resisting fame, singing vs. songwriting + how ‘everybody poops’

June 19, 2014

Sia, unlike many of her pop contemporaries, isn’t comfortable in the limelight. In her interview with SiriusXM Hits 1, the Chandelier singer claims to like the “attention from my friends and loved ones,” but feels ill at the idea of crowds rushing the stage to shake her hand (or ambush her, more realistically). But it’s looking like the Australian singer, who originally rose to prominence singing for Zero 7 and soundtracking the final scene of HBO’s Six Feet Under, will have to face her fears eventually.

Sure, she may have found her comfort zone penning Top 40 hits for the likes of Rihanna and Katy Perry, but Sia can’t resist handpicking a song or two for herself. Take Chandelier, for example. “I was actually focused on Rihanna,” said Sia of writing Chandelier. “And shortly afterwards, I related to it, I realized it was about me in my old life, and I was a serious party girl (blow jobs and cartwheels) but I was sad. So that’s what came out in the song. I felt like, ‘Oh I can’t give it away.'”

So, Sia’s a brilliant songwriter and a self-proclaimed former party girl, but she doesn’t crave a rock star fantasy life? Is that even possible? Yep. Sia famously doesn’t like having her picture taken, and she even got a super-young Sia-lookalike dancer with a bobbed hairdo to take her place in the video for Chandelier.

“I like attention from my friends, like, from my loved ones. I’m a goofy gal. I’m an entertainer,” she explains. “But what I realized three and a half years ago [is], I got sober, and I got real sick, and I got sad, and I realized I had to adjust my life entirely because the clapping of strangers wasn’t nourishing my soul … If people are chasing you or screaming or excited, it’s not a natural state. Like, we’re equals. Everybody poops.”

As for what you can expect to hear on her soon-to-be-released solo album (out 7/8), 100 Forms of Fear, Sia elaborates: “There are certainly some pop songs on there. Then, there’s my old vibe. There’s stuff I knew I couldn’t give away because it wouldn’t make radio. It’s a little more intellectual or verbose, or whatever. It’s downtempo. I think there’s a good mix!”

Secrets and poops aside, perhaps the most fascinating aspect to Sia is her slow-but-sure transition into the pop world. In fact, she even once asked to be dropped from her old label (Go! Beat) when they wouldn’t put out her post-Zero 7 pop record, which they claimed was too different from her previous “downtempo” work. “Right after [Zero 7], I made a pop record. I delivered it to Go! Beat, and they said, ‘We can’t put this out. This is a pop record; you’re a downtempo artist,” said Sia. “After talking to a lot of people, I realized I was going to have to transition.

I was like, ‘Why can’t I put out a different record every time that’s different stylistically? I was like, ‘Why can Beck do it?’ And they were like, ‘He’s established his identity first, and then you can stray from it.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ I was naive. I kept working toward my pop stuff. I was creeping closer and closer to it.”

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