If you didn’t know already, Australia’s own Sia Furler is a genius. She’s been successfully contributing to music for aeons but has gained considerable attention over the past few years. It’s been a (cripplingly) slow and steady rise to fame but it seems as though the world is finally ready to accept Sia for the pop deity she really is. Justice will be served in 2014.
At 38, it might seem a little late for Sia to be getting into the pop game, but in reality she’s been around for decades, making music since her teens. She started off dabbling in acid jazz and trip hop before moving onto an unconventional style of pop. Often slipping just underneath everyone’s radar, Sia has released five albums as a solo artist and openly speaks about her inspirations and influences – her music is honest and powerful, lyrically addressing topics ranging from her bisexuality to death; from heartbreak and loss to individuality, identity and life. Having been addicted to drugs after the untimely death of her lover, Sia’s lyrics cry out with a sense of genuine understanding and sincerity. It’s the depth and breadth of her music, as well as its versatility, that is so utterly compelling.
Sia knows exactly when to be taken seriously, offering up the absolutely heartwrenching track ‘Breathe Me‘, but is equally adept at letting go and having fun, often resulting in a rather psychedelic, haphazard take on pop music. Her back catalogue boasts a range of genres, which she seems to have perfected, whilst her token sound is present throughout: classic Sia is very distinctive. Her unusual voice and unique style separate her from the crowd whilst the freedom that her label offers up is blatant through the strange and often bewildering artistic direction of her music. If you’re not entirely sold just yet, you will be when you hear that Sia chooses not to be famous. Recently interviewed by Billboard magazine, she donned a paper bag for her front cover shoot and spoke of avoiding other interviews and chances to grasp at the shallow sentiments of fame (she even purposely kept her snaggletooth). It finally seems as though an artist is in the game for all the right reasons.
Looking for a final cherry on the top? This pop goddess is almost entirely selfless: she gives away her best songs. Think of a great pop song from the past 5 years and, after researching it, you’ll realise Sia was probably the brains behind the whole equation. Those two David Guetta bangers? She penned them. That one good Flo Rida song? Her too and she didn’t even star in the video. She contributed to Tegan and Sara’s flawless Heartthrob last year, the
underwhelming Ke$ha and Xtina albums as well as giving Rihanna arguably the biggest track of her career. Other recent songwriting credits include tracks from Oh Land’s Wishbone, a stand out track from Prism, one of the few good Britney Jean songs and the earth shattering ‘Pretty Hurts‘, lifted from Beyoncé. Sia has featured on several soundtracks, most notably on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with arguable career highlight ‘Elastic Heart’, alongside Diplo and The Weeknd, furthering her versatility and musical craft.
This woman seems to be incapable of musical wrongdoing. Her own songs are fantastic whilst those that she gives away are well suited to the artist and add a sense of depth and reality to their hollow exterior. Sia seems to be, rather magnificently, injecting personality and talent into these popstars whilst taking a backseat and watching as they reap the bountiful rewards. That’s not to say she goes without though – her songwriting credits and the sales attached to the bangers she churns out have resulted in enough money for Sia to hide away in her own home studio, continuing to write, record and release. She tells Billboard: “I get to do what I love and communicate whatever I want”. Wise words you mightn’t hear from Rihanna or Britney, let’s be honest.
With work finished on her sixth solo album, Sia has hinted at an early 2014 release date. Something tells me, having honed her skills over the past few years perfecting the “pop” song for others, that this will be an album of gold. However, she goes on to say that she is staying loyal to her own style: the wild, strange, ethereal, euphoric, magical music that we know and love. Sensing a successful album, her label have created a contractual clause that ensures Sia needn’t promote nor tour with these new songs, much to her delight. Either way, it is undeniable that Sia will continue to write for, and feature alongside, other artists throughout the year. With her raised profile in 2013, she is already a “go to” in the current pop climate, something she finally understands after scrolling through thousands of tracks a week that are sent to her by various labels and artists.
Sia Furler really is a rose amongst a sea of thorns – an artist doing what they love just because they love it. She is talented, humble, funny, articulate, intelligent and, if there’s any justice in the world, happy. Everyone else sit down: Sia’s got this one.