Artist Spotlight: Sia

By Tyler Clark

Sia Furler, known as Sia, has racked up millions in record sales and is a featured artist and/or songwriter on some of the biggest pop and rap songs. Sia did not choose to perform as a  solo artist until this year.

Sia grew up in Adelaide, South Australia. Music ran in her blood as her parents were in the band, The Soda Jerx. Her father was a musician in many other bands as well and her mother was a singer, songwriter, musician, and art lecturer. At the age of 14, her parents had saved enough money for Sia to either get her snaggletooth removed or go to school in Italy. She chose the latter, and lucky she did.

While taking a year off of school, Sia sang at a karaoke bar where a local DJ asked her to record a song with him. Afterwards, she lost her passion for a degree in politics and dropped out of school.

Sia joined a band called Crisp and they released two albums in Australia. She released her first solo album, OnlySee, under her full name. The album sold a total of 1,200 copies. In 2000, she and her boyfriend traveled the world before settling down in London, where he was tragically killed in a car accident.

   She signed to Dance Pool, a sub-label of Sony Music, and wrote and recorded her second album, Healing Is Difficult. The lyrical content of the album was inspired by her boyfriend and critics received it well. The singles “Drink To Get Drunk” and “Little Man” gained popularity in UK nightclubs. Being unhappy with how her label handled the promotion, Sia left and signed with Go! Beat Records.

Her second album Colour the Small One was released in Australia and Europe in 2004 and spawned two singles, “Breathe Me” and “Where I Belong.” “Where I Belong” was originally going to be featured on the Spider Man 2 soundtrack, but a conflict with her label caused the track to be cut. In early 2005, Sia left her label after the US counterpart did not pick up her album.

Her first success in the US was when her single, “Breathe Me,” was featured in the series finale of the HBO show Six Feet Under. Fans’ curiosity lead the single’s popularity. Her album Colour the Small One was released in the US in 2006 and she toured to promote the album. Sia released two more albums, Some People Have Real Problems in 2008 and We Are Born in 2010, when her performing career came to a halt.

In 2010, all of Sia’s appearances and performances were canceled due to lethargy and panic attacks. She wanted to retire from performing all together. She was later diagnosed with Graves’ disease, which affects about 2% of the female population. Sia stepped back from the spotlight to heal, but she never stopped contributing to the music scene.

Sia was featured on David Guetta’s “Titanium,” which went double platinum in the US, and on Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones,” which went triple platinum. Her songwriting credit is even stronger with big hits like Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” which sold over 7.5 million copies and is one of the best selling singles of all time. She also wrote Celine Dion’s “Loved Me Back To Life,” Britney Spears’s “Perfume,” Eminem’s “Beautiful Pain,” and Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts.” Recently, Sia co-wrote 4 songs for Lea Michele’s debut album, Louder, and served as the executive producer for Kylie Minogue’s Kiss Me Once album.

For the first time in 4 years, Sia released a song as a solo artist. “Chandelier” is the first single off of her upcoming album, a song which Sia felt no one could sing except herself. The song was exclusively released in the US under RCA Records and then worldwide. The song peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Pop Digital Songs and number 10 on ARIA (Australian Music Chart). Sia has a new contract with a clause stating she doesn’t haven’t to promote the album through appearances and touring. Sia is truly an artist; she purely loves the process of creating music, whether it’s for her or someone else, and has a distaste for fame.