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Sia Explains the Backward-Singing Wig-Wearing Weirdness. It Pretty Much Boils Down to "Cause I Feel Like It"

By Vivian Kane | Celebrities Are Better than You | July 9, 2014 | Comments ()


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The incredible singer Sia has gotten a lot of attention lately for the creeptastic video for her most recent song, “Chandelier.” What’s even weirder than the video of the teeny tiny bewigged reality star dancing around an empty apartment, though, is Sia’s live performances. When she recreated the video on Ellen:

Or with Lena Dunham on Late Night:

Sia sings live, but hiding behind a wig (which is strangely similar to her actual hair style and color), with her back to the audience. After the Ellen performance, the internet was all a-flurry with the questions. Why is she hiding? Is she mentally unstable? Is she even really singing? WHY, SIA, WHY? Well, it turns out the reason for all the odd duckedness is pretty simple:

She f*cking feels like it.

In an interview with NPR, Sia talked about looking at the direction she was heading and recognizing fame as her worst nightmare. She has zero interest in being famous or recognizable, and makes enough money writing pop songs for other people, which she’s been doing for 17 years now. She says she makes a good enough living writing for Rihanna and Christina Aguilera that she doesn’t have to worry about trying to promote her own stuff, and can actually actively work against her own rise (hence the alienating weirdness). In fact, she’s so anti-fame that she was super pissed a few years ago when “Titanium,” a song she wrote for someone else, was ultimately released with her vocals, without her knowledge. “Titanium” became a huge hit, in part because Anna Kendrick sang it naked in a shower in Pitch Perfect, and Sia wanted none of that.

She seems to have stuck the perfect balance between not giving any f*cks, but also somehow not falling into boredom. She admits that she writes songs quickly (like, 15 minutes-quickly), and keeps them simple, sticking to long-existing pop music formulas. She can’t read music or play the piano, so she often improvises with her frequent collaborator, Greg Kurstin. She gives an example of the process, which is a real-life recreation of that tongue in cheek How To Make a Pop Song video.

And yes, Sia’s ability to work against her own career is not an option that’s available to everyone financially or appealing artistically (Sia has said that she doesn’t want to make public art, she just wants to write pop songs), but it sure is nice to see an actual example of the anti-celebrity. So when we rail against (or back-pat) Mila Kunis for stonewalling an interview, we now have an example of an alternative to back up our irritation. Sia doesn’t want to do concert tours or press circuits, so she just doesn’t. As she describes it, “I’m trying to have a good life. Basically, my plan is to enjoy what I have.”


Via NPR.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Hells Bells

    Look for her Like A Version session at TripleJ.net.au - she did I Go To Sleep (Pretenders) live on the radio while coming down with a cold. It's ossum.

  • manting

    I heard that piece on NPR on Weds. Any singer/performer who performs with their back to the audience is a douche bag.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I think it might be time for me to re-enter the popular music fray. The last two things I bought were Adele and Sarah McLachlan. Yes, I am a Canadian woman in my 40s. What gave me away?

    They were CDs, too.

  • wojtek

    http://youtu.be/485P7yHxVEk

    (from "Some People Have Real Problems" - something tells me you might like it)

  • Mrs. Julien

    Thank you!

  • I have a cassette of Solace from when I was in Canada. Saw a video of Drawn To The Rhythm and ran to the record store. ::grin:: I also have the BNL yellow demo tape. Because I heard Lovers In A Dangerous time.

  • Jack London

    A few years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar type 2. I'll spare you the details, but in the therapy group I met some people who behaved not unlike Sia: highly talented, erratic, unusual but not entirely anti-social.

    I wasn't too surprised to see in a recent article that Sia has confirmed she has bipolar disorder.

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/...

  • F'mal DeHyde

    That child performer is AMAZING.

  • George

    I don't mind Sia, but I call bullshit on her I-don't-want-to-be-famous schtick and this article. Sorry, but people who don't want to be recognizable don't perform on Ellen (facing the audience or not). This is her way of getting attention and selling records.

  • BWeaves

    Good for her for wanting a normal life.

  • call_her_alaska

    Disappointed in myself that I didn't catch Sia in Aus before she blew up. The last show she did here in my hometown before it all started to happen was one of those where you err for and against (the usual against is spending too much money). Now i will never get to see her earlier records performed intimately like they previously were. I love her new more pop-orientated stuff also but it feels like it has taken the focus from the music she made before that was oh so lovely.

  • Formerly Known as Melody

    If anyone wonders if she's actually singing, go look up her appearance on KCRW on YouTube. She's wearing a plain blue and gray t-shirt and it's one of the best performances I've ever seen.

    She's fantastic and I love that she's just a bit weird.

  • Jeez, she's so good! It's ridiculous: http://youtu.be/gSPAargq4LI

  • Sirilicious

    Famous for the SFU finale and a regular on my playlists for years now. Still couldnĀ“t stop my geese from bumping when i saw this.

  • wojtek

    She's been doing and performing her own stuff for 17 years. The "just writing pop songs for pop stars" - and, ironically, much bigger exposure - started only about 2 years ago.

    Still, love to see coverage of her on Pajiba :)

  • For real. She's one of my favorite singer-songwriters. It blew my mind to learn she can't read music!

  • Nadiney

    I love her. I love her. I've been listening to her so much lately. I very much respect this, her decision, but also I wish I wish i could see her perform live, but I respect her approach to just wanting to do it for the music.

  • Fleetwood Mac Sex Pants

    I love her.

  • Robert Sanchez III

    Ive seen interviews with her and she seems like a very sweet, fun lady. Its probably real nice to be wealthy in the music business and not get harassed on the street, good for her.

  • stella

    Who is that little girl? She is incredible..

  • Maddie Ziegler of Dance Moms.

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