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.”