Now You Sia
by: Diana Cenat
August 20, 2012
If you’ve found yourself listening to mainstream radio in the last few months, chances are you’ve also found yourself singing along to David Guetta’s “Titanium” or Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones.” Both have become inescapable, with beats that have spent weeks bouncing out of passing cars, spilling out of earbuds, and skyrocketing into Billboard’s Top 20. The songs have more than just fantastic success in common; Sia Furler, known musically as Sia, graces both singles with her melodic, ethereal voice. Coincidence? Maybe. Though probably not.
What sets Sia’s addition to these singles apart in industry that, in hopes of big profits, has become eager to throw together artists from seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum? It’s true that both songs are geared towards the club-going set, where a tight beat and great hook are generally all it takes to create a chart-topper. That said, Sia pretty much steals the show in Rida’s “Wild Ones.” With rap verses that fall far short of imaginative (Show me a person who prefers them to the chorus and I’ll show you a liar.), the song seems indebted to her other-worldly pipes. “Titanium” has garnered even more acclaim, and fairly so, as Guetta is a great talent in his own right. Paired with his fantastic handiwork, Sia’s voice builds and builds, until it becomes uncouth to doubt that she is, indeed, titanium.
Even before going solo, Sia made a name for herself by lending her vocals to established artists, mainly British, and including the jazz punk outfit, Jamiriquoi (Virtual Insanity!). Since releasing her first single Taken for Granted over a decade ago, she has shared track time with performers from Beck, Christina Aguilera, The Bird and the Bee, David Byrne and William Orbit to Zero 7, with whom she stayed with for six years and three albums. It’s pretty hard to ignore the pull other musicians have to her, as it’s the same draw that has gained her fans all over the world.
Listening to an album from the Australian-born songstress can be the best kind of head trip. Take her latest, We Are Born. One minute you’re bobbing along to the feel-good, quick-paced “Clap Your Hands,” then, just as quickly, you’re floored by “I’m In Here,” a quiet, yet immensely powerful gem that seems to emanate from the very depths of hopelessness. Before its release, Sia told Ben Preece that We Are Born was probably her favorite album. “I can relate to it. It’s weird – the other ones, to be honest, I listened to once after they were finished just to make sure there was nothing glaringly fucked about them. I used to think it was really ego-maniacal when artists would listen to their own records over and over again, it really grossed me out and I found it really disgusting. But this one, I’ve probably listened to 20 times because I actually like it.”
Sia’s great range, unique voice and fearlessness in traversing genres are precisely why she’s so sought after as a writer and artist. Add her fantastic ability to connect with her audience, and the child-like love she brings to her work (as seen in her lovely and imaginative music videos), and it’s clear that Sia Kate Isobelle Furler always has something up her sleeve. “Titanium” and “Wild Ones” have been great in giving her the exposure she deserves, but here is a woman whose fantastic talent has been captivating fans for many years. It’s about time everyone else noticed.