Best known for her elaborate wigs, Sia is known for hits like ‘Chandelier’. There’s little doubt that she’s a talented vocalist, but many are unaware of her songwriting ability.
As well as being the singer behind several of her own hits, Sia is a well-established songwriter, writing songs for both herself and other artists. Responsible for a host of chart-toppers, she has worked with some of the biggest names in music.
It’s more than likely that you’re familiar with some of Sia’s songs without even realising it! Read more about her songwriting career below.
Sia’s Writing Process
Sia, real name Sia Kate Isobelle Furler, spoke about songwriting to Rolling Stone magazine in 2016. She provides the melody and lyrics and records a demo, while the initial songs are provided by producers.
She writes in a way that is tailored to the artist who will eventually perform. “If I know Rihanna is looking for a single, I’ll actually choose tracks that sound like a Rihanna-like jam,” she says.
“Melody comes first,” she explains about her process. “Then lyrics.”
Though you might expect this to take place in a recording studio, the songwriter takes a more relaxed approach. She writes from her own home and creates lyrics based on “a list of concepts” that she stores on her phone.
Despite her overwhelming success as a songwriter, she remains modest. The reason for her musical triumphs, she says, is “because I’m really productive, not necessarily that I’m a great songwriter.”
The process varies for different artists, however. With Beyonce, she says, it is “like a writing camp. She flies us all in and puts us all up.”
Sometimes, however, artists reject songs, a feeling that Sia deals with well. “I try to pitch to everybody,” she explains, “If somebody rejects it, I usually go down the list.”
She doesn’t become too connecting to her work, admitting “I don’t care about the song. I know in print that will look bad, but what I mean is I’m not emotionally attached to it.”
What Songs has Sia Written?
Sia has written dozens of songs, many of which have gone on to great success.
In 2016, TIME Magazine created a list of Sia’s best songs performed by other artists.
Her songs have been used by some impressive names, including Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Britney Spears and Kelly Rowland.
‘Diamonds’ went on to gain the number one spot on the US Billboard chart. Yet, Sia claims to have written the track in just fourteen minutes.
“I’ve never seen anyone write a melody and lyrics that fast,” producer Greg Kurstin told Rolling Stone.
As a vocalist, Sia has achieved 4 top-ten Billboard hits.
Chandelier, a solo track for the artist, peaked at number 8. The iconic video for the song features dancer Maddie Ziegler.
In 2016, she released the album ‘This Is Acting’. The album was curated using songs that Sia had written which had been rejected by their intended artist.
“All of them were written with the intention of being for somebody else,” she tells Rolling Stone. The rejected songs had originally been created for artists including Adele, Beyonce, Rihanna and Shakira.
Sia’s Move into Movies
Sia announced back in 2015 that she was working on a movie.
Entitled ‘Music’, the film is a musical for which Sia provides 10 tracks. The first of these songs, ‘Together’, was released in May 2020, accompanied by a colourful music video.
With many famous friends, Sia’s movie features some familiar faces. Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr. are stars of the story, and Sia once again works with Maddie Ziegler.