The woman behind the blonde bob, Sia has been both performing and writing music for a long time now. And as fame has continued to grow, her attempts to avoid that Hollywood fame have done the same. Known for her amazing voice and distinct look, Sia continues to impress and gift us with incredible music.
But what’s the story of the woman behind the hair? She hasn’t always kept her face behind those blonde locks, and quite a few of her past successes have gone under the radar. So let’s take a look at the stunning transformation of Sia. From her looks to her music, her expertise has shown through.
Her childhood was not easy
Sia Furler was born in 1975 to an artist and teacher mother and a musically-talented father. Her childhood in Adelaide, Australia was anything but normal. She opened up during an interview with The Howard Stern Show (via Hollywood Life) about her years growing up and her struggles with her father. She said, “Growing up he had two very unique personalities. One was called Phil and one was called Stan… Phil was like the best dad ever… He was fun but he was eloquent and he was present and interesting and interested. When Stan came around stuff got scary.”
Her musical career began in her teen years
According to The New York Times, when Sia was 17 years old in 1993, she discovered a local band, Crisp, and offered to be their singer. As one of the band members, Jesse Flavell, shared with the Times, “She opened her voice and we all kind of stopped in our tracks. And we all felt, O.K., this is going to work.”
After a few years with the band, 21-year-old Sia attempted a solo career in 1997, but timing wasn’t right, and she did not ultimately find success. Ready for a change in the late ’90s, Sia planned to follow her boyfriend, who had moved to London. However, tragedy struck. As reported by The Guardian, her boyfriend was killed by a cab just before Sia planned to make her big move. This was a moment that affected Sia deeply and began a trend of self-destruction for the singer.
How she became a voice for Hollywood
Since 2010, Sia has written songs for many different performers. From Rihanna to Beyonce and Celine Dion, this singer/songwriter has quite the impressive resume of tracks. Some songs are full of pop, while others can be very personal to the singers who are performing them.
Sia spoke with The Guardian about one instance with Lea Michele, who wanted to write a song about her boyfriend, Cory Monteith, who passed away from a drug overdose. Sia described intense moments like this, saying, “I have so many secrets inside of me which belong to other people.”
She continued on to describe the responsibility she feels when it comes to keeping these secrets. “What if I let something slip if I was ever talking to anyone? This stuff would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to the gossip magazines. I felt burdened by it, but that passed, and the more I have taken on these secrets the more I realised it was actually good for my self-esteem, to know that I am trustworthy, that I can keep all the right secrets.”
How she won with a cheesy sound
As Sia continued to reach success through songwriting, she found it to be a struggle when it came to creating what she considered “cheesy” music. As the 39-year-old described to Rolling Stone in 2015, “For me, ‘Titanium’ is very cheesy. And ‘Wild Ones’ is definitely 100 percent cheese. It was quite confronting to start writing in that way. I never intended or wanted either of those songs to be seen because I felt like it diluted my credibility because I found them to be very cheesy. I wanted other people to sing them, and I just wanted to collect the publishing checks at the end of the day.”
But she was able to see the benefit of these songs, among others she has written. She said that, “the success of them helped erode my feelings of insecurity around how cheesy they were.”
And just because a song is “cheesy,” does not mean it can’t evoke emotion from its listeners. Sia addressed this, saying, “I think I managed to trick people a little bit into thinking I’m more arty by making creative, artistic, visual work and applying it to commercial music. Maybe. I don’t know.”
How she came to perform again
While Sia continued to be very successful writing hits for other artists, a thought kept nagging at her, which she described to Interview Magazine. “I kept writing pop songs for other people, but it suddenly felt like I wanted them for my own album.”
Sia had not planned to perform anymore, but she couldn’t stop thinking about the music. She continued on to say, “Sometimes after I finish the lyrics and have all the melodies and harmonies and the pop and vocal, I’ll be like, ‘I have to keep it. I love it too much.'”
What resulted was a spotlight on Sia as she brought her own voice and new sound to the music industry.