Sia Reveals the Behind-the-Scenes Drama With Song 'Pretty Hurts'

PHOTO: Sia sits down with ABCs Chris Connelly for "Nightline."
Share
Copy

Long before Sia recorded her album “1,000 Forms of Fear” and shot to the top of the charts with the unconventional hit single, “Chandelier,” the Australian pop singer established herself as one of pop music’s most successful songwriters.

Sia, whose full name is Sia Furler, has penned songs for a lengthy list of music’s A-listers, including Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Beyonce. Some of the 38-year-old’s recent songs to hit the charts are Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones,” DJ David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”

Sia said it took her “around 40 minutes” to write “Titanium.”

“You know a lot of people have their thing and mine is that I am productive,” she told “Nightline” in a sitdown interview with ABC News' Chris Connelly. “The melody is channeling, is more the gift part and the intuition and the lyrics feel more like craft.”

Why Sia Says Kill and Run Breaks the Pop Song Formula
Why Sia Says 'Kill and Run' Breaks the Pop Song Formula

How Sia and Her Songwriter Come Up With New Hit Single
How Sia and Her Songwriter Come Up With New Hit Single

To get the creative juices flowing, Sia said sometimes all it takes it seeing something on “crap television” or an object in a room, such as a chandelier.

“Well I usually choose a word. One solid concept, so say I’m looking around ... and in this case I see a chandelier and think ‘oh, how can I use that?’” she said. "['Chandelier'] is a strong title because [record] labels want things that people can Google. ... There’s a lot of stuff that goes into it, strategy that goes into it.”

But sometimes, Sia’s songs pass through more than one artist’s hands before they are recorded and things can get complicated, such as with the song “Pretty Hurts.”

“I wrote it on the sofa three years ago for Katy Perry, sent it to Katy Perry she never heard it,” Sia said. “Then I sent to Beyonce's people and Rihanna’s people and Rihanna heard it and she had it on hold for eight months and her management forgot to secure it by paying for the track and Beyonce just slid into home base and threw the money down and it was a really awkward situation.”

With Beyonce having secured “Pretty Hurts,” Sia said Rihanna’s engineer suggested sending her another song Sia had written.

“Rihanna’s engineer said, ‘Why don’t you play her ‘Diamonds’ because I think it’s a better song for her and maybe that will make her less bummed.’ Rihanna was like ‘I love this song. ‘Diamonds,’ it’s mine' and so that’s what we did,” she said.

Sia on the Drama Over the Song Pretty Hurts
Sia on the Drama Over the Song 'Pretty Hurts'

Though Sia is becoming a pop star in her own right, being famous is not something she is interested in. In fact, she won’t show her face in interviews, including with “Nightline.”

“I don’t want to be famous, or recognizable,” she said. “I don’t want to be critiqued about the way that I look on the Internet. ... I’ve been writing pop songs for pop stars for a couple years and see what their lives are like and that’s just not something I want.”

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters on Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Defendant Jodi Arias testifies about killing Travis Alexander in 2008 during her murder trial in Phoenix, Feb. 20, 2013.
Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo
PHOTO: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, their daughter North West and Delphine Arnault attend the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015, Sept. 28, 2014 in Paris.
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/French Select/Getty Images