Anna Ruth Ramos, guest writer
I don’t know about you, but there is a certain kind of addiction that happens when you consume pop culture. Whether that is binge-watching Netflix, that dystopian novel you can’t put down or a song you have on infinite loop.
In my case, it’s my affinity for Sia’s new album, which I’ve had on repeat for almost a month now.
Sia Kate Isobelle Furler, commonly known as Sia, is an Australian artist and songwriter.
You might know her from her hit single “Titanium” popularized by the movie, Pitch Perfect. If it’s a famous song about the empowerment of women, chances are Sia wrote it.
At 40 years old, Sia sounds better than her younger counterparts who have to rely on auto-tune.
I remember when I first heard Sia on the radio (apart from “Titanium”—released 2011) was rapper Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” (2012).
When I found out the vocals were from the same artist, I did not match her face with her voice.
More recently, Time magazine compiled the 73 songs that Sia wrote for other artists like Beyonce, Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera among many others. Some of those songs include Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” “Pretty Hurts” by Beyonce and the new Kelly Clarkson anthem, “Invincible.”
Shortly after the release of “This is Acting,” “Try Everything,” Shakira’s new single, was released, which also happens to be the theme song for Disney’s Zootopia (an animated film about the first female bunny cop).
Hearing it during the movie, I thought it was inspiring and had a suspicion that Sia might have been involved. When the credits rolled, my guess was right, the song was indeed written by Sia Furler.
Famously known for hiding her face when performing, Sia’s voice is distinct but also familiar.
As Time mentioned, “a Sia song has a signature uplifting chorus…with vivid metaphors and a message of empowerment and triumph.”
Sia has said she did not want to become famous, this is why she hides her face behind a black and white wig or through models and proxies who wear the wig, which has become a signature look.
Sia’s new 2016 album, “This is Acting,” is her seventh studio album following her 2014 “1000 Forms of Fear.”
Compared to “1000 Forms of Fear,” where Sia reportedly derived her inspiration from her bipolar disorder and alcohol addiction, this time around it seems as if Sia is out of the cage.
Sia is always singing about fighting through life, wanting to live and being set free. She doesn’t want to die. She is all about living. This is more evident in “This is Acting” than “1000 Forms of Fear.”
While she may not be aware of it, Sia is just not the type of artist, let alone person, who can fly under the radar. She is making noise and people are taking notice.
Sia is someone who keeps going, and she’s shining with every new song—whether she wrote it, sang it or both.
Although Sia’s critics say “This is Acting” is too impersonal, I think that’s exactly why it’s beautiful, why it works and what makes this new album so powerful.
It is customizable. Depending on who the listener is, the meaning can be subjective to each person’s personal experience.
Everyone deserves a good anthem. Every Sia song has a story, and each one of them is for every woman.
Two years ago, she was swinging from the chandelier screeching in despair and desperation. It’s probably something you listened to when you wanted to forget your troubles.
This time around, it’s a proclamation of life. After all this time, Sia is still breathing as she sings breathlessly in “Alive.” She’s found her voice and herself in a “Bird Set Free.”
She’s an impressive artist because she writes her own songs and churns out all these albums every other year or so.
Maybe it’s an anthem to set herself free, maybe she is indeed still acting, still putting on a face, but either way, her words are empowering.
One thing is for sure, Sia is a Porsche with no breaks, and she is unstoppable, just like her new album