Pop singer and songwriter Sia joined RADIO.COM's Karson and Annie at Mix 104.1 in Boston, kicking off the interview in what Karson says was the second most interesting way to do so – after an admittedly long pee.
TMI? Too bad, Sia is as unapologetic as always, but was curious to know who had her beat. It was crooner Sam Smith actually, who kept Karson waiting two and a half hours after quickly sound checking, eventually apologizing saying “Karson, I’m sorry. I am such a diva!”
Sia can relate. She says “any time any artist is being problematic, it’s just fear. It’s their insecurities. That’s helped me with songwriting, it helped me in directing too,” she admits. “With songwriting, when I’m songwriting with an artist, I’ve learned how to be of service and I’m not the diva in the room. When I get to put the wig on then, OK, I’m the big boss or whatever."
“When I’m working with other people I like to be of service – to be of service to them. So I think that really trained me well in eating s*** sandwiches and how to manage egos, and how to work with people who are just feeling insecure… I think it actually helped me become a better director.”
Sia is in the final stretch of preparation ahead of the release of her directorial debut, Music, which stars Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., and her longtime mini-muse, Maddie Ziegler. In addition to directing and co-writing the film, Sia also wrote 10 songs for the soundtrack, including the uplifting single, “Together."
Whether or not it was released during a pandemic doesn’t really weigh heavily on Sia. “I don’t care when it comes out,” she admits. “We shot it four years ago. It actually took me three years to get to a point where I felt like it was good enough – hello Sam Smith,” she laughs. “I felt a lot of pressure because I am me… I just was very insecure. I’m happy with where it is now and I don’t care when it comes out because it’s actually timeless. I know that it will come out exactly when it’s supposed to.”
Although the initial idea for the film eludes her, Sia says it just “plunked in and I wrote it down. Years later I started writing a screenplay and then that screenplay was good but I didn’t think it was good enough. So, I started again with my best friend Dallas… and I got confident.”
“I had directed my music videos since ‘Chandelier,’ so I thought ‘am I a good director or am I just a singer with good ideas?’ It turned out I was a director and I was really pleased that these people pushed me to find that out for myself. This is the first thing that I’ve ever directed on my own – it was a baptism by fire and I loved it.”
“I only hated editing,” she laughs. "That’s why it took three years.”
Whether or not there will be a celebration of the film is also anyone’s guess. With red carpet and Cannes festival plans on hold there is just no way to say for sure. “We though a lot of things… All I know is that my big dream was for it to come out on the big screen, and now it’s coming out on the biggest screen,” IMAX.
Hey, small screens need love too. So, a fan named Julia (@vegggiesausage on Twitter) submitted a question wanting to know which reality show the singer would like to be a part of, if she could.
Her answer: “Duh… The Kardashians! I love those girls. They’ve been really nice to me… I only met them the last couple of years, but the last couple of years have been hard. I wasn’t joking when I said editing the movie made me sick, and wanting it to be exceptional made me sick, and insecurity made me sick. So, I literally didn’t leave the house for maybe three years except for every Sunday when I would go to (Kanye’s) Sunday Service because the singing was so incredible.”
“I just happened to meet Kim through J.Lo because of a song I wrote for her for a movie and Kim was helping her promote it. When I met them, I felt safe,” Sia says. “It was so weird, I felt safe. I was doing a lot of complex trauma recovery in the last three years. I didn’t realize all of my diagnoses had been wrong. Then I would be with them on Sundays and a group of their friends and afterwards sometimes we’d go to Kourtney’s house to swim and hang out and I just felt really safe.”
“Kim was extremely protective… I was so shocked and also grateful…. She’s like me with Maddie (Ziegler)… now if anyone were to criticize them I would kick them in the nuts!”
It should be noted that Sia REALLY liked Julia’s silly screen name as well!
Although she and her management team have joked about letting cameras into their lives for the last 15 years, Sia says that would just be “absolutely absurd.” Instead, she allowed her best friend Dallas to write a series based on her life. She’s just waiting on Judd Apatow to finish up other projects – he’s interested.
“Whether it takes two years, three years, four years, five years – there will be a reality show but I won’t be playing myself!”