The Best Songs Sia Furler Wrote for Other Artists
Please allow me the distinct honor of introducing to you one of music's best buried treasures; Sia Furler. While I'm sure there are many of you out there that recognize the name, there are even fewer who do, and fewer still who realize just how special she really is. Her trademark face-hiding wigs set her apart from the pack, but her amazing voice and song-writing talent ensures that she continues to soar above the rest.
Sia has been an active singer/song writer for many years, but only recently exploded onto American shores with smashes "Chandelier," "Cheap Thrills," and "Titanium," but secretly she's had the world singing along with her music, even if they are just unaware of her talents. Sia has had her hand in writing hits for almost any major pop singer you can think of: Shakira, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Rihanna just to name a few, with credits reaching a slew of other mainstream artists. With that said, I want to introduce you to my top songs that Sia wrote for other artists. This is based solely on my opinion, not chart positions or sales or streams or video views. Just a few songs that I think she needs just a little more recognition for.
My only rule is that Sia had to write the song with another person in mind. For example, I will not include songs like "Chandelier" because they were intended for Sia to record solely. But songs like "Titanium" are fair game. I know what you're thinking. "But she recorded 'Titanium'! It's all over the radio!" Sure, she recorded it, but the song was actually intended for another soul diva to record. So yes, demos and rejected tracks will count.
So here we go, the top 15 songs Sia wrote for other artists.
15. Unite (Jessie J)
The meaning of 'Unite' is actually pretty easy to decipher if you listen closely. Sia uses her clever wordplay to make the song as ambiguous as possible. Which, in reality, makes this naughty little number even naughtier! Jessie J is the perfect match for 'Unite' as she has that sexy edge in her voice which helps bring this song to life. The sensuality of the lyrics combined with their sultry delivery will put just about anybody in the mood...
'Unite' is taken off Jessie J's album 'Alive' as part of the deluxe album. While I haven't had the chance to listen to this album yet, it also contains another great Sia penned track called 'Breathe'. I have heard 'Breathe' and it is just as great as 'Unite' and shouldn't be pushed aside.
14. Cheap Thrills (Rihanna)
'Cheap Thrills' is a song that was shipped around to several artists before Sia decided to ultimately record it herself. She originally had Rihanna in mind for this track, but it was turned down for not being quite what she was looking for at the time. However, this rejection is probably the best thing that could have happened for Sia, as the song became her first single to top American charts. What I think really makes this song appeal to the masses is the fact that it doesn't really fit into a genre. 'Cheap Thrills' isn't only a pop song, an r 'n b song or a dance song, so it could be played anywhere and everywhere. Regardless, whatever the formula, Sia was able to transform this 'reject' into a hit, catapulting her to American stardom, and giving her number one spots in countries all across the world.
'Cheap Thrills' is the second official single taken from 'This is Acting'. The link below is for the Sia only version and does not include Sean Paul. While his version sounds okay, and got massive radio support, I much prefer Sia by herself. Click on the video above to hear what Sean Paul bring to the track!
13. Loved Me Back To Life (Celine Dion)
'Loved Me Back to Life' if a great little gem, and I'm glad that it made it's away into Celine's hands. I honestly can't think of anyone who could have made the song as special. Well, except maybe Sia's own demo version which leaked online. The song is simply brilliant. The dark verses are cleverly romantic and the power of the chorus is nothing short of amazing, making you feel as if you're soaring through the clouds. If you have a lover or partner who has stuck beside you through thick and thin, then this is a song you might very easily relate to.
'Loved Me Back To Life' was the lead single from Celine's album of the same name. While it earned some moderate success, I personally think that it is one of her most underrated singles and deserves much more respect from audiences. I think this song has adult contemporary written all over it.
Sia's Original Version of Loved Me Back To Life
Who sang it best?
Now that we have two versions to compare to, which one did you like more?
12. Double Rainbow (Katy Perry)
Sia has a knack for writing amazing love songs, and when you add Katy Perry into the mix, this team can write a song that she can really sink her teeth into. Katy's delicate vocals fill this song with a tenderness that will easily touch a sentimental heart. 'Double Rainbow' is a stunningly beautiful ballad about finding something special and endlessly cherishing it. The love that Katy Perry found in this song is so perfect, that it would be an injustice not to share.
This beautiful ballad is from Katy's fourth album, 'Prism'. While I'm not sure how well it would have done on mainstream radio, 'Double Rainbow' would be perfect as the lead single for a romantic movie.
11. Making The Most Of The Night (Carly Rae Jepsen)
I really enjoy Carly's version of this song. I'm a huge fan of Sia, and adore 99% of her songs, but Carly is able to give this song a certain touch of magic this is distinctly hers. The song is almost delicate in places and it's in these instances where Carly really seems to shine. I'm not saying anything negative against Carly as a singer, but she is able to take the song to a softer, sweeter side that I'm not sure anyone else really could. The tone of her voice, along with the need you hear in it, and the seemingly effortless way she sings it makes this match up almost heavenly.
I think 'Making The Most Of The Night' is a very radio friendly song and deserved to be an actual single and not just a promotional one. Carly Rae Jepsen's album 'E-MO-TION' not only has 'Making The Most Of The Night' but also 'Boy Problems' which Sia also helped write.
Sia's Original Demo Version
Another rare chance to hear Sia's demo vocal on a track someone else recorded. Whose version do you prefer?
10. Titanium (Alicia Keys)
Believe it or not, Alicia Keys passed on this hit... from here it went to Mary J. Blige, only to have Sia's voice featured on the track anyway. Here's a fun fact: The single that we've all come to know and love is actually the demo version... Sia did NOT want her version floating around as she thought the genre of the song may hurt her budding career. So you can imagine just how furious Sia was when David Guetta decided to push the demo version to radio. As it turns out, Sia's version took off and she never looked back. I think 'Titanium' is one of those songs that just about everyone has heard, which proves it has mass market appeal. Regardless if you like the original upbeat hit, or the broken down ballad version like the one posted below, the empowering message of 'Titanium' helps propel the song into the hearts of millions.
'Titanium' is actually the fourth (really??) single taken from Guetta's album 'Nothing But The Beat'. I would have chosen the song as lead single, but I guess it probably would have been a hit no matter what order they were released in. Of all the releases from 'Nothing But The Beat', 'Titanium' was definitely the most commercial, any my absolute favorite.
9. Freeze You Out (Marina Kaye)
I find 'Freeze You Out' to be absolutely haunting. Everything from the melody, to the instrumentals, the lyrics and the chorus have all stayed with me. The song was given to French songstress Marina Kaye to record, but a version with Sia's demo vocals has leaked as well. I find that Marina's rendition offers a sensual side, but Sia has a little more desperation to her voice. I don't want to put either song down, as both have something completely different to offer with their recordings. Overall, Marina does a pretty good version of this song, but personally, I find Sia's version to be more appealing. The strength of Sia's voice makes 'Freeze You Out' simply amazing, while Marina gives the song a much cooler vibe.
French songbird Marina Kaye recorded 'Freeze You Out' for her album 'Fearless'. While the album went triple platinum in France, it didn't make any waves over on American shores. It's such a shame because 'Freeze You Out' is truly a haunting track that shouldn't be missed.
Who do you think sang it better?
8. Footprints (Beyoncé)
For me, 'Footprints' is a gorgeous song. Originally offered to Beyonce, 'Footprints' eventually found it's way back into Sia's hands. While Beyonce would have done and incredible job with 'Footprints', this song was made for Sia, and there isn't anybody who could have made the song as perfect as she did. There are some religious references in the song, so some are going to argue that 'Footprints' is about a religious figure. If it is or not, I can't really say for sure, but for me, it's a great song about finding support from someone you love. The song is simple, and I think that's what makes it really stand out among the rest. The verses, the melody and the message all play well together turning the song into a pure masterpiece.
I adore 'Footprints', I find it to be incredibly uplifting. The track is taken off of 'This Is Acting' Sia's seventh studio album. Originally intended for Beyonce, I think this song is suited perfectly for Sia, and I'm kinda glad that Beyonce said no.
7. Ready Set Go (Expertease) (Jennifer Lopez)
Sexy.... there is no other word that can better describe this song. The sultry delivery of the verses to the sheer need in J.Lo's voice in the chorus only help bolster her status as a sex symbol. As much as I love Sia, J.Lo gets all those bonus points for adding something to 'Ready Set Go' that Sia just can't. Sia knows how to write a sexy song, but only someone like Jennifer can inject the necessary sexiness into it. This track is just naughty in all the right ways, and I love her for it.
The eighth album from Jennifer Lopez, 'A.K.A' houses this sexy track. While it didn't get released on the standard edition, it appears on the deluxe version. However, just having 'Expertease' makes having the deluxe version completely worth it.
6. You're Mine (Lea Michele)
Beautiful, and hauntingly romantic 'You're Mine' is the perfect evidence proving that Lea's voice was meant to sing Sia's songs. Lea's ability to emote really brings the song to life. I believe that she has somebody special in mind, and I believe that she really feels this way about that person. I guess that's the key. Any singer can take on a Sia song, but only a special type of artist can make the song even more special. 'You're Mine' is an incredible love song about celebrating life and love when you find that perfect partner whom you simply cannot exist without.
'You're Mine' is such a romantic song, and Lea's voice is perfect for it. Fortunately, it found it's way onto Michele's debut album 'Louder' along with the lead single 'Cannonball' which is also a Sia penned track. Sia and Lea together is pure magic, and many would argue that Sia's tracks are the best ones on the album, and I think they might be right.
5. Move Your Body (Shakira)
'Move Your Body' is an incredible, club ready dance track that Sia wrote with the one and only Shakira in mind. Even though Shakira passed (unbelievably) on this great song, Sia decided to record it herself and put it on her own album, 'This Is Acting'. Sia's version is nothing short of dark and sexy, but I can't help but wish I could hear Shakira perform this one herself. Fast, thumping choruses and erotic verses could easily propel this song to the top of the charts regardless of who was singing it.
'Move Your Body' is the fourth and final single taken from Sia's album 'This Is Acting'. I was so happy when it got an official release, but it would seem like a lack of promotion didn't do the song any favors. I would have loved to hear this one on the radio. I find the album version is a little more enjoyable compared to the radio mix, so this is the link that I've provided.
4. Let Your Tears Fall (Kelly Clarkson)
Pregnancy prevented Kelly Clarkson from writing as much on her Grammy nominated album 'Piece By Piece', and so she accepted several songs from outside sources. One being 'Let Your Tears Fall' from Sia. She has said in interviews that she and Sia connected through mutual friends and 'Let Your Tears Fall' was actually the first song she recorded for the album. This is just a really cool sounding song. The chorus of the song really soars above most of the others that were in contention for this list. The song about unconditional love/friendship, is uplifting and comforting. It is going to be tough to find someone who is a fan of Sia's song 'Alive' and not fall in love with this song. If 'Alive' hits a little close to home, then having someone say to you go ahead and let your tears fall, I won't judge you is probably something we've all wanted.
'Let Your Tears Fall' found the perfect home on Kelly Clarkson's seventh album 'Piece By Piece'. I love this song, it means so much to me and it's my duty as both a Kelly and Sia fan to share it with everyone. 'Invincible' the second single of 'Piece By Piece' is also an empowering Sia song and also deserves some recognition.
3. Diamonds (Rihanna)
'Diamonds' is the song that I think made many American artists and listeners wake up to Sia as a song writer. While that is simply my opinion, it seems so many singers have collaborated with her after Rihanna released 'Diamonds' as a single. What I love about this song is it's sense of mystery. What is this song really about? It's ambiguous enough that anyone can make it mean whatever they need it to, and that is genius. Dark and beautiful, Rihanna's stunning vocals completely make 'Diamonds' come alive.
Sia wrote this amazing track for Rihanna in only fourteen minutes. The lead single, 'Diamonds', taken from the album 'Unapologetic', quickly soared to the top of the charts not only in America, but in countless countries worldwide.
2. Alive (Adele)
Have you led a hard life? Had a rough childhood? Currently facing hardships that only you can understand? Fought addiction? Depression? Abuse? 'Alive' is the perfect song to help you release any pent up anger, pain or anguish that may have locked inside. 'Alive' is the essential power ballad anthem that will make you appreciate overcoming obstacles, give you emotional strength and renew your passion for life. 'Alive' was originally written for Adele's third album '25', but she decided to cut it at the very last second. Fortunately, Sia was able to recover the song and decided it was too important not to share with the world. The track was meant to stay with Sia, as there isn't another vocalist in the world who could define this song any better.
'Alive' is such an amazing song, I feel like it deserves a lot more credit than it really got when it was released. As the lead single from 'This Is Acting', I wanted it to simply blow all the competition away.
1. Battlefield (Lea Michele)
Deep. Emotional. Intense. These three words are the best way of describing Lea Michele's 'Battlefield'. Also written for her debut album 'Louder', I would argue that it is probably the best track on the entire album. This song delivers a powerful punch right to your heart, as Lea agonizes over a relationship turned sour. The sorrow she's feeling comes across flawlessly on the track. As you listen, think about your lover or partner and hold them just a little tighter. You'll definitely want them to be nearer to you when 'Battlefield' is over. Remorseful and emotional paired with the intensity of the lyrics and the power of Lea's voice, equal one amazing song.
The beautiful and intense 'Battlefield' is the true hidden gem from Lea's album 'Louder'. While I think that the entire album is wonderful, it received four great songs written by Sia. 'If You Say So' is the final track on the album, but deserves your attention none the less.
Sia has turned into the artist that a lot of people should aspire to become. Regardless if you're a seasoned pro or maybe just stretching your legs in the music industry, Sia has a little something that we can all take away from. As a talented writer, we can learn how to push emotion into lyrics and how different words can affect everyone differently. And if you look, I'm sure that you'll find one of her songs will become part of the soundtrack of your life. Sia's voice is strong, beautiful and easily recognizable. 'Chandelier' and 'Titanium' caught my attention from a vocal standpoint, and once I realized 'Diamonds' was also hers, I had to dive in to see what she was all about. Between her many albums and the massive amount she's written for others, there is a lot of material to discover and enjoy. As you finish this article, I encourage you to venture out and give Sia a chance. Her music has made my life just a little bit better, and I'm hoping that she will do the same for you.
So, there you have it. My 15 favorite songs Sia wrote for other artists. What did you think? Please feel free to use the comment section to let me know how you feel, or even have a chat about Sia and her work, or about any of the above mentioned artists. Do you want a top list of regular Sia songs? Let me know here!
Which of these songs is your favorite?
Questions & Answers
© 2017 James Pagatpatan