Friday, June 27, 2014

Sia's Performance Art: Swinging From Her "Chandelier"

The artist finds mainstream solo success with her refreshing, experimental new venture.
 by Calmin Valentino

Titanium, Flo Rida, She Wolf, David Guetta and a blond bob; what do all of these have in common? The answer is the incredible talent of singer/ songwriter Sia. She's back with an impressive artistic statement through her new album and single, taking her art to the masses in a unique way.

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler, an Australian pop and jazz singer/ songwriter, was born on 18 December 1975. Her latest release is called 1000 Forms of Fear. This is her first album in four years, and it has been promoted with the successful first single "Chandelier" released in March of this year. She originally wrote "Chandelier" for another artist, but after completing the lyrics she decided to keep it for her own album, and we are overjoyed that she did. This track sounds perfectly suited to her, and in the hands of another artist it would have missed out on Sia's beautiful, emotive voice. Through her artful touch it was taken in the perfect direction for it to blossom into the beautiful track that it is.

Her music video for "Chandelier" made the music-loving masses sit up and take note... of her blond bob, that is. Sia has confessed that she doesn't like splashing her face all over media, and for this reason her team came up with the idea to put the focus solely on her trademark blond bob. The end result is 11-year-old dancer and reality TV star Maddie Ziegler, personally requested by Sia, performing in the video with a blond bob wig which represents Sia. The star spilled that she's addicted to reality TV and is a fan of young dancer Maddie and her mesmerising aura when performing.

Lyrically, the song discusses the ups and downs of a partying lifestyle, describing in detail the demoralising routine and the rationalisation of it, and going through the typical thought process of someone involved in it. The song peaked on the Billboard charts at number 35 and became her first ever single as a lead singer to appear on the chart, not counting her featured singles "Titanium" with David Guetta and "She Wolf" led by Flo Rida.

The video caught the attention of talk show host Ellen Degeneres, and she invited Sia to perform the track on her show which aired on 19 May of this year. She accepted the invitation with some challenging requirements for Ellen's team: instead of performing with her face to the audience, the songstress stood at the back of the stage, which was completely decorated as the scene in the music video, with her back to the audience, and sang while dance sensation Maddie performed on stage with the signature blond bob wig.

The video for "Chandelier" is visually satisfying and resonant, and the artistry involved makes it hard to resist countless successive rewatches. She explained that there wasn't a big budget for the video, so the team stripped it down to the bear minimum while displaying some art pieces of Sia’s choice. Her sixth studio offering hit the ground running, with the now very successful track "Chandelier" achieving double platinum status.

Critics received "Chandelier" with highly favorable reviews, praising her beautiful raspy vocals and great songwriting ability, with Nolan Feenay of Time magazine stating that the dance in the video could very well be the best dance routine of 2014.

Sia described the performance of her track as a piece of performance art, making it known that she does not want to accumulate fame, and therefore her blond bob gets the honor of taking center stage during performances and gracing her album cover in true artistic fashion.

Watch the video below, and share your thoughts in the comments section.