Sia Kate Isobelle Furler (pronounced SEE-ah) (born December 18, 1975), also simply known as Sia, is an Australian pop singer. She is noted for her work with Zero 7 and her three major label solo albums.
Born in Adelaide, South Australia, she was part of the Australian acid jazz formation Crisp, which released two albums entitled Word and the Deal and Delirium. Sia then later released her own solo album entitled OnlySee in 1997 on a now-defunct independent record label.
Furler did not achieve commercial success until her move to the United Kingdom and embarkment on a solo career. In 2000, Sia signed to the Sony Music sub-label DancePool, whereupon she released her major-label debut, Healing Is Difficult, an eclectic mix of R&B and jazz. The album included the underground club hits “Drink to Get Drunk” (remixed by Different Gear) and “Little Man”. It also featured the single “Taken for Granted”, a song containing a sample from Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights. The single reached #10 in the UK singles chart during June 2000. Part of Sia’s success can be attributed to the UK garage remix of “Little Man” by Wookie. This remix was a huge club hit which led many people to discover her who otherwise would not have. It still remains a popular song in nightclubs throughout the UK.
Healing Is Difficult received wide critical acclaim and led to Furler being hailed as the next Lauryn Hill or Nelly Furtado by certain sections of the music press. However, following record label conflicts, Sia left Sony Music and signed with Go! Beat Records, a subsidiary of UMG.
2003 saw Sia release an EP entitled Don’t Bring Me Down. This was used as the closing title track of the French Movie 36 Quai des Orfèvres. Her second album, entitled Colour the Small One, was released in Australia and Europe the following year. This downtempo album saw Sia employ a mixture of acoustic instruments and electronic backing in her material, which led to comparisons to artists such as Dido and Sarah McLachlan. It featured “The Bully”, which was a collaboration with American musician Beck Hansen. Two further songs were co-written and produced, but have yet to be released. Colour the Small One, though, spawned the singles “Breathe Me” and “Where I Belong”. The latter track was earmarked to appear on the soundtrack of the film Spider-Man 2, but owing to a record label conflict, its inclusion was withdrawn. In anticipation of this notable inclusion, the single of “Where I Belong” was packaged with a cover featuring Sia dressed in a Spider-Man costume.
In early 2005, Sia parted company with Go! Beat Records, disappointed at the company’s poor promotion of the album, and the failure of the label’s U.S. counterpart to pick up the record. Meanwhile, “Breathe Me” was beginning to receive international notice with appearances on the series finale the U.S. HBO television series Six Feet Under and the broadcast of the 2006 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The track had been licensed to Astralwerks (which also produces the Six Feet Under soundtracks), and based on positive feedback, the full license of Colour the Small One was picked up by Astralwerks and given an American release in early 2006.
Sia toured the U.S. throughout 2006, promoting the album and cross-promoting the Six Feet Under season five DVD release. The re-released 2006 U.S. album features four bonus tracks — “Broken Biscuit” (from the Don’t Bring Me Down EP), “Sea Shells” (the B-side to “Breathe Me” in the UK) and two remixes of “Breathe Me” by Four Tet and Ulrich Schnauss.
In addition to her solo career, Furler provided vocals for Zero 7 on their hit singles “Destiny” and “Distractions” from their debut album Simple Things. Zero 7’s second album, When It Falls, featured Sia voicing “Somersault” and “Speed Dial No. 2”. A third album, The Garden (released May 2006), found six contributions from Furler, with two (“Throw It All Away” and “You’re My Flame”) released as singles in the UK and North America.
Sia recorded a cover version of Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android”, which appeared on the tribute album Exit Music: Songs with Radio Heads in 2006. The song appeared in an episode of teen drama The O.C.. The album also included covers by artists such as Mark Ronson, Matthew Herbert and Cinematic Orchestra.
On November 25, 2005, Sia recorded a duet with singer Katie Noonan, a member of Brisbane-based band George. The song, entitled “Sweet One”, was supposed to be included on the respective artists’ solo albums in 2007 but has not appeared on the track listings of either albums, either Sia’s Some People Have Real Problems or Noonan’s Skin.
In 2007, Sia had a prolific year in terms of releasing music, although she would not release her third full album until January 2008. On April 3, 2007, Sia’s third LP (almost EP-ish) Lady Croissant was released in the U.S. It featured eight live songs and one new studio track (“Pictures”). In November 2007, Sia’s four-song EP Day Too Soon was released on iTunes. It included the tracks “Day Too Soon”, “Buttons”, “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine”, and a remix of “Day to Soon” by Mock & Toof.
In January 2008, Sia’s fourth LP (third proper), Some People Have Real Problems, was released. The expected first single is “Day Too Soon”. A video for the song “Buttons” can be found on YouTube, as well as many other live and studio videos.
On 8 January 2008, Sia performed “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine” on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The song has also been remixed by the likes of Sander van Doorn and Stonebridge. The Sander van Doorn remix is a hit in the Netherlands, residing at the #11 spot in the Dutch Single Charts.
Sia performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in January 2008. She and the band wore glow-in-the-dark costumes. She performed the songs “Buttons” and “Breathe Me”.
In 2008, Sia talked about her bisexuality in interviews with Scotland on Sunday and AfterEllen.com saying, “I’ve always been open about it. People are making a fuss of it now because I’m getting successful.”
She features on Australian Indie artist Lior’s single “I’ll forget You.”
She recently recorded her own version of Britney Spears’ “Gimme More”.
*** UPDATE 2018 ***
Sia released a new album as part of a collaborative effort under the band name LSD.
LSD are a supergroup consisting of Sia, British musician and rapper Labrinth, and American music producer Diplo. The ensemble has released six singles, five of which appear on their first album titled Labrinth, Sia & Diplo Present… LSD, released on 12 April 2019.
*** UPDATE 2020 ***
Sia has given an update on her 2020 plans, informing fans that she has not one but two new albums “waiting to go”.
February 15, 2020, the Australian pop star told a fan on Twitter that she has two albums “waiting to go”, though they’re currently on the back-burner due to her upcoming movie, Music.
“Am focused on my movie which is now due for release Sept. It’s a musical so after I promote that I’ll put out a new album.”