3 EPIC QUOTES FROM THE LOUIS THEROUX / SIA INTERVIEW
Spoiler alert: Sia's sex confessions are not why her interview with Louis Theroux is so memorable. But, it is emblematic of her immense candour. This podcast is a must-listen, and here's why.
Notoriously fame-averse, there's a real sense of 'opening the floodgates' in this interview with the nine-times Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter. Navigating personal stories of death, addiction and sexual abuse, Sia recounts each memory with unencumbered openness, possible only when interviewer and interviewee share a mutual respect. A long-standng Theroux fan, Sia concedes that, "I would never try to fool you. I consider you someone I can trust." - a sweet admission evidenced via a cute fan letter she sent Louis in the late 90s. Adorable!
Sia's creative idiosyncrasies and peerless vocal have always pleased me - so I approached this interview hoping for a peek into her mind. Jesus Christ... my underestimation was colossal. Oozing heartfelt vulnerability and piercing honesty, here are my TOP 3 quotes from this unmissable interview - quotes that spoke to me as a human and as an artist.
EPIC QUOTE 1:
I played this part of the interview three times, applauded twice and choked on my toast once. Glorious. Here's the full transcript:
Louis: 'Titanium' is an amazing song, right?
As the conversation developed, and her recent single 'Let's Love' was explored, Sia argued that, "There's nothing interesting about either the melody or the lyrics."
Given my recent musings on the creative compromise artists must make to achieve mainstream appeal, this was an exquisite depiction of said compromise - made all the more delicious when, without hesitation, Sia revealed her recipe for writing chart-topping songs, submitting that, “I feel like I have to dumb [lyrics] down, make them broader, less specific, so they can appeal to more people. People can project their shit onto it much more easily."
Type 'Sia' into YouTube, and you'll notice she's in an elite tier of humans - boasting songs that have amassed billions of views apiece. B I L L I O N S!! In a world of anodyne, PR-trained celebrities craving public approval, I can't think of any artist with Sia's reach that would so unapologetically espouse the merits of dumbing-down their art. For that, I instantly loved her a little more.
EPIC QUOTE 2:
“I had been fully, FULLY touring my guts out for fourteen years, with very average success.”
Sia's feature on the 2011 global hit 'Titanium' catapulted her into the mainstream, propelling her into new-found opportunities, acclaim and riches. Call me a sad romantic idiot, but I find these sliding door moments incredibly inspiring, because truth is, although 'Titanium' was her breakthrough hit, it was preceded by years of music releases - all of which made noticeably smaller dents in popular culture. In her own words, without Titanium, had her career trajectory continued as it was, she would have earned a teachers' salary for the rest of her life.
(I suspect her bank balance now resembles a teachers' maths quiz, frankly)
I encourage any artist on the cusp of giving-up to listen to this interview - I'm convinced you'll find new gusto.
EPIC QUOTE 3:
"I couldn’t accept that what I was doing was meaningful – I just thought it was bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.”
In my previous dissection of Louis Theroux' 'Grounded' podcast, I cited how comforting it was to learn of his ongoing battle with Imposter Syndrome. A direct parallel can be drawn between Louis' admission and Sia's - two artists who, despite international admiration and success, are haunted by artistic insecurities. Once again, I dedicate this introspection to all artists plagued with intermittent feelings of doubt and fragility... because as you can see, it's not just us!
Listen to the full Louis Theroux / Sia interview below - hit PLAY:
06:49 - How Louis & Sia met
08:02 - Louis tries to sing Chandelier (it's not shit, to be fair)
09:29 - REVEALED: Sia's 3 dream dinner guests
12:39 - How Sia's 'overnight' fame was an accident
14:59 - Why Sia was furious when David Guetta released ‘Titanium’
17:19 - Sia sings a line from 'Wild Ones' (CAUTION: ear porn)
19:25 - Sia's years of drugs, alcohol and regrets in 90s London
25:09 - How Sia first realised she isn’t built for showbiz
26:51 - How she became known for cartwheels and blowjobs
29:25 - Toxic relationship, suicidal thoughts and drugs
33:57 - Louis’ masturbation diary
36:00 - Louis’ popstar fantasy
36:45 - Sia's ongoing battle with stage fright
37:30 - How Sia found her purpose
39:33 - How divorce provoked suicidal thoughts
42:30 - Louis & Sia disagree over ‘Titanium’ (He loves it, she does not)
43:02 - REVEALED: How Sia writes hit songs
49:25 - The story behind Sia's new movie
52:33 - Sia's guilty COVID-19 admission
54:00 - Trauma, sexual abuse and suicidal thoughts
56:57 - Why fame is disappointing
Find Louis Theroux & Sia on social media:
Listen to 'Grounded' - Louis Theroux interviews Sia here