Sia: A Singer with Resolve Strong as “Titanium”


Noah Castillo

Sia was born on December 18, 1975 in Adelaide, Australia. Her full name is Sia Kate Isabelle Furler. She is the only child of Leone Furler, an artist, and Phil Colson, a musician. Sia says she was raised among “wacky artists” and this is where she developed an interest in music.  Her father left the family when she was 10 yrs old and for many years she stopped listening to music. In 1995, she began her career as a singer for an acid jazz band called Crisp . In 1997, Crisp disbanded and Sia released her first solo album titled “Only See.” Then Sia moved to London, and sang with the group “Zero 7.” When she was only 21, her boyfriend and first love, Daniel Pontifax, was hit and killed by a taxi. Sia was devastated and this began her use of drugs and alcohol to cope with her pain. Her second album in 2000 was titled, “Healing Is Difficult,” and it dealt with the death of her boyfriend. Sia’s next albums were “Colour The Small One” in 2004 which included the hit song, “Breathe Me.” This song in particular brought her a lot attention after it was featured on the finale of the acclaimed HBO show, “Six Feet Under” in 2005.  Sia has credited that song as “saving her career” at that time. 

Sia’s next two albums brought her more notice and recognition. 2008’s “Some People Have Real Problems” and 2010’s “We Are Born” transitioned Sia from an Indie artist to more mainstream popularity.  But it was during this time that Sia began growing more and more uncomfortable with her emerging fame and found the constant touring destabilizing. She would have panic attacks when being stalked by the paparazzi and strangers. She turned to alcohol and drugs to cope. But she was also secretly struggling with severe depression and suicidal ideation for years. In 2010, after a series of health struggles, she was diagnosed with Graves Disease. Finally, after her physical and mental health spiraled, Sia planned to kill herself. Thankfully, a friend intervened and got her involved with Alcoholics Anonymous; she has been sober for 11 years.

Once Sia got sober and healthy, she decided she no longer wanted to be a performer and planned to retire. She decided to write songs for other artists. Sia wrote many hit songs for other top performers including Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. In 2011, the song, Titanium, was released by David Guetta, featuring Sia on vocals. Sia had asked not to be on the song as she was only lending her demo vocals, but Guetta loved it and released it anyway. Sia was initially upset as she was retired from performing, but said it was hard to stay mad when she could finally afford to buy herself a house! So, she began recording again. Her next album, released in 2014, was titled, “1000 Forms of Fear.”  During performances, Sia hid her face, performed with her back to the crowd, and  wore long wigs in an effort to protect her privacy so she could still live a somewhat normal life. She also began working with child dancer Maddie Ziegler, to produce interesting and artistic music videos. 

Her next albums include 2015’s, “ This is Acting,” and in 2017, “Everyday is Christmas.” In 2019, she started playing with Labrinth and Diplo and named their band, “LSD,” for Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo. And now her latest album is actually based off her movie called, “Music,” which stars Kate Hudson. 

It has been a long and winding road for Sia, but she has come out on top.