Sia is undoubtedly one of the greatest modern song writers ever to grace the international stage. With the anonymity she has created for herself, she broke out in 2021 into the world of film and paid a terrible price for the effort. Directing a feature film is no mean feat itself but it nearly broke the internet when it was released and nominated for a Golden Globe.
Produced, directed and co-written by Sia, Music is a story about a newly sober drug dealer (Kate Hudson) who finds herself the sole guardian of her sister (Maddie Ziegler), a teenager who lives with additional needs on the autism spectrum. Widely panned by critics and advocates in the disability sector, Sia bore the brunt of a tsunami of criticism that caused her to reflect on the experience.
In January 2021, Sia responded to the backlash regarding her decision to cast Maddie Ziegler during an appearance on The Project.
“I realised it wasn’t ableism – I mean, it is ableism, I guess, as well – but it’s actually nepotism, because I can’t do a project without her. I don’t want to. I wouldn’t make art if it didn’t include her.”
Her manager commented at the time that she would be “either incredibly angry or else go back into herself and retreat”. Sia herself has said that she was close to mentally breaking and went into rehab. This is not the first time that the superstar has suffered the slings and arrows of depression and it is music that has always proved her salvation.
“I was having such a hard time just being alive, and the cyclical, ruminative thoughts of killing myself were very intrusive. I think a lot of the songs were pep letters to myself, ‘You could do it one more day, you’re going to conquer this, stay alive’.”
Now over a year later the enigmatic star is reportedly in love and has been thrust back into the spotlight with a remix by Clarence Clarity. Revived due to its inclusion in a Samsung Galaxy Commercial and vast social buzz, Sia’s “Unstoppable” reached #1 on last week’s Mediabase hot adult contemporary radio chart. Clarity has added his trademark edge to the release once described by the press as “funk played by a swarm of bees”
With all this hype, will the Aussie Queen return to the main arena and bring her consummate talent to a world much in need of her music? Her fans will love her for it but will the clamour from the world be ignored to live an existence purely as a song writer and not a star. Time will tell and far be it for us to urge her to put herself at risk.
In the mean time, enjoy the reboot of her 2016 hit and let’s hope whatever path she takes it is one that takes her to a place where she can thrive.
For more news, updates, and reviews on the best Australian bands and singers, explore the rest of Australian Sounds today!
Jay B McCauley is a renowned award-winning music journalist, broadcaster and record producer. He has written for some of the biggest platforms in the game and runs his own label Vagrant Soundz.