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Sia Tells Us How She Went From "Retirement" to Making Songs With Flo Rida and David Guetta

Screen shot 2012-09-07 at 12.36.27 PM.pngWe've long been fans of Sia over here at PAPER and, after not hearing from her in a little while, couldn't quite believe our ears when we first heard the singer's music blasting on Z100 in not one but two hit songs: mega-DJ David Guetta's "Titanium" and Flo Rida's "Wild Ones." Naturally, this got us wondering about how both of these major top 40 artists ended up with the indie-pop chanteuse. Fortunately, we ran into Sia at Honor's New York Fashion Week show yesterday and had all of these pressing inquiries answered. Read on to hear how Sia got connected with Guetta and Flo Rida, which of them she says is a great "hugger" and which is a "geek burger," and what she does when she hears her new jams on the radio.
Are you going to many shows this Fashion Week?

Not really. I don't really know anyone in the fashion industry, but I think I'm going to Alexander Wang, Chris Benz. I would like to be invited to more shows because I like to look at all of the fancy clothes that people wear -- it just totally spins me the fuck out and I love it.  

Moving from fashion to music, how did you wind up working with Flo Rida and David Guetta?

I'd never met either of them and I was writing pop songs for other people. [Originally] I wrote "Titanium" for Alicia Keys. Then Mary J. Blige sang it but later [David Guetta] opted to put my demo vocal back on and I actually didn't know. They never got approval. It wasn't until press came out and he was talking about me that I asked my manager, "Why is he talking about me?" So he put me on the record without me knowing about it.

Music video for "Titanium" by David Guetta ft. Sia

How did you feel about that?

At the time, I was bummed because I was trying to disappear. I had just retired. With Flo [Rida], I wrote "Wild Ones" for Katy Perry but he kept me on there and she didn't even receive it. 

Was it the same thing as with David Guetta  -- you wrote it and Flo Rida decided he preferred your demo vocals?

Yeah. He wanted me to do it but I said, "Okay, you can use it but don't use my name." And it came out that it still had my name in it. So now I'm in the contract that I don't do press, I'm not in the videos, I never perform them live. But [the songs] just keep buying me houses!

I'm actually super grateful. I was bummed at first about all of it but of course once you start making money on anything, it becomes increasingly easy to accept.

Music video for "Wild Ones" by Flo Rida ft. Sia

How did you start writing for David Guetta or Flo Rida in the first place?

It was my fantasy to become a pop writer and I got a new manager in America and I told him that and he listened. He started putting me in sessions for pop writing and that was one of the first ones I did. I wrote "Titanium" and recorded it in 42 minutes and the Flo Rida one took twelve. [Laughs]

Do you hang out with Flo Rida or David Guetta now?

No, I met Flo once. He's so nice and he's a really good hugger. I only met him the day I wrote [the song] and haven't met him since. And David, I didn't meet until months and months and months after the record had already come out and now I've met him maybe four times.  He's very sweet. He's like Big Bird from Sesame Street. He's the sweetest little geeky geek. He's very tall. He's a geek burger. I love him. They're both very sweet. But it's a weird scene to be in. I'm now writing for other artists and so I have a bunch of stuff coming out.

Anything you can share?

I have songs on four A-list artists' records that will be coming out in the next year or so.  I'm super excited. Lots of songs on their records -- at least three on each! Ahhh!

Can you tell us whose records?

Not yet, no. I can tell you but then it's not classy.

[Seatmate asks if one of them rhymes with "Flea-oncé?"]

That one I really cannot answer!   

Is it weird to hear your songs at parties or on Top 40 radio?

Yeah. I listen to pop radio now for study and every once an hour, my song pops on. I have a new rule that every time it comes on, unless I'm on the highway, I pull over and have a dance party. It's a little self-congratulatory or self-masturbatory but I do feel very proud.

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