Whenever Sia finishes writing a song she’s faced with a dilemma, ‘Do I sell this on to someone else or keep it for myself?” More often that not she flogs it, hence having song writing credits for everyone from Beyoncé to Eminem on her Wikipedia. However, since releasing 2014 album ‘1000 Forms Of Fear’ she found herself more attached to her songs than before and wanting to keep them. As she told Zane Lowe in a recent Beats 1 interview, “Do I like the song, or do I like a million dollars?”
Sia turned down seven figure offers from Adele and Rihanna to keep hold of ‘Alive’ and it only takes one listen to see why both pop stars wanted hold of the track, which will feature on her new album ‘This Is Acting’. “I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go,” she sings over a beat not a million miles from Adele’s ‘Rolling In The Deep’ before a stadium-sized wave of optimism crashes through the navel-gazing and she sings “I’m alive” with that signature croak in her throat.
Interestingly, indie singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr is also credited on the song; it couldn’t be further away from his contemplative take on the Cheers theme tune thing and thus shows a previously unknown versatility. ‘Alive’ feels like a turning point for the elusive Sia. No longer looking to pass on material and hide behind her fringe, she’s now actively taking on tracks written for others. Acting or not, she plays the role perfectly.