The Anatomy Of A Hit Sia Track

Photo: REX/USA.
Any time I hear whispers of a new Sia track, I snap on my headphones and hit play immediately, waiting to be delivered. Her latest song, "Alive," is exactly what I’ve come to expect from the eccentric singer. It features slow, haunting vocals about overcoming sadness that build to a bold and overpowering climax.

Sia is the singer-songwriter I needed when I was 19, when every quiz was a potential GPA-destroying disaster, every minor flame the torrid love affair that would haunt me the rest of my life.

She knows how to fill our imaginations with drama, despair, and longing. In my mind, as I listen to "Chandelier" or "Elastic Heart," I collapse to my knees as my superpowers manifest for the first time, or save small children from natural disasters, or cry beautifully in the rain when I must leave my lover to go explore Mars and somehow save humanity.

How does she do it? As someone with absolutely no experience in songwriting or music producing, I have compiled a recipe for how Sia creates a hit.

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Imge: Via Giphy.
Step 1: A one-word title that invokes thoughts of life, death, or the drama and despair of being a 20-year-old.
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Image: Via Giphy.
Step 2: Unintelligible yammering, so listeners can substitute in their own life situation.
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Step 3: Oscillating volume, so you can shout-sing the words you DO understand.
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Step 4: Loud chorus about living and/or dying because, HEARTBREAK.
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Image: Via Giphy.
Step 5: Build up to a triumphant final chorus, with Sia cry-wailing over a variety of instruments and back-up singers to encourage drama at drunk karaoke.
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Image: Via Giphy.
Step 6: Leak that the song was intended for another pop star, so listeners hit replay 75,438 times imagining what it would sound like if Adele were singing it.
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Step 7: Release a video full of symbolism. WE ARE ALL MADDIE ZIEGLER IN A NUDE BODY SUIT AND SIA WIG.