She may not show her face in public, but Sia’s pint-sized frame and iconic two-toned wig belie a pop music powerhouse. Not content with being the hook-churning genius behind hits like Rihanna’s “Diamonds”, she achieved commercial acclaim with “Titanium”, the first of regular collaborations with David Guetta. She took over the airwaves with the launch of the 1000 Forms of Fear in 2014, which featured chart-toppers “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart”. Check out Filtr SA’s dedicated playlist of Sia’s Essential Hits right about here.

Her latest album, This Is Acting, charted at #1 on iTunes in South Africa when it was released last month. You’d think this pop starlet would be the darling of the red carpet and pap-snaps, but quite the opposite is true. She tells James Corden on her recent appearance on Carpool Karaoke (the YouTube video of which has gone totally viral since it was first posted, boasting over 20 million views and counting), “I didn’t want to be an artist because I started to get a little bit famous, and it was a little destabilizing in a way. So I asked myself what doesn’t exist in pop music at the moment, and it was mystery.”

Watch Sia’s an appearance on Carpool Karaoke here

In a world where the minutiae of pop stars’ every daily activity is publicized and scrutinized by millions of eyeballs simultaneously on several social media channels, perhaps a little bit of mystery is exactly what we, the audience, need. Whatever happened to the magical, mystery pop of the 80’s, where pop idols towered like bedazzled gods and goddesses on our MTV screens – accessible yet untouchable, as if from another world. Is celebrity over-exposure sapping the magic out of pop music?

Can Sia’s notorious series of eye-catching wigs and eccentric stage performances bring it back? Can Sia save pop music? You decide. Watch Sia’s new lyric video for “Cheap Thrills” feat. Sean Paul, the new single from ‘This Is Acting’. This enigmatic lyric video offering combines a throwback to vintage 1950’s music variety shows with the songstress’s signature focus on anonymity.

Sia could be anybody, and anybody can embody the spirit of Sia. Perhaps, in this way, her version of Pop becomes so much more than a mere “Cheap Thrill”.

Support “Cheap Thrills” on Deezer / Apple Music / iTunes / Google Play

Contributor: Larissa Fainberg