Sia Furler's forthcoming album, This Is Acting (due January 29th), has a novel concept: It's full of songs rejected by A-list artists. Furler has been successfully writing for music's biggest names, from Adele to Beyoncé, since she crossed over to writing pop music around five years ago, after solidifying herself as a Top 40 artist with her hit single "Chandelier." "I feel like they're hits, but nobody wanted them," she says of the tracks on the new LP, which have been written during the last few years. "So I thought, 'Let's see, as an experiment, if I'm right.'"
In anticipation of the album, Furler spoke in depth with Rolling Stone about pop music, her productivity and on becoming her clients' "bitch" in the studio.
You've described songwriting for others as "play-acting," hence the title This Is Acting. But can you take me through that mindset of writing a song with the intention of having it sung by someone else? Sure. I probably get 20 or 30 tracks a week from my producer friends who are hoping that I'll write lyrics and melody on top of them. I write over them in my house, and I record demos of them, in my house. I have an engineer come over. If I know Rihanna is looking for a single, I'll actually choose tracks that sound like a Rihanna-like jam, and then I'll start the writing process over it. That will come first with melody, and then I'll chose lyrical content from a list of concepts I have in my phone, and whenever I think of one, I write it down.