The Alchemy of Blockbuster Songs, Billions of Views, and the Face You’ve Never Seen | Sia on The Tim Ferriss Podcast

Check out The Tim Ferriss Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Sia is a big fan of meditation:
    • “It’s so good for your brain and so good for your heart and spirit” – Sia
  • Because of her chronic pain, Sia had suicidal ideations for 3 years and spent 16 hours a day laying in bed.
    • “I have a broken brain, I’ve got to take medication, and as soon as I started taking meditation for Prozac, six days later, the suicidal ideations were gone completely”Sia
      • “I was sad for myself that I hadn’t done it sooner. I had that broken brain for so long I thought there was something very, very wrong with me.”
  • When it comes to making money in the music industry, writing music is the cash cow
    • “The best way to make money in music, if you’re going to be a musician, is to write the music”Sia
  • “I don’t think that I’m necessarily, like, a super-talented songwriter. I think I’m just really productive. One out of 10 songs is a hit. So where a lot of people will spend three weeks on one song, I will write 10 in three weeks.”Sia
  • Sia wasn’t an amazing singer as a kid and wants to share a video of her singing as a kid to prove it
    • “I was a very mediocre singer when I was twelve…I want kids to know, I wasn’t always a good singer.” – Sia

Intro

  • Sia (@sia) is an Australian singer, songwriter, director, screenwriter, and pop icon
  • Host: Tim Ferriss (@tferriss)

About Sia & Her Experience With Attachment Theory

  • There are 5 styles in attachment theory: dismissive, preoccupied, avoidant, unresolved, and secure 
    • When it comes to being secure, there are 7 features. When Sia first started working on her attachment issues, she only had one of the features, today she’s up to five.
      • About only 30% of the population fits in the secure category
  • If you’re going to sleep train a baby, make sure you go to the baby during the intermittent crying part. Otherwise, you’re damaging the baby and creating attachment problems.
    • “If you leave a baby to cry, just cry it out, you’re damaging them forever and ever” – Sia
  • If you want your kids to grow up secure, you need to give them eye contact, hugs, and attention for the first 6-12 months of their birth 
    • But you have to be careful with not smothering them otherwise they become preoccupied

Meditation

  • Sia is a big fan of meditation:
    • “It’s so good for your brain and so good for your heart and spirit” – Sia
      • You can’t be bad at meditating, it’s a practice. The only way you can fail is by not trying.
  • Sia mediates for about 20 minutes a day by listening to the Meditation x Attachment with George Haas podcast

Creating Music

  • When creating music, one of the most important things to do is to get out of your own way:
    • “For me it’s just getting out of the way, getting out of the way and just trusting in the present moment that what I do next is going to be what’s supposed to happen” – Sia
      • Sia has always had extreme sensitivity to emotions and feelings
  • Sia wasn’t an amazing singer as a kid and wants to share a video of her singing as a kid to prove it
    • “I was a very mediocre singer when I was twelve…I want kids to know, I wasn’t always a good singer.” Sia

If You’re Suicidal, Get Help

  • Because of her chronic pain, Sia had suicidal ideations for 3 years and spent 16 hours a day laying in bed.
    • Sia tried to take her own life by taking valium pills and drinking vodka
      • Fortunately, Sia’s friend took her to the hospital and she lived. After the experience, Sia realized that she wanted to live and needed to take her of her brain because there were chemical imbalances going on and started taking medication:
        • “I have a broken brain, I’ve got to take medication, and as soon as I started taking meditation for Prozac, six days later, the suicidal ideations were gone completely”Sia
          • “I was sad for myself that I hadn’t done it sooner. I had that broken brain for so long I thought there was something very, very wrong with me.”

Making Money In Music

Via @sketchsumo
Via @sketchsumo
  • When it comes to making money in the music industry, writing music is the cash cow
    • “The best way to make money in music, if you’re going to be a musician, is to write the music”Sia
  • A good producer can make $30,000-40,000 for producing a song
    • This includes the sounds, bass, and beats
  • The songwriter creates the chord, melody, and lyrics
    • Chords are worth 50% of publishing while the top line (melody and lyrics) are worth the remaining 50% of the publishing
      • Sia considers herself a topline writer
  • “I don’t think that I’m necessarily, like, a super-talented songwriter. I think I’m just really productive. One out of 10 songs is a hit. So where a lot of people will spend three weeks on one song, I will write 10 in three weeks.”Sia

Additional Notes

  • Both Tim and Sia have tried treatments with ketamine and experienced positive results such as pain relief 
  • Sia’s dad had dissociative identity disorder and had two personalities. She didn’t realize it wasn’t normal until she was in her 20s.
  • Sia has a tattoo that says “Don’t think”
  • Sia didn’t watch TV till she was 10 and then became addicted to it
  • Why does Sia often cover her face? She doesn’t need validation from the public or media
  • Sia created Music, a musical drama film project with Dallas Clayton, Maddie Ziegler, Kate Hudson, and Leslie Odom Jr
    • The movie is about an autistic teenager who finds herself being cared for by her sober, drug-dealing sister  
  • Sia recently adopted two kids. Sia was watching an HBO show about a 16-year old boy in foster care. Sia found and the boy asked Sia if she could also adopt his friend. Sia adopted them both that day.
    • “Being a mommy to my boys is now the most meaningful thing to me” – Sia

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Notes By Alex Wiec

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