INT. STUDIO, DAY/NIGHT/DOES IT EVEN MATTER ANY MORE.
ENTER SIA, OBFUSCATED BY A NOVELTY WIG MADE OUT OF BARBER SHOP TRIMMINGS, POUND-STORE MOPS, DISCARDED CHRISTMAS TINSEL, SUPER NOODLES, AND GLITTER. ONLY HER MOUTH IS VISIBLE AS SHE ADDRESSES HER TEAM.
Sia: Christ, can you believe we’ve managed to get away with this formula for seven albums now? What a bunch of mugs people are. But we better mix it up before they suss us out. What can we do?
Sensible management person #1: Well, Sia, you could try something a little different…
Sia: Silence, minion! [SHE ATTACKS HER WITH A HAIR WHIP; SENSIBLE MANAGEMENT PERSON #1 IS FORCED TO LEAVE AFTER BEING BLINDED BY A PUBE] I have a bloody brilliant idea. Everyone knows I’m practically a writing machine, turning out the same old hit in a different form for anyone who can afford to pay me. And I quite like being under this wig. So why don’t I just churn out the same old shit based on those offcuts, and say it’s just me “acting” as them? In fact, that’s what we’ll call it, This Is Acting. Just in case it wasn’t clear.
Sensible management person #2: Yes but Sia, there’s probably a reason they got turned down…
Sia: Shut up, we’re on to a winner here. If I tell people a song like Reaper was for Rihanna or whatever, that’ll get some pretty good headlines. And then people will spend the entire duration of the album trying to work out which song was for whom, successfully distracting from the actual conversation about how I haven’t actually done something new or original since Elastic Heart. Foolproof!
Sensible management person #2: Sia, let’s throw in at least one or two new flavours..
Sia: Jeez, ok, fine. One Million Bullets, that’s pretty decent. Haven’t gone too overboard on that one, and the production is pretty gripping. I’ll add in Move Your Body, because it’s a proper dance-pop banger that’s way better than anyone would give me credit for. But hey, it’s acting, and the person who turned this track down can go fuck themselves.
SENSIBLE MANAGEMENT PERSON #1 HAS NOW RETURNED, SPORTING AN EYEPATCH.
Sensible management person #1: What have I missed?
Sensible management person #2: We’re making some progress…
Sia: HAH, you wish. Just to spite you – and just because I can – I’m going to follow these moments of brilliance with Unstoppable. Textbook Sia. The sheep will love it, and it’s got all those faux-powerful lines about putting armour on and “I’m so powerful, I don’t need batteries today.” And just to properly piss you off, I’m going to make it a single.
Sensible management person #2: OK, scratch my last comment.
Sia: Did you know Bird Set Free was written for Adele? Bitch had the nerve to leave it off 25 – obviously a big mistake given its sales – so I’m going to prove her wrong by oversinging the hell out of it. Seems to have worked for both our careers, after all.
Sensible management person #1: Sia, we really need to finish the album…
Sia: Urgh, fine. Throw in some generic pop songs like Footprints – that sounds bland enough to have been a Katy Perry song – and Sweet Design can go in because it gives me a bit of R&B cred even though it’s the sort of thing Ameriie was doing in the early 2000s. But it’s all acting, innit! Even if people don’t like it, they’ll just be reminded that it’s not my *actual* voice. PUBLISH THIS SHIT.
WE ZOOM OUT AND SEE THAT SIA HAS BEEN TALKING TO HERSELF THE WHOLE TIME BECAUSE A) WE ALL KNOW THAT NO SENSIBLE MANAGEMENT TYPES ACTUALLY EXIST, AND B) IF THEY DID THEN THEY WOULDN’T PUT FORWARD SOMETHING THAT ESSENTIALLY BAITS THE MUSICAL EQUIVALENT OF THE RAZZIES.