Everyone it seems has something to say about you. Some say you're "Adelaide girl turned international pop star", your record label has called you "worldwide property", others say you're quirky and can't be contained. How would you introduce yourself?
I'm constantly evolving. Right now I'd say, "Hello, I'm Sia and I have no idea who I am." When you have a lot of people telling you what you are and perceiving you in a certain way it's difficult to find your own identity.
You've already won an ARIA this year and been nominated for six awards. I'm guessing that must feel pretty good?
Yes, it feels nice.
What do you think about awards? Are they the ultimate validation by the industry or is it just another person's opinion?
The truth is I don't need it. I've been doing this for 17 years and I'm comfortable and more concerned with maintaining good relationships with people. I like to win awards within my relationships! (laughs).
I agree with the idea that it's just subjective and reliant on other people's opinions. The truth is that you shouldn't match your insides to other people's outsides. Life is an inside job and we just have to do our best.
Whether I win or lose I'm really not fussed. I think it's very nice for my record label and my manager who have worked really hard on making this happen. At the end of the day, it's an award for them. I know I'm doing a good job.
Do you ever get to a point when you know you've made it? Don't you just want to rub it in to all those people who may have ever been mean to you in high school?
After seven years of getting clapped at on a regular basis, I realise that that's not what really nourishes the soul. But it is nice to get puffed up occasionally. That's the thing about awards – it's for the people who do all the hard work behind the scenes. An award is just a clap at them.
I hear that your priorities are having children and your relationship with your girlfriend and that music is way down the list, is that still true?
Yes, absolutely. That's the thing about having those priorities – I end up being more and more successful. I think that to some degree being irreverent is the only reason I continue to be successful.
What is the secret to your success?
You've said the whole fame thing depresses you. Are you still figuring out how to tackle that, is it in a box?
I've put it in a box for now because I feel a bit more centred. Since I got sick I feel more comfortable. (Sia suffered from Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease that causes the thyroid to become overactive). I was so sick and when I was in the early stages, the symptoms included anxiety and being constantly adrenalised. I had a lot of anxiety and I couldn't handle being approached. I was physically in flight-or-fight mode when people were approaching me and I never knew why I had that response. It doesn't feel as uncomfortable now.
Has overcoming being sick helped you feel more at ease taking risks creatively and do what you like?
No, I'm always going to be thinking about what my fans want. I'm not an artist – I'm an entertainer and my job is to entertain my loyal followers and give them what they want.
What do your loyal followers want?
They want the slow ballads and the big choruses. That's the bottom line so that's what I'll give them.
You once said, "I've got to do it for me or I might as well work at a fast-food factory."
I disagree with that now. When I do it for them, I do it for me.
You've also said you were lucky that you scored a record label that could throw buckets of money at radio stations to play your songs, so an audience would find you. Is success about money or talent?
Oh it's money, of course, it is. There are so many incredibly talented people out there that will never make it because for some reason the universe didn't align it so that they could have the opportunity for a large multinational conglomerate to throw money at them.
Now that you're in the spotlight, how does it feel?
It was hard when I was sick, in terms of maintaining that huge level of energy. I'm nearly a 35-year-old woman. When I was sick, I wasn't who I used to be. This is a good life. Now I feel healthier I can see how lucky I am. But I used to hate my job and I wanted to quit.
Now that you're excited again, has this reconfirmed your priorities?
Absolutely. I just have to be really careful and know when it's too much and when it's not enough.
And what do you want to do next?
Where would you go?
Everyone loves a comeback! (laughs). I just want to write for other people. I don't know if I want to tour or all the stuff that goes with being an artist. When you write for other people you don't have to do all that extra work that they (the artist) does. Being a writer is a best job. It's the most fun. Writing songs would be my ultimate.
Best item in my wardrobe:
My green army jacket with black spots that my friend Anna designed for Ksubi.
Best thing that someone has said about me:
That I'm like watermelon – when you put it in your mouth you have no idea how much you're going get.
Best lesson I've learnt the hard way:
I'm better when I don't drink or do drugs.
Best time of day:
Best piece of advice I've been given:
Easy does it (laughs).
Sia's We Are Born (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia) is out now.