Sia’s long had a knack for creating spirited, empowering anthems — take her recent single “Alive,” which is all about adopting a survivor’s attitude and feeling unironically blessed to simply be living.
On her latest single, though, the stakes are a little less extreme… but every bit as inviting. “Cheap Thrills,” which premiered on Beats 1 on Wednesday (Dec. 16), chronicles Sia’s getting-hyped-for-the-club mindset, as she declares she doesn’t have to be rich to have a good time. “I don’t need no money/ As long as I can feel the beat/ I don’t need no money/ As long as I keep dancing,” she sings, while a layered backing voice shouts “I love cheap thrills!”
Like every other track on her upcoming album This Is Acting, “Cheap Thrills” was originally intended for another artist — in this case, Rihanna. It’s immediately clear why Sia thought the sunny, carefree jam would be up Rih’s alley; the tropical house flair sounds like so much of Rihanna’s early work. But who knows… maybe that similarity is the very reason she decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for ANTI. And who knows whether or not the song was ever offered to Selena Gomez for Revival, but I think it could’ve fit in nicely with other island-flavored tunes like “Body Heat,” “Me & The Rhythm” and “Me & My Girls.”
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Sia explained why she felt attached to “Cheap Thrills” and why Rihanna passed on it, saying, “I realized just as soon as I was cutting it that it sounded a little bit too Brit-pop for her. It's more Icona Pop.
“We did actually send it to her, but they passed on it, and then I just couldn't stop listening to it in the car,” she continued. “There's something really uplifting about it that put me in a good mood, and I would just pretend it wasn't me singing. It felt very summer and fun, and I was like, ‘I'll put that on there.’”
This Is Acting arrives Jan. 29 and also features tracks that Sia wrote for pop powerhouse artists like Adele, Beyonce, Katy Perry and Shakira.