The world’s biggest pop songwriter revealed this week that it took her about 15 minutes to create Rihannaâs hit âDiamondsâ that later became a best-selling single. Â Benny Blanco, the song’s co-writer and producer, described the speed with which the song was written as “insane”.
The 38-year-old songwriter, who featured on Billboard Hot 100 top ten hits, âTitaniumâ with DJ David Guetta, and âWild Onesâ with rapper Flo Rida, told Â the New York TimesÂ that Rihanna stuck strictly to the original demo vocals of the song, using Sia’s vocals as a guide and recreating the same inflections.
âWe listened to it on his iPod, sitting on a sofa at ABC Carpet and Home in New York.â she said. âI literally punched him in the arm. I thought Benny was playing a trick on me. She couldâve done it her own way, but I think she really genuinely liked the way it was.â
In an interview with HuffPost Entertainment in 2012, producer Benny Blanco said, âDiamondsâ happened âovernight.â
âWe’re sitting there trying to make records, and we finally just said, âLet’s just do something we like. Let’s make a hip-hop record with some really cool chords on it,ââ he recalled.
âIt didn’t sound Rihanna at all. We were more thinking of making a record that sounds like Kanye. Let’s make a record with a dope beat. So we did. Then Sia heard the track and instantly gravitated towards it. We weren’t even thinking of putting a pop song on it, but she wrote this amazing song.â
In her interview, Sia also talked about her other famous creationâPretty Hurtsâ sang by BeyoncĂ© and her collaboration with David Guetta in âTitanium.â
According to Sia, originally her song âPretty Hurtsâ was intended for her friend Katy Perry, but, unfortunately for Katy, she never got an email with the song. So Furler passed the song along to Rihannaâs manager, who held it for eight months, but ultimately did not pay the fee to secure the track.
âWhen BeyoncĂ© heard it, she slid into home base and just closed the deal,â Furler says.
Last summer, Dr. Luke, one of Perryâs producers, got hold of the BeyoncĂ© version and played it for Perry, who loved the track and asked Sia why she hadnât sent it to her, with Furler responded: âCheck your email.â However, disappointed Perry admitted, âit was meant to be with BeyoncĂ©.â
There also was a confusion with her song âTitanium,â as Furler didnât expect to hear her voice in the record. The songwriter believed that she was writing a song for Guetta to give to Alicia Keys.
However, French D.J. released the track with her original demo vocals and it became a hit, but Furler was not impressed, commenting to The New York Times: “I was really upset about it, because electronic dance music is not my kind of music.”
Sia also shared that she helped Lea Michele write âIf You Say Soâ in the memory of her departed boyfriend Cory Monteith. The ‘Breathe Me’ hitmaker, whose own boyfriend Dan was killed in a car accident in the ’90s,headed into the studio with the Glee star shortly after the actor died from a heroin overdose last year and together they Â came up with the lyrics for the emotionally-charged âIf You Say So.â
“Maybe I’m embarrassed because I’m writing something so cheesy,” Sia said. “Then something like that experience will happen, and I’ll realize maybe I’m not as stupid as I thought â and maybe people aren’t as stupid as I think. It occurs to me that there is value to what I do.”