A musician friend recently brought to my attention the Australian artist Sia (pronounced See’-Ya). What is impressive about her is the creativity that she brings to her performances and videos. I stumbled upon a video of her performance of her song “Soon We’ll Be Found” from an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2008. It’s a beautiful song, and set up against the all white backdrop, with the exception being her colored hands that she uses to convey the lyrics in sign language. It’s both a visually and musically stunning performance. It’s clear that music to her is an emotional experience, and that level of investment in the song is conveyed to the listener.
Perhaps even more impressive was a video of the same song for a radio appearance. On a day when she was clearly battling some sort of throat ailment, and with minimal instrumentation and only serviceable live audio support, Sia gave an equally compelling performance. It was a clear indication of her professionalism. A true artist gives 100% of whatever they have in any given performance – Whatever 100% might be on that day and in that environment.
In other words, no matter the challenges, you don’t just mail it in. The song, the emotion, and the performance are too important. Here are the 2 videos for comparison: