Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Won the War: Robyn V.S. Sia

This is a series inspired by a tweet from perpetual lightning rod for controversy Azealia Banks when she inferred that although Michael Jackson won the battle, Prince won the war. This will be my take on which two rivals in packaging in the U.S. Music Industry, won the war in terms of longer success.

Round 4 of Won the War involves import singers who have mass adoration through the internet (Mainly through BuzzFeed); Swedish import Robyn and Australian singer/songwriter Sia. Both are bubbly [read as insane] blondes who like to make people feel everything exuberance to salvation. Robyn transitioned from bubblegum pop to dance while Sia transitioned to something of a solo success after writing songs for the likes of Rihanna and Beyoncé. With recent accolades for recent efforts, let's figure out...

In longevity terms, who merely won the battle...and who Won the War?

As of 2014, Robyn has yet to add a proper 6th studio album since 2010's Body Talk collection; Sia added a 6th album to her name with 1000 Forms of Fear. Interestingly enough these women have transitioned between indie label to major to boutique/subordinate throughout their careers.

Here's their charting album peaks from highest to lowest...

- Robyn Is Here at #57
- Robyn at #100
- Body Talk (collectively/2 albums in 1 package) at #142 [*Body Talk: Pt. 2 on its own is the highest charting effort at #41]

- 1000 Forms of Fear at #1
- Some People Have Real Problems at #26
- We Are Born at #37

Due to the fact that these two have made something of a name for themselves, radio has played their songs every now and again. In terms of longevity when was their last #1 hit on the Hot 100?

*Reminder: Hot 100 ranking does matter if you're absolutely looking for a gauge of where an artist is in terms of popularity*

Robyn & Sia have yet to land a #1 single in the U.S. (You'd think critical acclaim means something outside the publication in which it was published)

The last Top 10 hit? Sia only recently had her first successful single in the U.S. with "Chandelier" [at the time of writing] peaking at #9. Although in 1997, Robyn had her 2nd Top 10 hit in the U.S. with the song "Show Me Love" which peaked at #7.

Normally, acting in movies and comparing stats through Rotten Tomatoes would be next. However, neither of them has been in a movie.
Musically, there are naturally some weak points in an artists' career when say...a lead single doesn't go to #1 or released singles chart really low. These are the positions at the lowest of Robyn and Sia's careers...

Robyn's Lowest Charting Singles
- Lowest Charting Lead Single: "Dancing On My Own" at #113
- Lowest Charting Released Single: "Dancing On My Own" at #113
[Technically, this peaked at #13 on the Bubbling Under Charts which extends from #101 to #125]

Sia's Lowest Charting Singles
- Lowest Charting Lead Single: "Chandelier" at #9 on the Hot 100
- Lowest Charting Released Single: "Chandelier" at #9 on the Hot 100
[This reads a little bit like Robin Thicke's only real success with "Blurred Lines"...]

Their career nadirs bring up where they are now. Pre Dance Transition, Robyn was all about bubblegum pop (Which Swedes are required to learn in primary school and I base this on absolutely nothing). Then after her deal with RCA was done after her albums My Truth and Don't Stop the Music had failed to chart in the U.S., she pulled a classic move of female singers before her and switched shit up. Making dance music proved to be successful for Robyn at least in the modern realm of internet culture.
Sia had first splashed onto the scene in the U.S. as an inadvertent part of EDM going mainstream with her feature on the David Guetta song "Titanium". Add in her guest feature on the Flo Rida song "Wild Ones" and her radio mainstream debut had been complete. Songwriter Sia had long been in effect for better and worse. Despite the inevitable bust of the singles released, Sia contributed to Christina Aguilera's Bionic, co-writing and vocal producing 4 of the songs. She did however, pen the massively successful single "Diamonds" [for Rihanna]. She also contributed to BeyoncĂ©'s latest album, served as head creative force over Kylie Minogue's recent effort Kiss Me Once (Being partially responsible for the horrible song "Sexercize").

Yet despite chart shut-outs, both have found a home in internet culture specifically BuzzFeed... [Robyn] [Sia..."Chandelier"]

Now for the final points: iconic singles AKA, the one single people know is by that artist.

Robyn has "Dancing On My Own" as it's the first single that a lot of the internet based generation got into RE: Robyn at all.

Sia is riding on the success of "Chandelier" for her solo career.

A bit of info for posterity: both were made from coloring books. [This is only to be taken with the recommended grain of salt and with nothing else.] Robyn has 2 #7 singles in the U.S. while Sia is a bit "Flavor of the Moment" only having 1 song chart in the U.S..

One has transitioned from a divisive to a better received genre; one made a leap from songwriter to singer with varied results; One has a 90s Pop Culture safety net; one owes a muffin basket the size of Earth to a child from Dance Moms...

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