Cheap Thrills
by Sia (featuring Sean Paul)

Album: This is Acting (2016)
Charted: 2 1
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Songfacts®:

  • This sunny jam finds Sia singing of getting ready to go clubbing:

    It's Saturday and it won't be long
    Gotta paint my nails, put my high heels on
    It's Saturday and I won't be long
    Til I hit the dance floor


    Sia, who often talks down her songs, called it "straight fluff."
  • Like most of the other This is Acting tracks, this was written for another artist but rejected. In this instance, Sia penned the carefree tune with Greg Kurstin ("What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)," "Hello") for Rihanna.

    "Her manager said, 'We want 'Diamonds.'" [Sia wrote "Diamonds" for Rihanna] We need soul. We want some music that has feeling," she recalled to Rolling Stone. "I went to Greg and that's what we came up with. 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."

    "There's something really uplifting about it that put me in a good mood, and I would just pretend it wasn't me singing [laughs]," Sia continued. "It felt very summer and fun, and I was like, "I'll put that on there."
  • A remix of the track was released featuring reggae artist Sean Paul. His verse gives the song a whole new dancehall makeover, which pairs nicely with the tune's use of the reggaeton dembow rhythm. Dembow, an evolution of the three-note tresillo pattern found in African and Latin American music for centuries, blends a steady kick pattern and a syncopated backbeat: boom-ch-boom-chk. The bouncy rhythm flooded the mainstream when artists like Sean Paul and Daddy Yankee ("Gasolina") incorporated it into their songs.

    The remix was released as This is Acting's second single.
  • A black-and-white lyric video was released, parodying vintage variety shows with dancing contests. We see a new type of dance break out featuring energetic faceless dancers wearing signature Sia wigs. The visual was directed by Lior Molcho, who also worked on the clip for the This Is Acting lead single "Alive."
  • Directed by Sia with Daniel Askill, the song's music video is the Australian singer-songwriter's fourth collaboration with Maddie Ziegler. The young dancer previously appeared in Sia's visuals for "Chandelier," "Elastic Heart" and "Big Girls Cry."
  • The song was Sia's first Hot 100 chart-topper as an artist. She'd previously reached #1 as the writer of Rihanna's "Diamonds."
  • Sia was 40 years and seven months old when this song topped the chart. It was the first time a woman over 40 had reached the peak position since the 42-year-old Madonna achieved the feat with "Music" back in 2000.
  • The song was Sean Paul's fourth Hot 100 #1. He previously led with "Get Busy" in 2003, as a featured artist on Beyonce's "Baby Boy" the same year, and "Temperature" in 2006.
  • Asked by Billboard magazine what his reaction was when Sia first came to him about guesting on this song, Sean Paul replied: "I just thought: 'What a big sound, nice hook and melody she had put down.' I'm a huge fan of her voice. She spans generations. My mum is a big fan of her voice and her songs and writing."
  • Which song of 2016 had the most people reaching for their phone to find out what on earth it was? According to data released by the music identification app Shazam, "Cheap Thrills" was the year's most Shazamed song.

Comments: 2

  • Ekristheh from HalathIn the Lior Molcho video, the aliens (obvious time travelers) lead the '50s dance show participants and host in a variety of familiar steps, taking them through rock and pop history in no particular order, from the Robot (a very old dance, has existed in some form since the '20s), the Charleston, some '20s-'30s jitterbugging moves that look to have come from Back to the Future (including the air guitar solo), the Lindy Hop, what looks like the Madison, some hand jive, the Hustle, the Moonwalk, whatever Travolta was doing in Saturday Night Fever, the Single Ladies' dance, and conclude with the Time Warp from _The Rocky Horror Picture Show_ (talk about your cheap thrills).
  • Monica from Atlanta When will she do a different video other than using Ziegler??
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