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Jessica Mauboy’s New Music Aims To Unite Voices In Times Of Division

The singer opens up about the challenges that lie ahead for the Indigenous community.

Jessica Mauboy was just 16 when she got her start in the music industry, on cult TV show Australian Idol. Now with an illustrious career spanning 15 years, including four ARIA Platnium selling albums, 30 ARIA nominations, touring with Beyoncé and performing for Barack Obama, it’s safe to say that she has carved out a definition of Aussie pop success that is rare and compelling.

While Mauboy now gives back, helping other young artists get their start on The Voice Australia, she won’t deny that the yellow-brick road to stardom hasn’t come easily to her.

“I think the biggest blow, or having felt emotionally disconnected, was probably when I left home,” she tells marie claire Australia. “I think that was, in a way, traumatizing for my mind to grab onto. Being home and being in that NT environment and the way that we talk and our body language…I think having moved away at such a young age, that was the hardest. I think to this day I haven’t gotten over it.”

Having toured and lived life in front of the bright lights, it’s imperative that Mauboy finds her way back whenever her demanding schedule allows it. She says she misses the two seasons (wet and dry) and her ultimate place to travel would simply be home in the wet season, riding carefree on a quad bike drawing infinity signs in the mud. It’s a far cry from the world’s stage, and likely what keeps Mauboy so grounded.

(Credit: Image: Instagram)

Having been the only one of her five siblings to move away, life at the start of her solo career was quieter than the hubbub of family life amongst her siblings. It was loud in other ways, in terms of the buzzy nature of the industry.

Versatile as ever, Mauboy did adapt, and she lists working with Flo Rida, Ludacris, Lil’ Kim and Mariah Carey amongst the biggest plus sides of her life in the industry.

Mauboy has just released ‘Give You Love’ from her new album Yours Forever, set for release on February 9, 2024. The promotional single sees Mauboy work with American singer songwriter Jason Derulo and Melbourne-based songwriter WILSN.

Within two days of sharing the track with Derulo, he had already laid down his vocals for the song. When we bring him up in the interview, Mauboy nails his trademark ‘Jason Derulo’ vocal run that features on his songs.

“He hates when we do that,” she jokes. “He doesn’t hate it, hate is a very strong word, but he’s lived his life with that very iconic tagline. And it’s him. It’s his DNA.

“We’ve grown up with Jason, on our iPods, on our CDs, so we fangirl every time we are around him. He’s very cool and calm and has beautiful analogies of life and his experiences.”

While working with WILSN on the song, Mauboy knew straight away that it was the perfect partnership.

(Credit: Image: Instagram)

“I connected in so many different ways of like, knowing that instantly this song was going to be – for the both of us – it’s bigger than us. It’s gonna be bigger than us. When we talk about [lyrics like], ‘When your heart is empty/let me give you love’…instantly I just thought the world has been through so much, and it’s going to go through a lot and a process of how to heal. This is that healing song.”

Mauboy says she wanted to infuse the song with an anthemic, gospel vibe, which she grew up with in church as a child. ‘Give You Love’ is the kind of track you want to turn on and belt it out in the shower when you’re on your own and in need something to lift the spirit.

“When you are by yourself, and you feel everything is getting dark or you just need some clarity on where to go next, this is the kind of song that brings to light what may be in front of you,” she explains.

On the topic of clarity and healing, Mauboy is dedicated to advocacy work for her communities, as a proud Kuku Yalanji woman and ambassador for the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Working with youth and helping them to realise their own value, worth and potential is something that drives Mauboy in her ‘spare time’.

While she doesn’t directly reference the Voice to Parliament, she does acknowledge that there is a lot of change going on at the moment for Indigenous peoples.

“I think we’re in the change, I think a lot of us, maybe, aren’t feeling it,” she says. “We all come from our communities, and we want to see the best for our communities and for all walks of life. We’re all understanding that to be somewhere we have to work together.

“In this time, right now, with everything going on with the politics, the hierarchy, you know, how this is going to work out…no matter what is put in place, we’re going to have to experience and learn and relearn and ‘work towards’.”

Mauboy references her work with the DAAF and helping the children grow a strength or opportunity into something meaningful. “I guess the joy of being an ambassador is watching that flourish and become even bigger than what they thought.”

(Credit: Image: Instagram)

When prompted if she had a message to share, Mauboy says she does.

“I think the greatest message, for now, is not to be afraid of change. I personally went through my own battles of change and experience through music, which I didn’t think was possible,” she says.

“I think if we are aware of the changes that are happening, or that are happening already, to not be afraid, and to learn. You know, all of our hearts are already open.

“It’s just sometimes, it can be hard to accept, you know, and we’re just, we’re just all in it. I think if we’re all in it then we can at least be a shoulder for anyone who is feeling really uncertain. So I think it’s just being aware and not being afraid of change.”

Change is something Mauboy has been experimenting with on all fronts.

With her new album Yours Forever she has stepped into an even more introspective and diaristic storytelling than ever before. It’s a vulnerable place to put yourself in.

“I feel like this record has been done the right way,” she says. “The last time I had put out a record, that was six years ago. So, you know, I felt at some point, wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been back in the studio. Since I’ve had a writing process.

(Credit: Image: Getty)

Mauboy says that in the chaos of growing up in the public spotlight, she had curated a safety net around her, but it was something she felt she needed to break and remold to really get into this sensitive and intimidating honesty that she wanted to convey.

“I built a wall around my own self. I felt comfortable…and at some point I was like, that’s probably why my creative juices aren’t flowing, because I need to do something different,” she says.

“I feel like Yours Forever is that kind of satisfied journal entry…Rather than saying ‘I don’t like you’, it’s like, ‘This is what you did, in detail. The loneliest I ever was, was when I was with you’. Saying it point blank. I wanted something very original and in the moment of when those things happened. How was I able to say that and articulate that, and not have something that was the easy way.

“I think this record has many faces of that, what I was scared to really say…for this one, I wanted to do it the hard way.”

How To See Jessica Mauboy Live On Tour

Jessica Mauboy’s new song ‘Give You Love’ is available to listen now and her album Yours Forever is set for release February 9, 2024. It’s a 14-track album written and recorded on home soil.

The ‘Give You Love’ single features Jason Derulo and has an official video clip directed by Rowena and Joel Ramussen from Move Like Water.

Alongside the album announcement, Mauboy has confirmed her Yours Forever National Tour, starting in March 2024 with multiple regional and metro city dates across the country.

Visit here for more information on tickets.

Yours Forever National Tour

  • Tuesday, March 12: Gippsland Performing Arts Centre, Traralgon VIC
  • Wednesday, March 13: West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul VIC
  • Friday, March 15: Costa Hall, Geelong VIC
  • Saturday, March 16: Palais Theatre, St Kilda VIC
  • Sunday, March 17: Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo VIC
  • Friday, March 22: Newcastle Civic Theatre, Newcastle NSW
  • Saturday, March 23: Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW
  • Friday, April 5: Townsville Civic Theatre, Townsville QLD
  • Saturday, April 6: MECC, Mackay QLD
  • Sunday, April 7: Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton QLD
  • Tuesday, April 9: Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, Bundaberg QLD
  • Thursday, April 11: Empire Theatre, Toowoomba QLD
  • Friday, April 12: HOTA Theatre, Gold Coast QLD
  • Saturday, April 13: Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane QLD
  • Thursday, April 18: Crown Theatre, Perth WA
  • Saturday, April 20: Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin NT
  • Wednesday, April 24: Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre, Adelaide SA
  • Friday, April 26: Princess Theatre, Launceston TAS
  • Saturday, April 27: Wrest Point Entertainment Centre, Hobart TAS
  • Thursday, May 2: Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury NSW
  • Friday, May 3: Canberra Theatre, Canberra ACT
  • Saturday, May 4: Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Nowra NSW
  • Saturday, 11 May: Auckland Town Hall, Auckland NZ

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