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Celebrity Spotlight: Jessica Mauboy
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 6, No. 5 - September/October 2014

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What is your favourite thing about performing to a live audience?

The energy of the crowd. I think that's what really gets me energised. If the crowd are buzzing and wanting more that gets me hyped.

What is your most memorable performance to date?

Generally throughout filming of 'The Sapphires' was definitely a great performance. There were so many performances involved - particularly 'Land of a Thousand Dances', we even had extras that became fans on set, which just went off. Performing the songs and doing all the acting and the choreography threw me in the deep end. But the whole performance and atmosphere was incredible. I'll never forget the experience!

Who has been your biggest musical inspiration?

My biggest musical inspiration would be Mariah Carey. She has such a wonderful journey that I have been following since I was about four and singing all of her songs and I guess at that age I didn't really know what she was singing about and what the stories were, but I generally felt the beat and melody of her songs and forever connected as I grew older and understood her music. I still love her.

Where do you get your ideas or new songs?

For my third album, that I am finalising at the moment, it has been such a dream to come back down to music and be a part of something that I am really familiar with and know best. It's been great to be back in the studio and hear and develop new material. I just love it! It was nice to have the space and time to spill all. With this album you can expect something not too far from my first two albums, but I had a lot more influence and was firmer and took a bigger part in what I wanted the music to sound like. So I used the word 'no' a few times which was nice. It was great to be able to steer the boat and to be the boss of the chair and to really say what I wanted rather than someone telling you who you are and what is best for you.

How do you deal with attention from the media?

I think generally, I like to keep everything positive and stay within that area. I feel very comfortable when it comes to music, but anything else, I just take a step back and let people who work in that area do the talking. If I don't know something, I will take a backseat.

Where did your interest in music come from?

Initially it came from singing in church and having a musical family - a family that played music every day. The house was never quiet, it was always loud and boisterous. The house had a lot of tiles, so it was always loud and echoed.

If you weren't a performer, what would you like to be?

I really wanted to be a teacher or a community worker. I would be back at home working with community groups and being a mentor, if music wasn't going to work out. Maybe kindergarten or up to year three. I have been lucky with my career, in that I have been able to tie in community work and music workshops with youths and positively influence many young people. I am currently putting my money towards a school, one of my own charities that I believe in called the Yipirinya State Primary in Alice Springs.

Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?

I loved visiting my boyfriend's family in Greece, an Island called Kalymnos. He took me there about two years ago and I am just itching to go back! It is such a wonderful small island where his grandparents were brought up. I got to go and see it for myself and it was just amazing, from the water to the simplicity of the food. There is so much community spirit and helping hands.

Please tell us about your family

Mum has always been a housewife with a few jobs along the way -
there are five of us so she was always kept very busy. We had a little boy come into our home throughout his teenage years. Our family was always very open and welcoming to family, cousins etc when things weren't going right in their families. My parents had an open house policy and everyone was always welcome and familiar.

What was it like being involved with the film and the musical production of 'The Sapphires'

Knowing that it was based on a true story was quite tough as a 23 year old - not knowing so much of the history, but being aware of it but not being fully educated on it. I grew up in a small town in Darwin, with a massive Aboriginal population. I had no problem being there and being of colour, so I couldn't imagine how the girls who went through it felt. Playing the character of Julie was very intense and eye opening. There is a scene in the pub and the girls have invited themselves to the competition and they get kicked out of the pub - it was such an intense session. I had to take a moment and breathe and talk with the director and calm myself down. It is certainly a special film and experience that I will never forget.

About Jessica Mauboy

Born on the 4 August 1989 and raised in Darwin, Northern Territory, Jessica Mauboy rose to fame in 2006 when she was crowned runner-up on the fourth season of Australian Idol; thereafter signing a music contract with Sony BMG Australia. Now, Jessica Mauboy is a household name, thriving in the music and film industry as an R&B and pop singer, songwriter, and actress.

Her latest and most successful album 'Beautiful', released in 2013, achieved double platinum sales and merited Jessica seven ARIA Award nominations. Along with 'Beautiful', her two previous albums have reached over 2 million sales in Australia, an astounding achievement. In April 2013, she was ranked at number 16, on the Herald Sun's list of the "100 Greatest Australian Singers of All Time".

Aside from a successful career in Music, Jessica also has a flair for film and television. She made her acting debut in the film adaptation of the 1990 Aboriginal musical, Bran Nue Dae (2010), and starred in the popularly commended film, The Sapphires (2012), which earned her the AACTA & AFCA award for Best Supporting Actress.

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Jessica Mauboy

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Get Ahead Kids® Sep/Oct 2014

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