Jessica Mauboy discusses joining The Voice, the significance of NAIDOC Week, and joining TikTok on the Pop Spot podcast.
Australia was first introduced to a teenage Jessica Mauboy belting out Whitney Houston’s classic I Have Nothing surrounded by red dirt 15 years ago.
She impressed judges Mark Holden, Marcia Hines, and Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson in Alice Springs and advanced to the grand finale, where she was narrowly defeated by Damien Leith for the top prize.
However, Jess’ career was just getting started, and she would go on to sell over 500,000 albums, chart 16 singles, star in a hit film and television drama, and represent Australia at Eurovision.
And she has no intention of leaving, as she is preparing to take over our television screens and social media platform Tik Tok.
Jess told Pop Spot from Sydney’s lockdown that she was finding a silver lining in being stuck at home.
“Look, I have nothing to complain about; we’re all on lockdown and we’re all in this together,” Jess explained.
While she is working from home, she is also making time for a loved one.
“I have a cuddle buddy in the form of my little pup Leo, who is approximately ten months old… he has been an excellent friend.”
As is the case with the majority of performers, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Jess’ plans to record and tour.
“It has truly rocked the boat in every aspect of my life. “I feel like every weekend, every second night, I was performing somewhere, whether it was a corporate event or a festival.
“It’s largely down to my core team now, and we’re constantly brainstorming new ideas and figuring out how to get things done.”
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Additionally, the pandemic is separating Jess from her family.
“My entire mob is up in the Northern Territory, and as you know, mum is constantly calling (asking) ‘how are you?’, ‘are you keeping your distance?’, and ‘are you wearing your mask?’
I have a worried family, but I’m also concerned about them… I’d like to keep them safe.”
Australia’s The Voice
Jess was announced as a coach on Seven’s revamped The Voice Australia earlier this year, joining Guy Sebastian, Keith Urban, and UK star Rita Ora.
“This is something completely new and wild for me; it is completely out of my comfort zone.
I enjoy being on stage and performing songs that I’ve written over the years and wooing a crowd. “As a coach to another artist, I was literally on the edge of my seat, experiencing a range of emotions – highs and lows, memories of when I first started and how I got here – all of which came flooding back to me while working with these incredible artists.”
“It’s something I’m extremely proud of, you know, assuming this title and becoming a leader in the music world. “It’s so nice to be able to impart knowledge about who I am and how I did it, to demonstrate that I’m still in love with music and will continue to do so in perpetuity.”
Filming concluded prior to Sydney’s most recent lockdown, indicating that episodes will air on Seven later this year.
Jess, the Talking TikTok, is new to the world of TikTok and is still figuring out her way around the short-form video platform.
“This entire digital world is still a ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ moment for me.
I’m still amazed and a little intimidated by all these incredible, talented, everyday people creating things in their lounge room, bathroom, or toilet – concepts can be created anywhere and everywhere!
We’re so used to being in our room, creating our little (project) and getting it just right, and now you’re telling us to ‘be a one-take,’ which is really, really cool.”
“I think it’s nice to be in a world of TikTok where you can truly be yourself.”
“I believe that is a critical point; the way we are moving forward in a digital world, we can still have the best of both worlds: a highlight, but also a very simple, budget life.”
Jess has made an immediate impact on the platform, sharing fan-created content that incorporates her music and inviting people to stitch and sing along with her acapella.
“It’s just so exciting because we’re communicating literally, and I believe that’s the most important thing—that we’re all reaching out to one another on the platform.”
NAIDOC Week Commemoration
TikTok is launching a week-long initiative, NAIDOC Week 2021, from July 4-11, featuring First Nations creators, culture, music, and content.
The NAIDOC Week Hub on TikTok will highlight a variety of Indigenous creators who use the platform.
Additionally, it will host a series of livestreamed music performances by First Nations artists, headlined by Jessica Mauboy.
“I’m ecstatic… to be a leader and to be able to bring a lot of that community to light.
I’m sure I’ll be highlighting indigenous businesses that are creating incredible things, whether it’s t-shirts… accessories… or paintings.”
“It’s going to be exciting to be able to reach out to them and share the stories and experiences that shaped my childhood, as well as the values and respect of my community and family.
There will be much tittle-tattle about the stories I grew up with and childhood memories, but also about the leaders who encouraged me within the community on which I had to rely growing up in Australia.”