Australian audiences first met Jessica Mauboy almost a decade ago. She was the young, ambitious 16-year-old singer who came runner’s up in the 2006 cult series of Australian Idol. Today she’s a multi-award winning artist; her 2013 album ‘Beautiful’ achieved incredible platinum success, and she’s recently released her debut fragrance ‘Be Beautiful’.
When you have your very own fragrance it’s safe to say you’ve officially ‘made it’ in the fickle world of entertainment. In essence, her life is nothing short of glamorous. Yet despite her enormous fame and success, Jessica still radiates a down-to-earth quality that’s not only impossible to feign but also an incredibly rare find within the blinding spotlight of the music business.
“I’m still not used to any of this and I think that’s a good thing. It still surprises me,” Jessica admits.
Quite often stars and celebrities are thrown into (relatively) dreary media days, jam-packed with back-to-back interviews. It’s not taken personally when they seem less than enthused to answer questions they’ve surely heard umpteen times before. But then there are a few exceptions to the rule. Those who are not only eager to indulge your questions, but hold a zealousness that can only be described as infectious. The moment Jessica excitedly sung my name down the phone line; I knew she was the exception.
“I’m just rolling with the punches today. I’m enjoying every minute to talk about my passions.”
Jessica’s latest single ‘This Ain’t Love’ has recently exploded onto the Australian music charts, being the first single released from her highly anticipated studio album. The song’s instant success was little surprise, however, its production and subsequent release deviated greatly from the usually meticulous scheduling of her management label Sony Music.
“This process is always so pre-prepared. Normally when I have a single ready to drop I’ll have a whole record waiting as well. At this stage I haven’t even finished recording, so releasing ‘This Ain’t love’ was just something completely spontaneous and unplanned.
“I only wrote this song a few months ago. I arrived home from my trip to the UK and I knew I had this amazing song. I just knew it was the right mood and vibe of where music is at the moment. I wanted to release it straight away.”
Jessica attributes her time in the UK as integral in creating her latest smash hit. After a long campaign touring her platinum-selling album ‘Beautiful’, which spawned six hit singles, she was left craving some independence.
“To not have any management or my record label team driving things for the first time was really important to me. At the moment I’m driving everything and it feels great.
“Everything from the visuals to the sound is all me. It’s a lot of pressure and it’s incredibly challenging, but I love building challenges for myself.”
With lyrics like ‘this ain’t love, I don’t feel and nothing hurts’ it’s easy to imagine Jessica as being in touch with herself and her emotions. Despite the global platform from which she speaks, or rather sings, at the very core she’s just a 26-year-old woman going through the same emotions as everyone else.
“I wrote this song based on my life. I go through different stages of love. Falling in and out of love with my music, my day-to-day life and myself. Some days I’m on and some days I’m off.
“This song is about that moment when you’re standing right on the edge of where you need to be and you’re asking yourself if it’s right of if it’s wrong.”
I suggest to Jessica her strong sense of self and willingness to be so open in her music is key in her music’s resonation with so many, to which she whole-heartedly agrees. Her passion for music is almost indescribable, with her ultimate musical conveyance being one of self-acceptance.
“My music is about just being yourself. Allow yourself to venture with my story and reflect on yourselves. Not only to connect with me, but also to connect yourself with your own identity.
“You must celebrate yourself. If I can give that through my music I’m the happiest in the world.”
In addition to the new single, Jessica’s debut fragrance ‘Be Beautiful’ has recently hit stores nationwide. Yet, following in the stiletto marked footsteps of pop singers Brittney Spears and Beyoncé was something she never dreamed possible.
“It was definitely the last thing on my mind! I’ve always had a passion for beauty products and fashion, but never did I think I would ever have the opportunity to create my own fragrance.”
It was for this reason that she demanded absolute creative authority when it came to the production process.
“I absolutely had to get my hands dirty. From the design of the bottle to the actual smell, I just didn’t want to have a team do it all for me.
“I’m so involved in the production of my music that I knew I wanted it to be the absolute same when it came to creating my fragrance.”
Said to embody her down-to-earth character yet glamorous charm, the aquatic fresh floral scent is already proving to be an incredibly successful career venture. And in case you’re wondering, the smell of Jessica’s success is a blend of fruity green apple, waterlily, cyclamen, and a hint of spicy musk.
With her professional career kicking into fifth gear it’s hard to imagine Jessica has time for much else. Yet despite her demanding schedule she still manages to find time to pursue a cause close to her heart.
As an ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF), Jessica has spent much of her time with children in remote communities across Australia.
“I passionately support ILF’s belief that literacy opens the door to a world of opportunities – including jobs, better health and general wellbeing.
“These kids need our help, they are going to be our future and it’s so important to invest in them. It really is such a beautiful foundation.”
As she reminisces on her own childhood of running through mango farms, picking up rotten mangoes and watching the clouds form in tropical Queensland, she reflects on how lucky she is.
“I still have those pinch me moments where I realise wow, this is really happening to me. The whole nation is watching and gets to do this with me. That’s what excites me.
The future truly is Jessica’s oyster. As to where it’ll lead her, well she’s not entirely sure yet. Talks of expanding her empire through fashion and further beauty ventures are mentioned as well as her evolving sound.
“Music is changing all the time. I have to go with that and change with it. Music is natural and fluent, I’m happy with that because it brings out a genuine honesty in me.”
One thing is certain; music will remain her first love and true passion.
“Being able to sing is truly a gift. I’ve known from a very young age that music is where I wanted to be. I thank that little 11-year-old everyday for sticking to her true colours.”
Jessica’s hit single ‘This Ain’t Love’ is currently available for purchase from iTunes and her debut fragrance ‘Be Beautiful can be found at retail chains such as Target nationwide.