What is it about Jessica Mauboy? There is just no stopping you when you have the will to reach the top!
It was during the Fourth season of Australian Idol that we witnessed the emergence of some really amazing musical talents. Damien Leith, Dean Geyer, Ricky Muscat, and Guy Mutton to name a few. However, one talent that managed to stay relevant even years after the show is Jessica Mauboy. Though she failed to bag the top spot in the competition, she won millions of hearts and a loyal following. Jessica has performed with professional élan yet exuded the simplicity and innocence of a small town girl. This has been considered her greatest asset in her journey as a singer, actor and performer.
Prior to becoming the R&B and Pop queen of Australia, Jessica had a brief run as a band member of the all-ladies group “Young Divas”. As per her contract with Sony Music Australia, Jessica released her debut studio album “Been Waiting” in the year 2008. There was no stopping her after this as her single Burn soon topped the charts and a loyal fan following grew all across Australia. Her subsequent albums “Get ‘Em Girls” 2010 and “Beautiful” 2013 turned out to be even bigger hits.
The shift from being a singer to an actor was smooth for Jessica as she bagged meaty roles in films like Bran Nue Dae and The Sapphires. Proof of her talent as an actor came when Jessica won both the AFCA and AACTA Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Sapphires in 2013.
A dreamy-eyed girl
Jessica Hilda Mauboy has a humble family background. Her family includes her Indonesian born electrician father, her mother an indigenous Australian, elder sisters Sandra, Catherine and Jenny, and her younger sister Sophia. From her early childhood, Jessica loved singing and took active part in local church choirs with her Grandmother. Her neighbours recollect how Jessica’s house was the noisiest in the street as her entire family shared her enthusiasm for music and they often played guitar and sang loudly together.
Jessica often mentions her family as her biggest inspiration; her family members have not only inspired her to be a better musician but also a better human being. She has a reputation as the “good girl” in Australia music and as her albums promote indigenous culture and music, she is very popular among the indigenous communities of Australia. In public opinion, Jessica holds the place of an innocent, adorable, and sincere girl who is extremely passionate about public welfare. She is often considered to be a role model for young Australian girls and a huge inspiration to young indigenous girls.
Being straight about her curves
Criticised about her weight and told by judge Kyle Sandilands, to ‘lose the jelly belly’ on Australian Idol in 2006, Jessica has struggled from time to time with media attention on her size. Going from a size 12 to size 8 in 2014 she received immense media attention for her sudden transformation. Jessica says weight loss was due to a “clean diet of protein and vegetables” and a renewed enthusiasm for exercise. The change in lifestyle however was due to a desire to live a healthier life and feel confident in her own skin, not a conscious effort to lose weight. Jessica has always established she would like media attention to focus on her music and acting achievements rather than appearance.
The Australian answer to Beyoncé!
Jessica is recognised for her demure manner and she has often shied away from being compared to divas like Beyoncé. Australian media has often compared her with the flamboyant singer but she still remains the same down to earth girl. This reveals a lot about her character, Jessica has her feet on the ground and a firm head on her shoulders. She doesn’t focus on the comparisons or industry competition but instead believes in focusing on her work with absolute dedication. She is passionate about music, acting and her work in general. This shows every time she is in front of the camera or on stage – her dedication and genuine efforts are reflected in everything she does.
Acting, singing, music tours, personal relationships and the constant pressure of being a celebrity can weigh a person down and Jessica has admitted to suffering from anxiety, for which she has sort professional help. Jessica made headlines when she pulled out of singing the national anthem at last year’s Melbourne Cup when she suffered a panic attack.
“It was so debilitating. I just felt I couldn’t go on. It was also very disappointing because I didn’t want to let people down.”
Jessica has now spoken openly about her fight with anxiety. She was brave enough to come out in the open and admit that her professional and personal lives were at stake because of anxiety. She never wanted to disappoint her fans, family members, mentors and colleagues but through her steely resolve and by seeking help she has been able to overcome the anxiety.
Jessica is a very proud Australian and she has constantly drawn inspiration from her fellow countrymen and Australian culture. She loves to travel to the regional towns and draws inspiration from nature and the simple life- like her own upbringing, growing up in the bush. She is a die-hard fan of John Farnham and is proud to have his songs in her folder.
Indigenous people have a very special place in her heart and she admits that one of the biggest influences in her life has been Cathy Freeman. As an Australian and indigenous woman, Cathy Freeman has had immense influence on Jessica’s life. Jessica believes that Cathy has helped fly the flag for Australian’s internationally. Jessica loves Cathy’s way of expressing herself and she says that it has inspired her to put soul into the words she sings. She says that Cathy has inspired her to express her feelings more clearly and connect with the audience.
Jessica is very proud of her film ‘The Sapphires’, not only was it a major hit in Australia but the message was one people from all corners of the world could relate to. She says the film was an inspiration to her and helped her be more vocal politically and understand Australia better. It was a film that helped to unite different communities under the Australian flag.
Filming has recently finished on Jessica’s new drama series, ‘The Secrets Daughter’. This is Jessica’s first outing as a lead actress in a drama series. Her character Billie Carter is set to win hearts and Jessica is enjoying every bit of her time filming. The story of a singer and the sudden dramatic turn of events in her life is a promising story that has already created quite a stir in Australia. People love Jessica’s character Billie and are eagerly waiting for events to unfold. Jessica also takes on some beloved rock and pop classics for The Secret Daughter, and has enjoyed putting her own spin on classic hits by The Clash, Crowded House and Cold Chisel.
Jessica Mauboy and her amazing journey is an inspiration for all, her journey to become one of Australia’s most loved and outstanding entertainers is an inspiration. She is an all-round talent who deserves the praise and admiration she has earned over the course of her ten years in the spotlight. Number one singles, platinum and gold albums, international acclaim for her acting performances, tours with Beyoncé and Chris Brown, collaborations with Ricky Martin, Flo Rida, Snoop Dogg and Pitbull, 17 Aria Award nominations, 2x Aria Awards, performances for Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, representing Australia at Eurovision, performing at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, the list is very impressive! I think it’s safe to say we will be seeing much more of Jessica in the years to come.
Our take out @The_AVAALERS is that any Australian just like Jessica can take a shot at a life of their own choosing while remaining grounded and true to their own beliefs.