Jessica Mauboy.
Jessica Mauboy. Channel 7

Why Mauboy almost quit singing

Jessica Mauboy has tearfully opened up about how she fell out of love with music after dedicating decades of her life to her singing career.

Mauboy's career has gone from strength to strength since finishing as runner-up on the 2006 season of Australian Idol as a teenager

But in recent years, making new music has taken a back seat as Mauboy focused on acting with roles in The Sapphires and The Secret Daughter, as well as representing Australia at Eurovision in 2014.

Speaking on Andrew Denton's Interview Mauboy revealed her new album, named Hilda in honour of her maternal grandmother, was a labour of love in more ways than one.

Jessica Mauboy on Andrew Denton's Interview
Jessica Mauboy on Andrew Denton's Interview

Mauboy's first album in six years is the result of her falling back in love with music after struggling to connect with what had once been an all-consuming passion.

"I think I dedicated so much to it that I almost lost track of family, which is so important," Mauboy told Andrew Denton, wiping away tears.

"I just lost track of what music is and what it does, but on the other side I was also missing family."

The Beautiful singer credits her family with helping her "to express again" and she returned to Darwin to create her new album, which is set to be released in October.

Mauboy’s career has included being Beyonce’s support act during her 2009 Australian tour.
Mauboy’s career has included being Beyonce’s support act during her 2009 Australian tour.

"From the age of 11 to 30 (I dedicated myself) to music … but I think I just got lost a little bit in who I was and what I really wanted to do. There was a lot of noise, there was a lot of noise and a lot of doubt again, a lot of doubt had come back in," she said.

"I lost the relationship (with) music for six years, I just had to regain and reconnect back with it … it was scary to have lost that connection with it.

"But to have found it was the most magical thing. To kind of rediscover it again in a new light, in a new story, in a new way."

Denton also made Mauboy sit through footage of her Australian Idol audition, which showed the then 16-year-old performing the Whitney Houston classic I Have Nothing.

The singer was just a teenager when she appeared on Australian Idol in 2006.
The singer was just a teenager when she appeared on Australian Idol in 2006.

Mauboy recalled she had been "horrified" at the thought of performing in front of judges Marcia Hines, Mark Holden and Kyle Sandilands.

"I was so scared for a lot of reasons. Although I'd had experience of performing in karaoke bars and (Darwin's) Airport Hotel, learnt what songs I liked and how I'd like to sing, it became such a private thing to me, it became something really personal," she told Denton.

"Also because I didn't think I was good enough, there was a lot of doubt that I may slip up on a word or I may forget the words."

Catch-up on Andrew Denton's Interview on 7plus. Podcast available wherever you get your podcasts.


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