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 A Diva In The Making.

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Posts : 23
Join date : 2009-11-06
Age : 24
Location : Australia

PostSubject: A Diva In The Making.   Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:20 am

JESSICA MAUBOY: A diva in the making

Australian singer and songwriter Jessica Mauboy, who graced the stage at this year’s Axis International Java SoulNation Festival 2009, walks into the VIP room at the Sultan Hotel in Senayan, Jakarta, before her show, sits down and cracks open a smile.

It takes only a few seconds to realize this rhythm and blues and pop songstress ain’t just about her wide-pitch range and resonant vibrato. She has an unexpected vocal talent.

Instead of providing perhaps, an excerpt in a Capella of her latest hit “Because”, or even some improvisation around her chart-topping “Burn”, this popstar gives an imitation, and a fairly convincing one at that, of Stitch, of Disney animation Lilo and Stitch.

One wonders how the star’s usual strong-timbre and emotionally charged vocal chords could possibly transform to sound as if they’re bumbling away under water. And she just bursts into laughter.

But mimicking cartoon characters and chuckling with merriment remain sideshows to this 20-year-old’s talent. Singing is where this popstar’s energy is focused and where it’s pretty much been for most of her life.

“Do you know when I was about 4 years old I used to dress up as Mariah Carey?” she said.

“I even used to curl my hair like her and then I’d run around our home singing ‘dream lover come rescue me’,” she said of Mariah’s chart topper.

“I don’t think my life could work without music. Even when it makes me mad or I have the sorest throat, I still try to sing.” And she feigns herself with a hoarse voice trying to rehearse scales.

Growing up in Darwin, northern Australia, a more remote region of the world, the musician of Indonesian and indigenous Australian background, had the opportunity to flourish when she was encouraged by her father and sister to audition for Australian Idol in 2006.

This move carried her onto the track of stardom. A favorite among both the public and judges, she proved immensely successful on the program and wound up as runner-up to winner Damien Leith.

Since then her CV entails seven nominations from Australia’s coveted ARIA awards, one studio album, one live album, four singles and three music videos produced by record labels Sony BMG and Sony Music Entertainment.

“I really enjoyed working with the producers on my studio album,” she said. “When I first arrived I thought, ‘Umm, what’s going on?’ I’ve never done anything like it before and working with producers who have been in the industry for a long time was pretty cool.”

It was there one of them introduced her to song writing, which she took up with a vengeance.

Learning a new skill did not phaze Mauboy, who co-wrote most of her songs on her rereleased album, Been Waiting Deluxe Edition.

“It’s a bit like writing in your diary,” she said of the creative process. “If you grow up expressing your thoughts on paper — that’s pretty much how it is.”

Inspiration for lyrics came from issues she dealt with at home to growing up and becoming a woman.

“All these emotions build up and sometimes you really want to talk about it but don’t have anyone to go to,” she said, but an undercurrent of shyness prevents her from further elaborating.

“I guess the way I express myself is by articulating these thoughts through song.

“Singing was — and is — freedom for me.”

In love with song writing she said, “One day I want to reach the stage where I write a song Mariah sings. And I want to get to a level where I have a hit that becomes that karaoke song.”

It seems she has a soft spot for the diva, but the singer’s ambition doesn’t stop there. Another sensation she’d like to collaborate with is the famed boy band, the Back Street Boys.

But something else she’d like to do, she said, was come back to Jakarta.

“I was just talking with my manager and we were saying we love the culture, food and the beautiful people. I’d love to come back here and perform — maybe as part of a duo next time.”

Aside from Indonesia’s lifestyle and her heritage ties, Mauboy said she jumped at the opportunity to perform in Indonesia because of its strong soul scene.

“Israel Cruz [Australian rhythm and blues singer and producer from the Philippines] told me the SoulNation festival was on fire, and I immediately thought, ‘Yep, I’m coming. I’m on my way!’”

This isn’t the first time Mauboy’s first trip to Indonesia. She visited family here as a child and more recently came as part of the Australian Government’s In2Oz development program, touring around the archipelago to provide disadvantaged children with educational resources, entertainment and help strengthen ties between the two countries.

“What came out of this experience was that no matter what language you speak, music has the ability to communicate with people. There were smiles all ‘round.”

Relatively new to the touring scene, she has also encountered experiences that haven’t always formed beaming grins.

One, she recalled, was perhaps the most embarrassing moment of her musical career. While in the shower in the bathroom of her hotel room, she failed to hear the male cleaner knock on her door.

Thinking she wasn’t in, he entered her room to commence work. And not realizing he had come in, she came out of the bathroom stark naked.

“I was mortified,” she exclaimed. “And he kept apologizing and I was like, “Yeah OK — but just get out already!”

Actually, make that two awkward experiences. On a tour to Australia’s Cockatoo Island, she slipped into her costume before the zip snapped and the dress became unwearable unless she was happy to perform “inappropriately”. She spent that concert performing in her jeans and sneakers.

Speaking of shoes, there have also been the odd times when the self-confessed shoe-fiend caught her killer stilettos in the gaps between the stage “blocks”, which make up the stage.

“My heel got stuck in one of the gaps. So I spent that show running around barefoot.”

She cascades into laughter once more.

But, whether her anecdotes are beginner mishaps or an unavoidable part of show business, she has taken each experience in her stride and dolloped them with humor.

And perhaps more to the point, her focus is making music for her audience.

“Oh, I plan to create and perform music for a long time,” she grinned. “Music is really something special.”
Thanks Spiro for the link to the article.
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