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Eurovision’s Jessica Mauboy Talks Positivity, Equality, and Music

Find out a bit more about Australia’s 2018 Eurovision entrant.

With just a little over a month to go until Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon, it seems like Eurovision fever is well and truly starting to take over. Whilst Israel’s ‘Toy’ was the early favourite, it seems like all eyes are now on Australia’s entry ‘We Got Love’, which is performed by the super-talented Jessica Mauboy.

As she tours across Europe as part of the Eurovision promo tour, we caught up with Jess after her performance at London’s Cafe de Paris for a catch-up. We talked about the new song, marriage equality in Australia, who she’d love to collaborate with, and what she has planned next.

First of all, congratulations on being Australia’s official entry for Eurovision this year! On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you?

Wahoo! You know what, it’s actually beyond ten! I was just thinking last night about how the whole experience is. The fact that countries put on parties and invite other countries to perform is just blowing my mind.  Thanks to Eurovision, this is such a highlight for me. I’m just really enjoying it, I feel like I’m at 100!

What was the process like? Did you have to apply to represent Australia?

It was definitely a selection of many Australian artists. Once I heard that Eurovision were looking for songs for Australia’s entry, I decided to begin to write specifically for the, what the show means to people, and obviously the projection of what’s happening around the world. It all came down to writing the song and then I submitted it, as I’m sure a lot of Australian’s did.

It was between two songs at the end and then we got announced as the winner, I was so stoked to be honest! I couldn’t believe it, that I’d be able to grace the stage again but on another level.

Can you tell us a bit about the song ‘We Got Love’?

The idea was to write something that I felt really represented me and what was happening around the world. Not just tragedy and horrific events but also the beautiful things like marriage equality passing in Australia.

That was a major movement for us at the time, and it also rocked the world as well with people questioning why it didn’t happen sooner. But, over time, conversations spark and people come together, people ask the questions and that reboots it and kicks people in the butt to have that conversation. So, that really was the underlayer of what this song is about.

These events are happening around the world, yet there’s people standing strong and coming together to support one another and really having important conversations in a civilised way. It’s not about being wrong or pointing the finger, it’s truly about having an open conversation and finding love throughout all of these things.

It’s definitely got a very positive message!

Yeah, definitely. We needed something that sent a message out on the big stage to the world. I like to see people happy and I want to send out that love.

No pressure, but all of Australia’s entries have made it to the top ten in the final. Have you had any advice from the previous Australian representatives?

I have had a lot of advice from Dami and Guy Sebastian, who are both great friends of mine. We’re pretty close, we see each other a lot when we’re in the studio. A lot of it has been support from them, a lot of love and congratulations.

Dami Im has spoken to me a lot about the process and how I’m feeling, and Guy has told me to just enjoy the experience and take every bit of it in.

 

You performed in London last week. How was that for you?

London was wild! It was crazy, my head just wanted to explode. There was so much passion in the room, and a lot of support from all the contestants. Every time someone went on to perform, we’d all be standing there, congratulating them and cheering them on.

There was a lot of love backstage for one another, it was just really wonderful to experience the buzz and to officially be on the journey with everyone.

Was it your first time performing over here?

Yes! Café De Paris, that place is such a legendary venue. Last week, when we were putting the schedule together and I saw that on the list I was like “oh my god!”. There’s so many great people who have performed there and have blessed that stage. I was very overwhelmed!

Well, hopefully it’ll mean we get to see more of you over here – we’re big fans of your music!

Oh my god, I would love to come back here. I love this country, I love everything about it. I love the people, and the fact that it’s so multi-cultural and full of history… I would be thrilled to come back and to perform, it would be the dream to travel the world!

You’re currently one of the favourites to win your semi-final. With a month to go, how are you preparing for your performance?

I’m so glad the track is out there now for people to hear; the focus was on what it was going to sound like and who was going to produce it. Now, my main focus is on the outfits, the costumes and everything else about the performance!

I definitely want to rip it up on stage and feel comfortable – I’m super excited!

There’s plenty of songs to choose so no pressure, but do you have any all-time favourite songs from Eurovision’s history?

‘Euphoria’ by Loreen is my ultimate song. I also feel that, going through the history of Eurovision, Gina G is the one. She’s a Gold Coast girl and she represented the UK, and I just love ‘Ooh Ahh…Just a Little Bit’ so much. That is definitely my running song. I have a 90s playlist and that is my number one.

I think ‘Euphoria’ was brilliant because it’s just something quite sentimental and ethereal.

I think ‘Euphoria’ was also quite an important song for Eurovision too. I know here in the UK, a lot of people were surprised it had come from the contest as it was so modern and so fresh. It’s genuinely an amazing song.

Yeah, absolutely. It had a new sound that helped Eurovision to evolve, and it showed artists in the competition who are breaking the boundaries and going out there doing what they think is fun and will they think will really work on stage.

 

Now, it’s been five years since you released a studio album – Is ‘We Got Love’ a hint that there could be new music on the way?

Yes! I have been working on a new record for about a year now. It has been a while since I’ve released anything, but Eurovision has got me back into writing and helped spur me on to write more.

A new record is coming, and I’m hoping to really get that out and share it with the world sometime after Eurovision!

You’ve worked on tracks with the likes of Flo Rida, Snoop Dogg, and Ludacris. Who would your dream collaboration be and why?

Ahhh, this is a good question! Oh wow, erm… there’s so much talent out there! I was recently looking up at Jessie Reyez, she has a really unique voice. It’s quite 60s, but she has an R&b, modern twist. I really like her look. That’d be really cool, a team up or a collaboration. I’d love to work with a lot more females, that’d be fun.

Best of luck in Lisbon, Jessica. We’re rooting for you!

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