Jessica Mauboy – Australia’s multifaceted and multicultural Eurovision artist

In less than a month, Jessica Mauboy will compete for Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest with her anthemic entry ‘We Got Love’.

 As Joshua Mayne explains in this editorial, it’s not just her song that ranks her highly with the bookies to win the contest… Mauboy’s personality, vocal ability, passion for the contest and cultural background make her not only an exceptional artist, but also a serious contender for the crown in Lisbon.

Personality

Mauboy is bubbly and enthusiastic, with her energy consistently transferred onto the stage whenever she performs. To have a persona like this shine through whilst singing will only be an advantage for the Australian come voting. Although the juries may not focus on her personality, it could be the catalyst for a home viewer to pick up the phone, and vote for her entry.

She truly has that kind of loveable personality that could easily boost her votes on the night. Combine that with her widely appreciated song, and she’s another serious contender for Australia.

Vocal ability

Since finishing as runner up on Australian Idol in 2006, Jessica Mauboy has had over twelve years of experience singing and performing at a high level. Naturally, her vocal ability is outstanding. This has also been evident in the recent pre-parties she has attended in the lead up to Eurovision. Highlights of Mauboy’s singing ability include an impressive vocal range, a distinctive tone, and ability to dance on stage whilst maintaining her standard of vocals.

She has arguably been one of the most vocally consistent artists throughout the contestant’s tour of Europe. Apart from a shaky first verse at the London Eurovision Party (as a result of technical issues), Mauboy has been hitting important notes during her song across all of her performances.

‘Sea of Flags’ may have not featured Jessica Mauboy’s best vocal ability, and this could really be a redemption year. Telling Fairfax Media last year, Mauboy feels “like there is unfinished business”. This is another opportunity to blow Europe away, and being the professional that she is, you can expect that she will do just that.

Passion for the contest

Her song may state that ‘We Got Love’, but it’s also clear that Mauboy herself has ‘got love’ for the Eurovision Song Contest. In interviews with the media, the Australian has consistently discussed her passion for the contest, recalling back to when she young, waking up early to watch Europe’s annual celebration of music, culture and diversity.

By accepting the opportunity to perform at Eurovision for a second time, Mauboy clearly demonstrates a strong passion when it comes to competing in the contest. To further this, she has been visiting almost every destination for Eurovision pre-parties this month, with performances in London, Israel and Amsterdam. Although not the be-all-end-all when it comes to being successful in the contest, the past few weeks have been a positive for Jessica and her engagement with and enjoyment of Eurovision.

Cultural background

Mauboy takes great pride in her cultural heritage, and it has played a significant role in her development as an artist. Born and raised in the Northern Territory, Australia, her father is of Indonesian descent, and her mother is Indigenous (KuKu Yalanji tribe).

The Eurovision Song Contest is such a unique and significant stage to display national and personal culture. Mauboy’s diverse and rich multiculturalism is an embodiment of Australia’s cultural make up as a modern nation, making her a great representative. Following on from fellow Indigenous Australian Isaiah Firebrace in 2017, the Australian delegation will be able to highlight the importance of Australia’s native culture, one with a history that stretches back over 40,000 years.

In an interview in December last year, just hours after the official announcement, Mauboy revealed to ESCDaily her intentions to feature some form of Aboriginal language into her song for Eurovision 2018. Although this may have not come to fruition, there is still an opportunity for the inclusion of Aboriginal dance or movement live on stage in Lisbon. As seen in some pre-party performances (particularly in Amsterdam), Mauboy seems to be integrating dance moves influenced by her culture. A unique component that could be a differentiator in May.

 

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