Find­ing her voice

Jes­sica Mauboy takes con­trol in The Se­cret Daugh­ter

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Front Page -

FEW women en­joy the creative and ca­reer con­trol Jes­sica Mauboy does. Even fewer indige­nous women.

And the 28-year-old knows she is in an ex­cep­tional po­si­tion, de­servedly so, with both the TV and mu­sic in­dus­tries at her feet.

“It does feel won­der­ful, to be asked by [pro­duc­tion com­pany] Screen­time or the net­work, ‘What do you think we should go with?’,” the Dar­win-born per­former tells TV Guide.

“Giv­ing my piece [opin­ion] a lot, I’m re­ally proud of that. To con­tinue to be open and free like that would be great.”

Mauboy’s as­cent shows no signs of slow­ing, with a sec­ond sea­son of Seven’s The Se­cret Daugh­ter a dra­matic ve­hi­cle for her im­mense mu­si­cal and act­ing tal­ents.

She helped write the scripts and per­formed all the songs on the sound­track, which de­buted at No.2 be­fore the se­ries has even aired.

Her first al­bum from sea­son one made his­tory, launch­ing into the No. 1 spot on the ARIA chart last year, and mak­ing Mauboy the first indige­nous artist to do so.

With 18 tracks on the lat­est al­bum, she un­der­stand­ably strug­gles to pick a favourite, but a mov­ing mo­ment where she per­forms Amaz­ing Grace in lan­guage is a stand­out.

Mauboy and the late Dr G. Yunupingu, a renowned artist, worked to­gether on the per­for­mance, their only col­lab­o­ra­tion com­ing just weeks be­fore his death in July.

“It was [a priv­i­lege]. I’ll for­ever keep that in my heart and my mind. It will take me a re­ally long way, for sure,” she says.

“He was down the line on the phone and I was in the stu­dio. I was do­ing a cover of his ver­sion that he had made in Yol­ngu [lan­guage]. He helped me through with the di­alect and the pro­nun­ci­a­tion of the song and how to sing it.

“I was moved, kind of more speech­less that I was in that mo­ment with him … it was all very sur­real to me that it was fi­nally hap­pen­ing. And then we got the sad news. But with that track we’re able to hon­our him.”

The haunt­ing song is used on screen as a throwback to the child­hood of Mauboy’s char­ac­ter, pub singer Bil­lie Carter. In the new sea­son, she con­tin­ues to ex­plore is­sues of iden­tity, still un­sure about her bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther, which leads to one awk­ward mo­ment with co-star and on-screen half-brother Matt Levett.

“I se­cretly love that, I think it’s a lot of drama,” she says, with a laugh.

“I love that there was some kind of con­fu­sion, and that got the au­di­ence off guard a bit, kind of squirmish in their seats, a bit, ‘Oh my gosh, what is hap­pen­ing?’

“That’s what en­ter­tain­ment is about, mak­ing things a lit­tle bit un­com­fort­able,” Mauboy says, teas­ing, “there is a very spe­cial mo­ment for Bil­lie where she finds a bit of love and ro­mance.”

In real life, Mauboy has found hap­pi­ness with longterm boyfriend Themeli Ma­grip­ilis, who made his act­ing de­but in her re­cent video for Fallin’.

She scotched re­cent re­ports of an en­gage­ment, say­ing “I am just liv­ing my life and en­joy­ing it”.

She is more forth­com­ing about the po­ten­tial for a third sea­son of The Se­cret Daugh­ter, con­firm­ing “if I got a call to­mor­row, I’d be work­ing on the project in a heart­beat.”



Fam­ily ties: Jes­sica Mauboy with her TheSe­cretDaugh­ter co-star Rachel Maza.

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