Australia

'I definitely feel blessed': Jessica Mauboy will represent Australia at 2018 Eurovision

Jessica Mauboy will represent Australia at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon.

Jessica Mauboy will take to the stage for Australia when the show airs exclusively on SBS from May 9-13 next year.

It will be the fourth time Australia has taken part in the largest television music competition in the world after finishing in the top 10 finalists in the last three years alone.

More than 180 million viewers across the globe are expected to tune in to the semi-finals and grand final.

Mauboy said the opportunity to represent her country filled her with pride.

"Eurovision is a wonderfully joyous and unique event. It brings together over 40 diverse countries and cultures under one roof to unite us all in music. It shows how much the power of song can transcend differences," she declared.

"I will sing my heart out for Australia. I'm so proud to be officially representing my country and a little bit nervous – mainly about the stress of the dress."

In an exclusive interview with SBS News, Mauboy said: "There's nothing like it, it's a very special show that brings the whole country together. It brings the whole world together, really.

"I'm a very competitive person when it comes to music. It comes down to having a really great song, having something that is really catchy, and not really thinking too much about what previous artists have done or looking back at videos.

"I think you can become too technical. As an artist, it's great to try to be yourself as much as you can."

Mauboy, whose family are from the Indigenous tribe KuKu Yalanji, made history at the contest by becoming the first non-European solo artist to guest perform at Eurovision in Denmark back in 2014.

She performed her song, Sea of Flags – the song paying tribute to Australia as a nation and in particular to her Indigenous heritage, at the second semi-final interval in Copenhagen.

But Mauboy's rise to stardom started back at home when she kickstarted her career during Australian Idol in 2006.

Since then she has sold more than 2.5 million units in Australia and achieved 14 hit singles in ARIA's Top 30 charts.

In her interview with SBS News, she said: "I want my culture, background and history to definitely affect and be part of the song that I want to write.

"I think as someone who represents Australia as a whole, within the song I really want to go deep and be able to tell a story, but also have something that sounds like it's just been taken from the radio or a music video.

"I want to keep the vibe of it being music and that being the heart of it.

"Having both cultures – my dad being Indonesian – gaining that influence has made me who I am, just as (it has being) Australian Indigenous from my mother's side.

https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1113683011504/jessica-mauboy-to-represent-australia-at-eurovision
https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1113683011504/jessica-mauboy-to-represent-australia-at-eurovision

"Having that combination, I definitely feel blessed and lucky to be worldly in that sense of knowing those two cultures, but also to really consider that and draw stories from both ends.

"Hopefully that will be influenced into the song, whether it would be the melody or the sound of it. When you get an opportunity to perform on a global stage, I think experimenting is the way to go, and adding all those bits and pieces, and hopefully it turns out great."

Last year, Mauboy made history becoming the first Indigenous female artist to hold number one spot on the ARIA Chart for her album, Songs from the Original TV Series - The Secret Daughter.

Her glittering music career has led her to tour around Australia and perform with global superstars Beyonce, Flo Rida and Chris Brown.

Apart from her music career, Mauboy started acting in the Australian film musical Bran Nue Dae.

She starred in the critically acclaimed movie, The Sapphires, where she was awarded the AACTA Award and AFCA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Julie.

Last year’s winner was Salvador Sobral from Portugal, who won with his song Amar Pelos Dois.