Fresh from her performance at World Pride alongside Charli XCX and Kylie Minogue, Australian pop icon Jessica Mauboy is back with the vivacious “Right Here, Right Now”. The infectious, kaleidoscopic new single is a celebration of living in the present, guided by Mauboy’s glowing positivity. Jess is from Darwin, her mother has roots in two Indigenous tribes, the Wakaman and the KuKu Yalanji, who lived around the cape of Far North Queensland. Jessica's father is from Timor. Jess is my special guest around 8.30 this morning.
“‘Right Here Right Now’ is about being present and embracing all your qualities and accepting who you are,” Mauboy says. “We try to be perfect, but at the end of the day, it’s a statement, you’ve turned up with all that you are and you’re ready, embracing and celebrating all of you!”
Written with frequent collaborators David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii of DNA, it’s one of Mauboy’s most confident pop outings. Her voice soars above a bed of horns and keys as she whisks up an effortlessly euphoric chorus. Beaming with optimism, she gives a performance that recalls Diana Ross’ facile cool and Lizzo’s unapologetic confidence. Stylistically, she turns to elements of disco and funk, two genres that have always aptly captured expressions of joyfulness. “If it goes wrong, then let it go wrong,” she sings, accepting all that comes at her.
With “Right Here, Right Now”, Mauboy set out to capture a communal celebratory spirit. “The only thing we can control in life is our present, and it’s a song that’s about finding peace and joy through accepting where you are now and leaning into it,” she says. Over a pop career that has spanned almost 15 years, Mauboy has used versatility as her weapon.
Recently, she’s been exploring the breadth of dance music from the updated disco gloss of “Glow” to the sexy groove of “Automatic”. On “Right Here, Right Now” she builds on that once more, making something that sounds like a nod to the vintage greats as well as a dive into fresh territory.
Mauboy continues to find new musical horizons, constantly reinventing herself over her career, whether it be the pure pop bliss of “Burn” or “Pop A Bottle (Fill Me Up)” or the aching vulnerability of “Little Things” or “Never Be The Same”, audiences follow, trusting her musical instincts. There’s a triumphant tone to the new single that feels deserved. Over the years, she has clocked a massive 30 ARIA nominations, notched ARIA #1 records on both the singles and album charts, and been a radio fixture.
It’s enough to allow an artist to rest on their laurels but not Mauboy, she’s spent the year so far celebrating her catalogue with large crowds. Last month, she dazzled with a massive show at the opening night of World Pride in Sydney. She has also announced that she will reprise her coaching role on The Voice later in the year, adding to a busy year for Mauboy.
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