My first impression of Jessica Mauboy was a young camera-shy contestant who inspired the country with her powerful vocals on Australian Idol back in 2006.

Even when I interviewed her with the Young Divas -” an obvious fish out of water -” she sat silently in the background, overwhelmed by her three counterparts trying to hold on to their 15 minutes of fame.

This time I was met with a hug, a little squeal and a newfound confidence -” boy, has she changed. That stunned starfish persona had vanished, replaced by a bouncy personality as she sat comfortably in the couch with a killer pair of heels, a glowing complexion and the occasional swish of her midnight-black locks.

She announced that her debut single Running Back had reached gold status. The cliche -” all good things come to those who wait -” came true, as the new album, released this Saturday 22 November, is titled Been Waiting.

The record is a blend of electro beats, heartfelt pop tunes and R’n’B bass lines that creates an international feel.

Being on Australian Idol and having nobody know the person who you are was really difficult and having to express that on television was even harder because you had to show the nation what you’re all about, Mauboy told Sydney Star Observer.

I wasn’t an outspoken person but it made me a stronger person. I always wanted to go solo and that was always in my mind.

When I was in the Young Divas I was wishing I could start writing and recording tracks. At the time when we came out with Turn me Loose and after things were going a bit downhill, I thought this was the time to get in the studio.

This is something people have never seen. Whatever they saw on Idol or in the Young Divas -” that’s gone. This is Jessica Mauboy and it’s what they’re going to see from now on.

Despite the bubbly façade, there’s a serious side to this songstress with a dream to share her music with the world. Boys, love and break-ups are part of the normal dilemmas in her life.

Been Waiting is certainly shaped around these themes but the album captures the issues with a raw honesty and emotion unheard of in today’s pop music.

It’s definitely something that I had in mind and that I really wanted to put down quickly before I forgot about it. Being in the studio gave me that inspiration to keep going, she said.

[This style of music] was something I wanted to give to myself and not bring out in Idol or in the Young Divas. It’s something personal I wanted to keep until the right time, which is now.

I wanted the album to be real, beautiful and something that I could sing to my fans. Just with the timing, I was going through one of those relationships and I just wanted to let it go and not hear about it or talk about.

I wanted the album to be mixed up and messed up. That’s what it’s all about as I was in a messed-up relationship at the time and that’s the base line of the album and I just wanted to forget about it.

There’s no more running back for Mauboy. With her past relationship woes now embedded in the lyrics of the debut album, a red hot look and a stronger sense of identity, she’s going to be one unstoppable force.

info: www.jessicamauboy.com.au. You can see Jessica at Westfield Liverpool on Sunday November 23.

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