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Jessica Mauboy on Returning to Live Shows, and Her Upcoming TikTok Stream

With live shows returning once again, and an exclusive TikTok performance on the way this weekend, Jess Mauboy talks to Rolling Stone about getting back on the live stage.

Image of Jessica Mauboy


To put it lightly, the last few years have been difficult for the music industry. Cancelled events, postponed plans, and a difficulty in remaining creative has made it hard for anyone and everyone in the creative sector. And of course, Jessica Mauboy is just one of the countless artists who have found themselves affected by it all.

Having last released a new album by way of 2019’s Hilda, one could have assumed that 2020 would be a year of possibilities for the acclaimed singer. While she did announce a role on the judging panel of The Voice in late 2020, the vast majority of this time was spent in stasis as Mauboy – like all of us – wondered what the future held.

Though she returned in 2021 with new single “Glow”, the excitement would’ve been hampered somewhat thanks to the uncertainty surrounding touring, and whether or not it’s possible to launch a new musical era against the backdrop of a global pandemic.

Now, Jessica Mauboy is gearing up to kick things off again. With tour dates on the way, she’s taking to TikTok this weekend for an exclusive live-streamed performance to once again reconnect with fans that have been longing to experience her live once again.

Filmed at Sydney’s Luna Park, and ending with a Q&A with fans, the performance takes place at 6pm on Sunday, February 27th via Mauboy’s TikTok account, with a direct link to the live event available here.

In anticipation of the performance, Mauboy spoke to Rolling Stone Australia about what’s been going on in her world, her excitement about performing once again, and the upcoming livestream show.


Surprise! I’ll be performing live on TikTok THIS SUNDAY! 🎉 Make sure you tune into my TikTok channel at 6pm AEDT to check it out.

♬ original sound – Jessica Mauboy

Firstly, it’s worth asking the obvious question: How have you been dealing with the last couple of years? Have you gotten through safely?  

The last few years ​have been hard for everyone and for our industry, I’m not alone on that front. But I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to keep busy – making my new music and releasing new music (my single “Glow” came out late last year), plus I’ve been doing The Voice and now I’m rehearsing for my national tour. All done very safely – there’s been a lot of RAT tests involved, let me tell you!! Whatever safety precautions we needed to take we took.

It’s been difficult for a lot of artists to cope with the changes that have taken place across the last few years. How have you managed to cope?  

For sure. I don’t think anyone expected to be living in in this new COVID world. But here we are, and everyone has just had to adapt and take each day or week as it comes. I’ve just kept myself busy – writing, recording, spending time with my partner and my dog! I hadn’t spent this much time in the one place thanks to not touring, in a very long time! But it was nice to have this time to spend with loved ones and take some time out. Definitely ready to get back out on the road now though. 

2021 brought with it a new single by way of “Glow”, and it helped to showcase a new era for yourself as an artist. What was it like to show off this new side of you? 

It has felt amazing to have new music out there that feels authentic for me right now and what I love. The reaction has been incredible, I have been quite overwhelmed. We did a single launch late last year and it was the first event after the big Sydney Delta lockdown, so it was very liberating, and I could feel so much love in the room. 

While fans have seen this new side of you via a musical manner, they’ve not really had the chance to catch you performing live. Thankfully, that’s set to change with a TikTok performance this week. How are you feeling about that?  

It’s always the best to be able to play live and TikTok allows instant engagement, it’s almost better than a live performance as you can get to so many more people, all in tune with each other for an hour. We just have a small band which is a lovely, intimate way to perform. 

A lot of people have used the last couple of years to really engage with platforms like TikTok and discover new music. Have you done the same thing and embraced the platform, or is it all comparatively newer to you? 

I’ve loved using TikTok more over the last two years! Particularly during COVID when it’s been really hard to interact with fans without shows and other events, so it’s helped fill that connection gap. It also feels like a place you can be more playful and fun which appeals to me! 

It also provides a lot of opportunities for artists such as yourself to connect with fans in such an intimate way. How do you feel that changes the performance dynamic? 

I think it makes it more personal, instead of being in the crowd the audience are up on stage with me. We’ve all been so starved for live music and I’m so excited to get up in front of big live crowds, but live-streaming offers something else entirely, it’s a chance for a more one-on-one experience. 

Of course, performing a ‘live’ set over social media is undoubtedly a different experience altogether. What can we expect from this performance? 

Shhh, it’s a secret [laughs]. Really, I just want it to be vibrant and intimate and fun. The visual element becomes even more important in a livestream format too, so there may be some surprises on that front. 

The livestream event also sees you engaging with fans directly after the performance. This makes the stream become even more intimate than a standard show. Does this also make it feel more intimate and connected to you as an artist? 

Absolutely, I can’t wait to get off stage and read all the comments. In a real concert setting you feed so much off the crowd’s energy, but it’s all just a (wonderful) roar! I’m excited to be able to read and respond to fans individually.

There’s also a tour coming up. It’s been a long time coming, so how are you feeling to finally get back on the road? 

I think you know the answer to that!  I can’t wait. 100% – it has been a long time coming, I’ll be heading out all over Australia in March & April and can’t wait to meet all my fans on the road and play all the favourite hits and new music too, I’m just so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given whilst not on the road over these past few years.

Jessica Mauboy Mauboy will be performing on TikTok at 6pm on Sunday, February 27th, with the event available here.

Jessica Mauboy Mauboy – The Boss Lady Tour

Saturday, March 12th
Nowingi Place Soundshell, Mildura, VIC

Friday, March 25th
Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW

Wednesday, March 30th
(With Caiti Baker)
Canberra Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT

Friday, April 1st
(With Caiti Baker)
Civic Theatre Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW

Saturday, April 2nd
(With Caiti Baker)
Star Event Centre, Sydney, NSW

Tuesday, April 5th
Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, April 7th
(With Caiti Baker)
Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA

Saturday, April 9th
(With Caiti Baker)
Festival Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Wednesday, April 13th
(With Caiti Baker)
Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC

Saturday, April 16th
(With Caiti Baker)
The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach, QLD

Tickets on sale now