I sat down in a luscious suite at The Langham hotel in Auckland an patiently waited to meet the delightful Jessica Mauboy.
She was everything people had said and more, centered, mature, kind and loving with a bright smile and fun energy.
Is this your first time to New Zealand?
I have actually been here about 4 times. I love it here, I love the music and the culture.
Have you heard any Kiwi artists you love? Which other artists do you listen to?
I am good friends with Stan Walker and he is always introducing me to new artists. I love Rita Ora, she has mad vocals!
What was it that drew you to the film The Sapphires?
I met the director and I didnâ€™t have any idea the story was based on a true story. I had to read the script twice to understand how these women made it through such a tough time.
I knew it was going to be a really powerful project. I wanted to tell the story for the community and for the aunties.
Did you have any reservations about doing the film?
Yes of course, you are dealing with such a sensitive subject. It was a time of segregation and a stolen generation.
What were some of the challenges with the content of this film?
I think for all of us, not having to ever deal with some of the issues raised in the film, it was a really emotional journey knowing what our families went through and dealt with.
What do you hope audiences will get from this film?
Pride, community and love. That you need to be proud of who you are, feel a lift of opportunity.
What was it like working with the cast?
Amazing, we all fell in love, we all clicked instantly. Just before we walked the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival Chrisâ€™s wife Dawn asked me to sing at their wedding I sang Halo.
What is the best advice you have been given?
Coming from my parents â€“ never forget who you are and where you came from. Just be you.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a similar career path as you?
Have fun with everything you do and give everything a go! I did that, I stuck with it, I knew I really loved music and I didnâ€™t do it for anyone else, I latched on to it.