Delta Goodrem, ‘No one really gives you a map’

When people say Delta Goodrem is one of Australia’s most successful musicians, they are not exaggerating. Since the singer’s debut “Born To Try,” which came out in 2002 at the age of 17, she has amassed over eight million record sales, has had three #1 albums, and has achieved eight #1 singles. Known for her soaring piano-based pop melodies, Goodrem has returned to her iconic sound with her latest single, “Wings,” and after debuting at #8 on the ARIA charts, it seems Australia has fallen in love with the musician all over again.

“I think I’ve always been a pop writer that writes with sentiment,” shares Goodrem with PPcorn. “I like songs to have sentimental value and mean something to me, but also have sort of the inflections that I would want to be a part of music. Like these classical moments in the song meets, you know, our full band going, but at the same time, something you can dance to and move.”

It was after going on tour with fellow The Voice judge Ricky Martin that Goodrem found the sound that would eventuate in “Wings.” “I sort of went on this journey of writing all these different songs. Then finally I went on this tour and I’d done all my old hits and I went, ‘I know what makes me, me,’ and I added in all the little tricks in the song. It really came together very quickly, and the song’s just been having its own life, which has been really nice to see.”

A song about letting go of the past and embracing who she is as a woman, “Wings” is an expression of the singer’s first love: music. “It’s really refreshing to me. It’s as if… I just had this light bulb….You kind of go, ‘Oh my gosh, my roots and what I come from is here.’ Then I kind of go on back to my classical pop roots. I’ve just kind of been completely reenergized by it,” she says. “I’m feeling really inspired to go down that classical pop route. It’s really fun.”

Written with duo DNA, the singer came back from time overseas to pen the hit. “I went, ‘Okay, what have you got? I’ll show you what I’ve got. What have you got?’ We kind of had this, like, creative pow wow and just went for gold. We tried all different vibes.”

In the process, she returned to her unique sound. “Finally I kind of came in to them. I was like, ‘You know what guys? That’s probably not my vibe. I’m going to tell you all the songs I listen to, all the songs I’m inspired by.'” The result was a taster of Goodrem’s upcoming album, which she says is coming “soon.”

“I kind of keep that open… until the very last minute, where it’s like, just in case there’s another little song that comes along. You never know.”

Aside from the publicity that comes with any new release, Goodrem is also about to embark on a whole new challenge and is entering the world of musical theatre. Starring as Grizabella in the musical Cats, the 30-year-old is ecstatic to take on the iconic role.

“I truly cannot wait to do that. … Because it’s through Christmas, I kind of feel like it’s a Christmas present,” she shares excitedly. “I get to start rehearsals next week. You know, I hadn’t done musical theater before, and it seems like a genuine, natural transition to do, for musical theater, when I’ve done music my whole life and acting.”

Having previously acted in Neighbours and in the movie Hating Alison Ashley, Goodrem was approached especially for the role. “Andrew Lloyd Weber’s team had personally asked me to do this. I have never seen Cats theater. I’ve loved Andrew Lloyd Weber’s music my whole life. I’ve been to Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom and all of them. I just had never seen Cats…I went and had a look at the movie and then I realized I got to sing “Memories” every night and I was like, ‘I’m in.'”

For the singer, it provides a nice change of pace. “[You] get to sleep in. Then go to the theater late at night and sing and play and act. I was like, ‘This job’s fantastic.’…Totally different to doing…promo for a pop cycle, you know?”

If Goodrem didn’t already have enough to do, she is also back as a coach for her third season of Australia’s The Voice. After taking a season off to work on The Voice: Kids, she has found her return timely. “It’s incredible, the resurgence of the show, this year. I mean, I went to the kiddies last year because I needed that space. Then coming back on to the main this year and seeing people just come with that, come with me and come with us, has been like a really exciting thing for the artists.”

Entering the live shows last week, Goodrem is passionate about Team Delta. “I am obsessed with my team. I love them. I feel heartbreak when we’ve lost some really talented ones. You think, ‘What if I’d taken this talent?’ I love the four of them that I have. I’m going to be sad to see someone go this week.”

Having ridden the ups and downs of the music industry for over 12 years, Goodrem has navigated it with a well-known grace and class. “No one really gives you a map the day you sign up with music. It’s a very different era now, too. Like when I was growing up, I just wanted to do music…All these other things, the personal life and all these other things, is something that you don’t really know how this kind of snowball effect happens when you get into it.”

Striving to maintain balance between her personal and professional life, Goodrem tries to keep a level head. “Sometimes I feel like, you know, I’m really proud of how I’ve handled it. Sometimes I think, ‘Okay, if I could go back in time I probably would have said …’ “

Crediting her family and friends for their help as she stays grounded, she says while it’s essential to keep things close to your heart, authenticity is the key. “My intention’s always been the same. I think that that’s why I’ve always stayed the course. I’ve only ever had a good intention to be a part of music. The rest of it … When there’s been a storm or when there’s been great things, I’ve just had to kind of, you know, put my head down and ride it.”

And when lies do inevitably come up in the press, Goodrem has learned to find the humor in the situation. “I think you have to have fun along the way. I have a good laugh with my family and friends about things that come up. If they aren’t true, we laugh a lot. That’s really, I think, the most important thing.”

Ultimately, the singer maintains her solid relationship with fans. “I have a lot of great, wonderful people who support me out there. I’m very, very lucky. I’ve had a very unique relationship with everyone.”

Having lived out many highs and lows through her career, Goodrem’s latest musical offering encapsulates the heartbeat of a singer who simply adores making music for others. With warmth that transcended our phone interview for a routine press junket, it is little wonder Goodrem continues to endear the ears, and hearts, of a country. “My intention is true to wanting to just bring a good message and be a light to people, and for people to have my music as part of their life.”