Delta Goodrem finds her voice
Delta Goodrem talks to Vicki Anderson about appearing on New Zealand's Got Talent and her new album, which includes a song inspired by criticism of her role on The Voice.
Delta Goodrem has found her voice.
The Australian singer-songwriter and actress named after a Joe Cocker song is upbeat about her whirlwind visit to New Zealand to promote her latest album and guest-star on a talent show.
''I'm on an episode of New Zealand's Got Talent. I'm singing a couple of songs tonight. It's been fun,'' Goodrem said.
Her fourth studio album, Child of the Universe, is out and sees her return after a five-year break following the release of 2007 album Delta.
She has notched several No 1 albums, countless No 1 and top 10 singles, won multiple Aria Awards and sold albums by the millions.
She attributes such success to ''honest'' songwriting.
''I love writing songs with my heart and soul. You don't always capture those moments. Sometimes you do ... It's like catching lightning in a bottle.''
Child of the Universe was conceived in 2009, but Goodrem found herself sidetracked by other projects - a move to Los Angeles, a world tour with Andrea Bocelli and a role of coach on the record-breaking television show The Voice Australia.
Critics knocked Goodrem for everything from applauding too vigorously to tossing her hair too often on the show.
Such controversy inspired Knocked Out, the last song written for the album.
''The Voice was an amazing experience, but then a bit of a storm happened. It was bizarre. I'm not controversial or outrageous. The thing is that a cool song came out of it. I was feeling knocked out by everyone; lyrics refer to being under-estimated and finding inner strength.''
Goodrem admits that public discussion about her private life pierces her positive armour. ''I feel strength underneath the hurt. You've just got to get that feeling to come up higher.''
But having battled cancer, Goodrem knows what is truly important to her in life and the concept behind the album title reflects this.
''I am learning that I am a child of the universe. I'm not owned by anything; I'm not defined by one thing. We're all children of the universe. I knew instantly it was the title.''
Following on from Standing On Top of the World and Dancing With A Broken Heart, current single Wish You Were Here is Goodrem's tribute to a close friend who died.
It is her way of keeping his memory alive.
''I'm trying to keep the flame alive. When you lose somebody, you want their memory to live on. I feel like now he's helping other people who hear this song and it's a beautiful thing.''
One of her favourite tracks on the album, The Hunters and the Wolves, is about ''becoming single''.
''Being single was a new thing for me. That singles life ... like predators hunting prey,'' she says.
''I started it on guitar and it came from a feeling.
''The acoustic version is cool. For my concerts recently we did the acoustic version and mashed it into the album version. It's one of my favourite tracks on the record.''
The album was record in Hollywood at Capitol and Henson Studios with friends and collaborators Gary Clark, Vince Pizzinga and John Shanks by her side, and with additional sessions at Goodrem and Clark's respective home studios, but Knocked Out was recorded in Sydney in the same studio where she recorded her massive hit, Born To Try, a decade earlier.
Twelve bonus tracks are acoustic versions of album tracks and Goodrem says they emerged over a ''hectic'' three days.
''The acoustic sessions were a last minute thing, I decided to re-record everything. In the studio you can paint so much, I thought, 'It's a very colourful room we've painted here', so I wanted to go back and strip them back.''
This weekend she returns to Australia to record a Christmas EP of five ''bluegrass'' songs.
She promises to head to Christchurch eventually.
''Oh yes, definitely, I would love to... I will get there as soon as I can.''