By Cam Lucadou-Wells
An Endeavour Hills teen singer escaped from the cocoon of a snap lockdown to give a dream serenade of Butterfly to the song’s writer Jessica Mauboy.
In February, Paris Marie’s plans to compete in The Voice’s pre-recorded blind auditions in Sydney were thrown into havoc due to one of Victoria’s snap Covid lockdowns.
With her flight cancelled and no earlier ones available, she and her family instead loaded the car and headed north.
They joined a stream of traffic fleeing across the NSW border before it shut at midnight.
After the frenzied 900-kilometre trip, Paris nevertheless took the stage and delivered.
As viewers saw on The Voice on 16 August, Mauboy turned her chair to offer to coach a thrilled Paris during the 2021 season.
“It was beyond belief,” the 17-year-old prodigy says.
“Jess said I’d captured the emotion of the song. It was an honour to be singing her song to her.
“Butterfly is about strength. I was singing it from my own experience about the times when we have to draw strength, especially after the year we have had.”
Mauboy had been the same age as Paris when she shot to fame on Australian Idol.
Since the age of 7, Paris has been performing gigs, including Advance Australia Fair in front of 10,000-plus basketball fans.
The accomplished pianist and guitarist as well as vocalist has collaborated with celebrated artists such as Andrew de Silva, Katie Underwood and Joe Camilleri.
She had been planning to perform in the US – until the pandemic struck.
But even with that vast experience, The Voice was “surreal” – singing to the four famous coaches Mauboy, Rita Ora, Guy Sebastian and Keith Urban. All four were “amazing artists that I idolised” and “hoping they would turn their chairs”.
With a full studio crowd roaring and Australia watching on TV, she was grateful to have her mother Natalie, brother Pharell and sister Eden looking on.
“There’s a lot of nerves involved. You have to push through those nerves and sing.
“At the heart of it, I’m a girl from Endeavour Hills. It was a bit overwhelming.”