It's been five years, two high-profile relationship splits and a public thrashing over her performance on Australian music reality TV show The Voice since Delta Goodrem released an album. But music is nothing if not a forum for airing your feelings and on Child of the Universe – the Aussie singer's fourth album – no stone is left unturned and no topic is too personal to sing about.
She'll be sharing all this with her legions of Kiwi fans when she appears as a guest on the smash-hit TVNZ show New Zealand's Got Talent this month. Like she has done on so many other occasions, Delta will open her heart and soul to Kiwi audiences, singing songs she's written which deal with her personal heartbreak, her devastation at being criticised for being “rehearsed and dull”
on The Voice, and her sadness at the death of a friend from a motorbike accident.
“I'm pretty obvious, I can't skirt around that,” admits Delta, who will be on hand to give advice to the five semi-finalists trying to make it through to the next round on New Zealand's Got Talent. She readily admits she pours her heart and soul into her music – just as the Kiwi reality TV show contestants are being encouraged to do.
“I don't feel any remote worry about talking in songs,” she says. “If there's anything anyone wants to know about me, read my lyrics and listen to the record.”
Delta has gone through a lot in her 27 years, including a cancer battle and more recently two high-profile splits from her fiancé, Westlife singer Brian McFadden, and former Disney star Nick Jonas. But instead of closing herself off from the world to protect herself from further hurt, Delta is still remarkably open, sharing with fans her decision to leave her former fiancé and partner of seven years Brian, who she separated from in April last year.
“I think that raw emotion comes when you face the realities of life. You become more literal because life hits you harder and faster, so I now write exactly how I’m feeling.” Delta says she tries to be “fearless” in her songwriting, in the hope her fans will be able to relate to her experiences.
She also opens up on the album about her negative experiences on The Voice earlier this year, although her trademark positive attitude doesn’t waiver – even while recollecting the unhappy time. Instead of the contestants getting critiqued, Delta was the one in the ring line, with one detractor describing her as “an expensive piece of tinsel”.
“It was a bad storm. I don’t even know what happened – it just felt like it rained for a second,” says Delta, who will share her experiences on New Zealand’s Got Talent. “I wrote the song Knocked Out on the album about The Voice. So I was quite grateful to [the critics] in the end. I was like ‘Thanks, I got a really great song out of this,’” she laughs.
Unlike what the track’s title suggests, rather than being Knocked Out Delta has learned to roll with the punches. Delta says her diagnosis with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 18 has helped shape her approach to life. Although her sickness seems a world away, Delta no longer has the fear she used to.
“When I was young, I would get so nervous I’d shake and shake when I’d perform. “After I got sick, I thought to myself, ‘This is supposed to be fun and enjoyable,’ and that experience was scary and petrifying. It stopped all the performance nerves.”
Although she loves performing in New Zealand and Australia, she is now based in LA, living with good friend and co-writer Vince Pizzinga, and her beloved black cat. She’s also come a long way personally since she signed her first album deal at 15 years old.
She’s now unfazed by what others say about her and was oblivious to the media “hoopla” that ensued when she briefly dated a then-19-year-old Nick Jonas last year.
Delta has kept her new relationship with The Voice host Darren McMullen low key for the
moment, but says she is in a good place and happy to live her life on her terms. “I don’t let anybody tell me who I am any more. I’ve lived in the public eye since I was a kid. I don’t react or read what’s written.
“I know what goes on in my everyday life and I’m thankful for the different seasons. There are always reasons why certain people come into your life.”