Ambitious Ngaiire refuses to be Idol
By RACHEL SCOLLAY
LAST year she was presenting at the Dolphin Awards, but this year Ngaiire Joseph is a contender for her song, The Sky Would Fall ? both as best female vocalist and new recording talent.
She is also one of the featured acts, and it may be your last chance to see her perform locally for a while, as she gets ready to tour with Paul Mac, including the sold-out Homebake in Sydney.
The 21-year-old impressed Mac when he saw her on Australian Idol last year, where she reached the top 30. Now she's the voice on his new track, It's Not Me, It's You, released last month.
The former Kadina High School student said that in many ways Mac was a mentor for her, but she wasn't 'star struck or anything'.
But mention that dreaded 'Idol' word and you can almost hear the grimace down the phone.
I had been warned by Ngaiire's publicist it was a no-go area. So why didn't she want to talk about it?
"You know nobody's ever asked me that before," she said, as she pondered the question.
"I think people who have gone through Idol get accused of not having worked hard enough for the place they've got to.
"Before I went on Idol I wanted to make a name for myself the hard way, just doing gigs and creating my own fan base.
"I want to be known as an artist in my own right, and not for a reality TV show. So I guess I'm trying to avoid people associating me with that."
While she is getting plenty of attention in Australia, Ngaiire also made front page news during a tour of her homeland, Papua New Guinea, in July. "It was really weird, actually," she said.
"We had security vans and people were just in awe of me and the band. They don't really have a live music scene over there."
It was also when she released the track, Love Sa Giaman, which translates as 'Love Tells Lies in Pidgin', and is only available in PNG.
n The Dolphin Awards, at the Beach Hotel on November 8 from 6.30pm. Tickets cost $25 and are available from Music Bizarre in Lismore, ABC Centre in Ballina and the Beach Hotel bottle shop.