Jacqui James

a determined young woman who despite winning the 2009 series of Australia’s Got Talent at the tender age of twelve, she disappeared from the public eye until her 2013 debut single “Raise The Bar”

Not wanting to be the next child star, Bonnie wished to concentrate on learning the craft of songwriting and becoming a confident performer. “Raise The Bar” received commercial success both on radio and TV music stations; its video had over 170,000 views alone.

“Unbroken” is Bonnie’s latest single and it’s a sophisticated coming-of-age anthem, urging people to love and embrace love for our fellow human beings no matter our nationalities, religious backgrounds or sexuality. Bonnie has strong views and is passionate about equality and gay marriage being legalised.

On this Sunday, August 30th, Bonnie with the charming Dean Ray is doing a gig for the Cure For MND Foundation. You can get more info and tickets at www.tipforchange.org.au/ice-bucket-dunk/. It’s nice to see young singers/songwriters like Bonnie (and Dean Ray) going out of their way to support causes.

Thanks Bonnie for chatting to me. You’re one of the most sensible 19 year-old I’ve spoken to.


G’day Bonnie! How are you? Can you please describe what your new single Unbroken sounds like?

I wrote the song as inspiration for self and many others. We all have our struggles in life, and we can all feel a bit broken at times and the song definitely came from that place – “Unbroken”  is all about finding the strength to move forward. I just love the positivity of the message in the song – I want my music to help others do better, and to put a smile on someone’s face…. to strive to achieve the best we can be, for ourselves and to be happy in our own skin.

When you were eighteen you released your debut single “Raise  The Bar”? Was it a conscious decision to wait until you were eighteen to try and become a solo artist?

I never thought about it in that way… I waited until the time was right for me, when I felt ready!

The video for “Raise The Bar” was very age-appropriate but still is fun and cheeky (without sounding like I’m an ancient grandma). What’s your opinion about artists like Miley?

{laughs} Yeah that was the more innocent side of me…. Miley was once a kid and has grown up as the person she is today! Everyone is different and that’s Miley it works for her.

I’m pleased to see your support for gay marriage on your Facebook! In your eyes, what’s so important to legalise gay marriage?

To me love is love! It doesn’t matter who what where how…. I believe strongly about having the freedom to be who you are and embracing it! It’s only fair!

Before winning AGT, you rejected recording contracts and being another “child star”. Was that a difficult decision for you and your parents or did you want to wait for the right time?

It wasn’t that difficult because I wasn’t ready. I had to throw caution to the wind! I always knew that I would be a singer as a young girl, but I didn’t just want to be a singer I wanted more than that, to be around for a long time and have a purpose and a meaning in this life time!

It was important for me to work hard to be where I am today. And this is just the beginning.

Until now, you have been a back-up singer for Diesel, Jimmy Barnes, Kate Ceberano and Ian Moss, who all have praised you! Has it sunk in yet Aussie legends basically think you’re awesome?

I have been privileged to spend a lot of time with these amazing artists over the years…Jimmy was a huge influence to me, he knows how to keep it real and sing like an absolute demon! He took me on tour with him when I was thirteen and got to sing a duet with him! He taught me a lot and I’ll always cherish that.

Are you planning to release a debut album soon?

Very soon! And I cannot wait! I have been writing so much!  The music I have continued to write is much more true to who I am, real and very honest. I can’t wait for people to get to know me more.

Thanks again Bonnie for doing this interview! I wish you the best of luck with whatever you challenge yourself next with!


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