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Vanessa Amorosi Reflects on Her Move to a Whole New Genre: 'Let Myself Out of the Cage' (Exclusive)

"I was always desperate to be able to go into this soul domain and start writing stuff that was very brutally honest," Amorosi tells PEOPLE

Australian pop star Vanessa Amorosi has always loved gospel music.

“Even with my first records, they were all gospel songs,” Amorosi, 42, tells PEOPLE from a recent tour stop in Switzerland. “They started with five-to-six-part harmonies that were interacting with each other, and all of that got taken out to make it more pop and mainstream. So now, it's like I'm returning to what I was initially passionate about.”

It is this passion that can be heard all over “Lift Us Up,” the focus track from Amorosi’s full-length studio album Memphis Love and the uplifting song whose music video premieres exclusively on PEOPLE.

“Finding a song that is uplifting, but yet not cheesy, is always really, really hard,” says Amorosi, who has sold over two million records worldwide throughout her impressive career. “To finally be in the room and hear it all come together? That was the moment. where I was like, it all just makes sense now.”

Amorosi chose to join voices on “Lift Us Up” with the Tennessee Mass Choir from The Jubilee Church of God in Christ in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I just wanted something where it hits you and you just feel like you just got smacked with emotion,” says Amorosi, of the breathtaking performance. “For such a long time, it was just me singing all these harmony parts. But to finally be in the room and hear it all come together? That was the moment where I was like, it all just makes sense now.”

<p>Tyler Lee Aubrey</p> Vanessa Amorosi

Tyler Lee Aubrey

Vanessa Amorosi

Making sense of what has been somewhat of a tumultuous few years has been somewhat of a goal for Amorosi as of late as she continues to find herself in the middle of a highly publicized legal battle with her mother.

“When you get into a situation where there's negativity surrounding you, you've got to really focus on what is working versus what is not working,” says Amorosi, who struck gold with her debut single “Have a Look” back in 1999. “We should just be trying to embrace each other and move forward on a level where we're trying to search for happiness versus the other kind of things that can definitely take you off onto another road.”

Getting back on her soul’s worthy road has been made a bit easier thanks to the professional and personal support of music extraordinaire Dave Stewart.

“Dave (Stewart) changed my whole outlook on music,” says Amorosi, who is currently out on the road with him as part of the Eurythmics Songbook tour. “He took a lot of the rules away from me. He was just like, ‘there are no rules.’ It just changed everything. Even with my singing, I kind of always held back. And he was the first artist that was like, oh my God, can you stop doing that?’”

<p>Tyler Lee Aubrey</p> Vanessa Amorosi

Tyler Lee Aubrey

Vanessa Amorosi

And now, without those sonic boundaries, Amorosi finds herself increasingly more comfortable to settling in the R&B/soul/rock-influenced/gospel space.

“I was always desperate to be able to go into this soul domain and be able to let myself out of the cage as a vocalist and as a writer, and start writing stuff that was very brutally honest,” says Amorosi. “As much as I love pop music, there's always a formula to it. But with gospel music and soul music, it's all about the pocket. It's about the feel as well as the message.”

Certainly, it’s a move Amorosi doubts she could make years ago.

I think it's just about getting to that point in life where you want to connect on a much deeper level musically,” she concludes. “It's just becoming comfortable in your own skin and wanting to have that connection with your audience, which I feel like I do have, but now from a different perspective.”

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Read the original article on People.