Published on theMusic.com.au, Jun 2018
WA loop artist Sam Perry might still be riding a high from winning The Voice grand final on Sunday night, but prior to auditioning for the show, he was close to calling it quits.
Speaking with The Music, the most controversial artist in the show’s history said he signed up in an effort to hopefully attract a few more punters to his gigs from the blind audition.
He’s now well and truly on the mainstream radar, but the Perth musician has been “slugging” it away for years and before rising up through the show was finding it harder and harder to cut through the noise on the internet.
“I’ve hit up triple j, I’ve gigged, I’ve toured, I’ve done everything and I’ve just been ignored a little bit, to the point where I was being told by people they’d manage me if I DJ’d, and I was close to giving it up,” Perry said.
“A mainstream program like this, I would never normally think of doing, but they’ve done nothing but embrace what I do. They’ve pushed it harder and turned me into something that could actually get out of Australia pretty quickly.”
Perry admits he never loved reality TV shows and The Voice was never something he’d watch, which is why the support he was given throughout the contest came as such a surprise.
“The crazier my ideas were, the more accommodating they were; they’ve helped me in ways that years of slugging and emailing triple j never could have done for me,” he said.
“The stereotype I had about a show like this is completely not what it was.
“I went in thinking I was going to hate it and, man, I’ve had fun.”
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The show’s judges, Kelly Rowland, Boy George, Delta Goodrem and Joe Jonas, might have loved his loop station and beatboxing, but they also branded him as “controversial”.
“It’s important to be refreshing – I’ve brought something new to the show and I think that’s important,” Perry said.
“I kind of love all the controversy I have started, coming in here and turning the whole thing on its head.
“Actually, me and Boy George are really good friends now – he’s a really cool dude, and Joe Jonas would come out to late night gigs with us. They’re all just really nice people.”
Having taken out the grand prize on Sunday, Perry scores a cash prize of $100,000 and a contract with Universal Music.
The signing comes with new single Trust Myself, and while other finalists had their post-win single allocated by the label, Perry pushed to write his own song.
“With Universal, we’re talking about pushing my live show more and we’re going to sit down and talk about what path I want to go on, rather than them making me do things,” Perry explains.
“One of the stigmas of the show is that kids come on and think they’re going to be superstars.
“I’ve toured for five years and I understand that it takes a lot of hustle, and I’ve got a mortgage to pay, so I’m not just going to sign a contract that signs away my rights.
“I’ve already got the music, I’ve already got sets and I’ve already got shows, whereas, I think a lot of the others are in cover bands or don’t write their own material.”
Perry’s planning on booking a run of shows around the country to celebrate his win before focusing on bigger things set in motion by his coach on The Voice, Rowland, and the contacts she’s put him in touch with.
“I’m going to be flying to LA to meet up with them and talk about future movements.
“The Voice has opened up so many doors I didn’t know existed.”