SAM Perry likes to think he’s started a conversation rather than controversy.
The 28-year-old former Mullaloo and current Maylands resident was last night crowned the winner of The Voice Australia 2018 ahead of finalists Bella Paige, Aydan Calafiore and Sheldon Riley.
Talking to Community News this afternoon, with only 20 minutes of sleep under his belt, Perry said the label as the show’s “most controversial voice ever” was “all fine at the end of the day”.
“They never said anything bad about me,” he said.
“It all came from Boy George and they ran with it but he was just stating I’m looping.
— KELENDRIA ROWLAND (@KELLYROWLAND) June 17, 2018
“Off air we’re actually really good friends and we have a laugh together.
“People don’t understand what looping is and now they do.
“Obviously it comes with a lot of negative criticism online and strong beliefs but with every four people saying negative things, there’s 500 saying positive things and that’s only growing.
“I know I’ve got millions of people voting for me and that’s enough.”
Perry, who was quickly snapped up by The Voice judge Kelly Rowland, said being able to bring the art of looping and beat boxing into a more mainstream arena was “dope”.
“I’ve come here to do that,” he said.
“I’ve come here to be that guy.
“I’ve come here to change the game and I totally did.
“I didn’t think I’d win but it’s awesome.
“And to rap in the final, in a mainstream program like this, is awesome and The Voice let me do this – they want change too and they think its important.
“It’s just been a great experience and to be honest, its been a good show.
“It’s been exciting to watch and it’s been exciting to be a part of.”
From humble beginnings in musical theatre, including the role of Oliver, to a musician through his years at Ocean Reef Senior High School, Perry learnt to loop from Australian musician Dub FX.
“I saw him do it and I jumped in on it and started learning,” he said.
“Within a year, he came through Perth and I emailed him just as a fan saying ‘hey man’ and sent him a video and he actually got me to support him.
“So he’s been helping me and guiding me and sharing a few of my videos and he was helping me get up there.
“He actually just tweeted me saying he’s proud of me which is so cool.”
— Dub Fx (@dub_fx) June 17, 2018
Perry said he soon realised “to be noticed you have to be different”.
“You could be such an incredible singer or such an incredible guitarist but there’s so many people doing it,” he said.
“So when I found looping and found I was good at it and found I could make my own sound that no one had really heard before, I got really excited about that and here I am.
“I think it’s important to be different and that’s the message I’ve come here to spread.
“I hope I’ve inspired others to think outside the box and put yourself out there – be bold, be courageous, do it.
“Make yourself proud because I’m proud of myself for what I’ve done.
“I’m already getting lots of kids trying to learn and lots of wonderful and beautiful questions from young enthusiastic people – I’ve made a difference so it’s worth the controversy.
“It’s such an underground thing and I just gave it a bit more light.
“I think it deserves some light. I think it’s cool. I think it’s different. I think it’s unique.”
Perry said he had never before thought of taking part in a talent show like The Voice.
“But I got sick of working a full time job so I could be a full time musician playing to empty rooms,” he said.
“I thought a very good way to be seen, especially for what I do, is a show that actually airs so instead of just singing, you can see me loop so you understand it better and you get that connection of the skill set and the artistry there actually is.
“The show is called The Voice, I’m using my voice so why not?”
After a full day of interviews and radio and television appearances, there’s no rest for Perry who will jump in the studio with Universal Music Australia to “work on the next step”
But he promises he will only stay true to himself.
“My music is obviously going to adapt,” he said.
“The single (Trust Myself) that’s just dropped is not like anything I’ve done but that’s because Universal has come in and this is what they have to do to get played on the radio.
“But having said that it’s already third right now on the iTunes charts and that’s only overnight so that’s pretty cool.
“But if I play that song live, I’ll remix it into a breakbeat drum and bass version.
“So I’m toying with the idea of more heartfelt, good lyrics and more acceptable-to-the-masses music for radio and for studio and then bringing them to my live show and mashing them up and making them more energetic.
“But at the moment I don’t know.
“I’m having all these meetings and if Universal want to go one way with my music and I want to go the other then we’ll have these discussions but I’m not one to be pushed around.
“I’ll always stay true to my artform.
“I’ve got some really good ideas and if I get the right help and the right amount of time to execute them, it could be really good.”
Perry is already set to jet around the country to promote his new single as well as “rebuilding a bunch of sounds for my next shows”.
“And then I’d love to put a string of shows together around the cities and do some small, 200-seater rooms,” he said.
“ I want to go back to the little rooms just for one tour, to keep it intimate and have little rave parties just to say thank you around Australia.
“Then I’ll be heading off to LA to meet some people with Kelly in the future.”
So how does it feel to be not only the first West Aussie to win the competition but also the first West Aussie into the final in all seven seasons?
And how does it feel to win the grand finale that saw a record more than 1 million votes from the public?
“Stoked – it’s crazy,” he said.
“To keep coming on the show and keep breaking records when I didn’t think anyone would like me in the first place, I’m just really humbled and blessed and I’m absolutely stoked Australia got behind me.”