The Voice: Arlo Sim on his powerful performance in The Knockouts

"Singing a song is believing in its story."
Loading the player...

The Voice is moving quickly this year, with coaches already whittling down to a top eight artists to go through to the semi-finals.

WATCH BELOW: The Knockouts Keith Challenges Arlo To Push Harder

During the first knockout round last night, Guy Sebastian and Keith Urban had to reluctantly cut their top five down to just a top two, based on a 90-second performance on the main stage.

Following their performances, the coaches could choose to send their artists straight through to the semi-final, send them home, or ask them to wait until all the others had performed before ultimately deciding.

However, when it came to 19-year-old Arlo Sim’s performance of Billie Eillish’s idontwannabeyouanymore, Keith had no questions, and sent Arlo straight through to the semi-finals.

Arlo chatted to WHO about his performance, his love of music, and his decision to sign up to do The Voice.

Arlo performed ‘idontwannabeyouanymore’ by Billie Eillish in last night’s knockout round. (Credit: Seven)

Congratulations on your performance and making it through to the semi-finals! What was going through your mind in the lead up to the performance?

I really love this song! And I’m so glad that Keith chose it for me. I had never sung this song before, so it was a real challenge. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to connect with it. But with all music, if you listen carefully enough, you will find a connection. As usual, I was excited but extremely nervous and was trying my best to control those nerves. Although, in the end, I managed those nerves and was able to just be in the moment, find the pocket and enjoy it!

You were a little teary when the performance ended! What were you feeling?

It’s all empathy… Feeling what somebody else is feeling. I don’t relate so much personally to this song, but I do have an imagination and I have had loss. Singing a song is believing in its story. If you don’t somehow feel the emotion, the audience won’t either. I think feeling a song is being vulnerable, letting yourself go to the place where the song takes you, and that was the goal I had going into the knockouts… I hope I achieved that!

Arlo turned four chairs in his blind audition. (Credit: Seven)

What made you want to try out for The Voice for this particular season?

It just felt like the right time. No one really has the opportunity to perform much during Covid. Musicians are doing it really tough. When I was given the chance to audition, I thought, why not give it a shot? And I’m so stoked that I made that leap of faith!

Before the performance, you said you were beginning to feel a bit more confident. Has an experience like The Voice helped build your confidence?

The Voice has definitely helped build my confidence. Performing in front of such an engaged and enthusiastic audience, along with such incredible coaches, was in a weird way, reassuring. The nerves were 100% still there, but I felt more at home. Not having the pressure of needing to turn chairs allowed me to focus on what I was actually singing rather than the response.

Arlo has prospered with Keith’s help. (Credit: Seven)

You had your pick of Coaches at the Blind Audition. What drew you to Keith?

During my blind audition, at one point in the song I locked eyes with Keith, and in that moment I felt like he got me. I’m 19, but I feel like he not only hears me as a musician but sees me as a person. Keith is wise and knowledgeable, and I have learnt so much from him already, so I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Who are your biggest inspirations when it comes to your music?

When I was really young, and singing in a duet with my mate Rex Merrewether on guitar, we had lessons with a fantastic blues & roots singer/guitarist by the name of Matt Ross. These ended up being more jams than lessons and he ended up being more of a friend than a teacher. He had faith in me and that was kind of the start of my musical journey. My ongoing influences are far and wide because the music in our house is eclectic at best. Artists who inspire my song writing are Yebba Smith, Fleet Foxes, Joni Mitchell, Tom Misch, Neil Young and Chet Faker, just to scratch the surface because I’m always listening to music… I have a head full of music!

Related stories