Sam Perry has been one of this year’s most controversial contestants on season seven of The Voice. But in the first battle round on Sunday, the Perth-based DJ and vocal loop artist made it through to the live shows with his Team Kelly pal AP D'Antonio earning a wild card chance.
"I bring in harmonies behind me, it’s still all my voice," Perry, 28, explains about his technique. "The only difference is the band isn’t joining me—I’m just joining myself."
Although he concedes that earlier in the competition those extra components were not performed on the spot, "everything else I did live," he says. "Now going through to lives, I’ve got more time, everything’s going to be live, and we’re only scratching the surface of what I can do."
Someone who can attest to Perry's skills and sincerity in his craft is his fiancée Liberty Hills, 26, a Perth-based actress. “[We’ve] been engaged for eight months now,” Sam tells WHO exclusively. “We had an island to ourselves in Borneo, and I proposed to her there.”
Liberty adds that the pair had been together nearly 8 years. "I was 18 when we started dating so in some respects we have grown into adults together," she says. "I feel very lucky to be in a relationship like this. We are such a solid team and each other's support system."
Sam popped the question when the pair were camping on an island off Borneo with his cousin Tom and Tom's girlfriend Lucy. After a day of snorkeling and hiking, the group spent hours building a bonfire on the beach after which they relaxed with some whiskey and favourite songs. "It was a really magical evening," says Liberty, who did not see the proposal coming. "I cried when he got down on one knee, and for about 10 minutes after that," she says. "It couldn't have been more perfect."
On April 23, Liberty posted a sweet dedication to her fiancé on Instagram (above) from a trip to Rottnest Island in Western Australia. “Getting to follow your whole looping journey from looking at buying loop pedals, to your first gig at indi bar and now playing on national television," she remarked. "It’s been amazing and it’s just getting better.”
The couple will be forced to spend extended time apart now that Sam continues on The Voice. "With Sam touring it is important that our relationship is strong because it can be challenging being apart and in different time zones," Liberty says, recalling one stint in which Sam was away from home for 8 months.
However, when Sam and Liberty are at home, they can be found on their couch with their cats, playing online together but with two PlayStation consoles. "[It's] super-lame but also super-cool," Liberty admits. "It's so nice when he is home so these moments are very special and never taken for granted."
Perhaps joining them in the future will be AP. "He’s the first one I really connected with as a person," Sam says. "When we should’ve been rehearsing, we were hanging out instead, and it came across on stage—we had so much fun."
That fun made for a successful collaboration rather than a battle on Sunday night. "We stripped it back," Sam says. "I looped a high hat and then my vocal tone was the same as his and I just sung with him, and he respected me for being a singer this time.”
Agrees AP, “Working with Sam, I would never have thought about doing it previously, but it was a stroke of genius on behalf of The Voice team and Kelly because it really did work. We have a lot of fun.” In fact, Sam’s taught AP a few new tricks. “He took me through his loop pedals and showed me how it all works,” AP says. “He’s so diverse. He’s the dark horse in the competition.’
'The Voice' battle rounds continue Mon., May 14 at 7.30 PM on Nine. Read more about 'The Voice' later this week in WHO.