‘I had to get away’: Hi-5 star’s struggle
Nathan Foley was just a teenager when he landed a gig most young entertainers would only dream of.
The 18-year-old aspiring singer landed a spot in a new children's entertainment group called Hi-5 which exploded onto TV screens in 1999.
Foley, now 39, spent the next decade on a high, performing around the country with Hi-5 - but there was just one problem.
"It took up 10 years of my life, we all got along, it was fantastic in that way, (but) the majority of people looked at me and thought OK, kid's entertainer," Foley said on Monday night's episode of The Voice.
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"They saw me as the Hi-5 guy, which is amazing but I always thought there was something more I could offer. I guess that was a little bit of a struggle at times."
After Hi-5, Foley struggled to shed his identity as a children's entertainer in Australia and left for a fresh start overseas.
"When I left the show it was a little bit difficult, that's why I went overseas. I went to the States, I went to Europe," he said.
"I had to get away form Australia because they just saw me as the Hi-5 guy. So it's been this long waiting to just get back on stage again, back in Australia."
Back in Australia, Foley revealed it was an encounter with a fan who remembered him from Hi-5 that prompted him to give music one more go.
"I bumped into a girl who grew up watching me on TV when I was a kid and she says where have you been, I haven't seen you for like 10 years, have you given up on singing,'" Foley said.
"And that really made the big decision in my head just to get out there and say, 'look I'm still here,' and show who Nathan Foley really is."
Hitting The Voice stage for the blind auditions, Foley's rendition of "Footloose" turned coaches Delta Goodrem and Boy George's chair.
Both Goodrem and Guy Sebastian recognised Foley from Hi-5, with the Australian Idol winner gutted he didn't turn his chair.
"It's funny because singers in this country always knew that Nathan, like, is a beast singer. And I am kicking myself for not turning, I really am," Sebastian said.
In the end Foley opted to go on Goodrem's team, with the "Born To Try" singer saying she could relate to his struggle.
"I really truly do understand that, I understand what it's like to run away from it then also when you change something within yourself and everything around you changes, and then you see it all differently," she said.
"It's like you've seen it for the first time."
The Voice continues 7.30pm Tuesday on Channel 9