Kiwi singer's Dutch double life
Kiwi Sam Holden went to the Netherlands to work in an international criminal law tribunal but has found overnight fame on a Dutch reality singing show.
The Voice of Holland is one of the top rating shows on Dutch television. Over 3 million people tuned into watch Holden's appearance last week.
Holden, 26, from Auckland, won over all the judges with his performance of Bon Iver's Skinny Love. His version is now number 7 in the Netherland's iTunes pop downloads and number 10 in iTunes downloads overall.
For Holden - whose girlfriend entered him in the show as a joke - it is "pretty classic".
Holden studied law at the University of Auckland before working at law firms Bell Gully and Meredith Connell.
He and girlfriend Fliss Arapoff arrived in the Netherlands last year and Holden began an internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia.
Arapoff entered Holden in the Voice of Holland through an online registration form on their website.
"We both thought it was a bit of a joke and that nothing would happen. I didn't even know anything about The Voice. It was so random,'' Holden said.
"Then we got a letter to come to a pre-audition. It was a total bull pen, 10,000 other people got that letter too.''
After that another audition followed before Holden found himself on stage in front of The Voice of Holland judges in a televised blind audition.
"I was like 'what is this?' It was really overwhelming because it was so full-on. It was definitely the most surreal thing I've ever done.''
Talking to the judges after his performance presented another challenge. "I don't even know any Dutch - my Dutch is actually terrible.''
The blind audition was filmed several months ago but aired on Dutch television on Friday night. "I'd kind of forgotten about it.
"We had a big party at the bar I work at the night it was on. It's been pretty much out of control ever since. We went to Amsterdam at the weekend and people kept recognising me. Any one street we'd go down, some people would actually run out shops. They're just like "Voice of Holland", they're just so into it, it's pretty classic.''
Speaking of his new-found success, he said: "It's really mental eh.
"Even in New Zealand I never performed much...I've done the odd gigs here and there. Music has always been a massive part of my life but now it's gone crazy.''
He made a tongue-in-cheek YouTube video after the show aired called "How to win your blind audition".
"It's pretty dry, Kiwi kind of humour so I didn't know quite how it would be received but it's got heaps of hits now.''
His next appearance on the show will be in several weeks.
"Everyone on the show takes it very seriously. It's been a bit of joke but I guess I kind of have to take it seriously now. I've got so much stuff to do for it I kind of have to.''
His friends and family were enjoying his foray into the spotlight.
"Everyone thinks its pretty classic. They're just like, 'what the hell is he up to?'. I came over here with a credible kind of law career and now that's got the sack and I'm going into pop music.''