Decca Records launched new signings Sole Mio last night at The Arts Club, 40 Dover Street.
Journalists and music insiders caught the first UK performance of this bright new operatic trio.
Made up of two tenor brothers, Pene and Amitai Pati, and their baritone cousin Moses Mackay, Sol3 Mio is the combination of three powerful operatic voices, and a dash of irrepressible Samoan humour.
The Samoan New Zealand trio are very quickly establishing an international reputation. Their album reached 5 x Platinum sales in just 6 weeks in New Zealand, making it the biggest-selling album of last year and overtaking New Zealand’s biggest musical export of 2013, Lorde. Sol3 Mio also kept One Direction and Susan Boyle off their usual No.1 position in the charts.
From modest but solid beginnings, their families moved from Samoa to seek a better life in New Zealand making sacrifices in the process, as well as finding value in music, choirs, hard work and an ability to see the absurdity in life. Their gift for entertainment was obvious from a young age; as children, the brothers gave weekly performances in rest homes to the delight of the residents.
It was when Pene had been selected to attend the prestigious Wales International Academy of Voice that the three gentlemen first performed together as a trio, at his farewell gathering in a cafe. An audience member piped up and suggested they form a group. Laughed off at the time, the idea took hold and Sol3 Mio was born. Within a year, all three had been individually chosen to go to Wales for tuition at the exclusive opera school: an incredible opportunity, but one that came with the combined cost of over NZ$100,000. So Sol3 Mio launched a series of fundraisers which took them from schools to town halls, winning rave reviews for their extraordinary voices, effortless humour and fun-filled performances in the process.
The exceptional raw talent of these three men shone through as they managed to breathe new life into time-honoured classics. Their superb voices, genuine onstage brotherly connection, off-the-cuff banter and impeccable comic timing led them to a record deal and several TV performances, capturing the hearts of millions. This is no act, but simply an extension of their natural selves and the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of singing, performing and entertaining. It is this that makes them different. Through a shared desire to share, entertain and inform, the trio bring the realness to opera, breaking down the perceived barriers and stereotypes of the music. Sol3 Mio attract a whole new audience to the music they have devoted their lives to, earning fans wherever they go, and are set to take the UK by storm.
President of Decca Records, Dickon Stainer, describes the signing as “The arrival of the next global superstars in mainstream classical music”.
The debut album, to be released here in April, was recorded in London and features opera classics and modern surprises from the unique blend of voices that is Sol3 Mio.