Biography

Having made an unforgettable introduction, with a debut album that has been released in 26 countries and sold out shows across the globe, Sol3 Mio are returning with On Another Note, a new album that goes deeper and wider than ever before. The world around them may have changed immeasurably but the character, and breathtaking voices, of these three prodigiously talented New Zealanders remains stronger than ever. United by a love of opera and deep family bonds, tenor brothers Pene and Amitai Pati, and their baritone cousin Moses Mackay have carved out a unique niche for themselves. While continuing to study, train and make huge achievements within the classical world, they have been able to take the music they love to a fresh audience. Helped along the way by their vivacious good humour, and a refreshing slant on contemporary tunes and the classics. Returning to the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, On Another Note is a step on from their debut. In their own words they have ‘turned the volume up’, choosing a selection that really showcases their voices in the classical and popular styles. In keeping with the deft balancing act the boys manage between the two worlds, the album’s release heralded by both an operatic classic, and a contemporary cover. Stella is an especially important song to Sol3 Mio, because it was sung by Pavarotti who has been a huge influence, and inspiration, to their music and careers. Though it’s a claim he would never dream of making himself, Pene has said ‘the greatest honour I’ve ever had was to be called the next Pavarotti’. Highlighting the heritage going back to the maestro’s final album Ti Adore, and giving the song their own unique Sol3 Mio treatment, Stella is a glorious opener and scene setter for what is to follow. Conversely their impassioned, powerful performance and arrangement of Ed Sheeran’s I See Fire, is another example of how Sol3 Mio are able to seamlessly bring the skills and nuance of the classical singing world, into the popular arena. This contemporaneous gem, originally written and recorded for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug is transformed into the boys rousing anthem to New Zealand. With its stunning video shot on Auckland’s iconic West Coast, I See Fire is sent out like a musical beacon to resonate with all New Zealanders, home and abroad. Since the release of their self titled debut, the trio have been on an incredible journey exposing their music and personalities to the world, with performances in Japan, Europe, the UK and of course Australia and New Zealand. They have toured England twice, as guests on Alfie Boe’s Arena tour, and also headlining their own shows in more intimate venues, throwing their all into winning over new crowds, night after night, in a return to their roots. Amongst so many highlights, a cruise from St. Tropez ending in Barcelona, where they attended a masterclass from the highly esteemed operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé, must rate amongst the most memorable. For Amitai, the experience of singing to such a legend of the classical world was the pinnacle of a whirlwind two years, that has put them amongst musical legends, dignitaries and celebrities on a regular basis. Performing at London’s O2 Stadium, they were visited backstage by Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellen, who was kind enough to give them some tips on stagecraft, before requesting the inevitable selfie. When the All Blacks made history playing their first ever game in the United States, at the famed Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago, the boys were on hand to deliver a rousing version of the New Zealand anthem to the 60,000 strong crowd. Keeping their cultural roots in balance, they have also sung the Samoan National Anthem at Twickenham, and their commitment and passion remains strong for the islands their parents emigrated from. The success of Sol3 Mio, and their sold out shows in Samoa, have already sparked an unparalleled wider interest and acceptance of opera and classical music there, especially amongst the youth. For a group that has always been about breaking the stereotypes and following their aspirations to the fullest, and encouraging others to do the same, that’s about as good as it gets. When they sang for Chinese President Xi Jinping in Auckland it was broadcast to over a billion people, a similarly staggering amount to the global audience for their standout performance at the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Christchurch. For all these astonishing numbers it is still most importantly making a personal individual connection, and celebrating the moving power of the human voice, that really drives this trio. From humble beginnings singing to the elderly and infirm every week throughout their childhoods, to performing the Invictus Anthem for the Queen and members of the Royal Family at the 2014 Festival Of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, the core principles and character of these three outstanding gentlemen only grows stronger. It’s telling that for Moses his greatest achievement thus far isn’t an award, accolade or amazing experience, even though there have been plenty of them, rather it is the simple satisfaction of being able to buy his parents their own home, by far his most rewarding accomplishment after growing up in state housing. Already blessed with a wealth of individual awards from the Opera world, with Pene recently coming 2nd overall and winning Audience Choice at Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition in London, the group have been picking up significant recognition too. Their performance at the 2014 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, where they received Best Pacific Group and Best Selling Album Of The Year, led to a lengthy standing ovation, one of many already in their career, but one made especially poignant coming from their musical peers. Promoting a message of ‘can do’, pride and belief in their Polynesian culture, has always been at the forefront of Sol3 Mio’s intentions. So winning two Vodafone Pacific Music Awards in 2014 was an especially heartfelt and humbling accolade. This major milestone was made even greater, by having them break the mould to create a brand new Special Recognition category, to honour the group’s achievements in 2015. Their two New Zealand Summer Tours have both sold out, playing to over 70,000 people, while their annual Christmas In The Vines celebration at Villa Maria Winery is rapidly becoming a runaway phenomenon of its own. Introductions made, and credentials established, Sol3 Mio are heading up to the next level with On Another Note, taking their distinctive brand of superlative singing and easy humour further than ever before.

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