Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.
Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music. Steve Dykes

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

THE Voice favourites The Koi Boys release their debut album, Meant To Be, today.

The aptly named album is the result of their record deal with Universal Music after being eliminated from Nine's reality singing show in May.

In an unprecedented move, the record label signed the Gold Coast-based trio three weeks after their elimination. In the show's five seasons only the top four finalists usually get offered recording contracts off the back of their national TV exposure.

Universal clearly saw promise in the Kiwi singers after their coach Jessie J faced backlash from viewers for sending the group home during the super battles round.

The Koi Boys pictured during their audition on The Voice.
The Koi Boys pictured during their audition on The Voice. Channel 9

"We're so thankful they chose us," Ngahere 'Nuz' Ngatai told APN.

"We tried to calculate everything to go our way when we were going on The Voice, but we didn't expect it to happen. We said if we do this and maybe this could happen, and it did happen.

"They (Universal Music) had to get special permission to get us because we didn't even make the live shows. We were a very special case."

Meant To Be comprises a mix of covers featuring the singers' signature three-part harmonies and three original songs.

In a surprisingly successful mashup, the group puts a Latin spin on Drake's hit song Hotline Bling.

"I love Latin music and I love crooning as well," Ngatai said.

"It's that suave, gentleman type of sound mixed with Latin music which oozes that sexualness.


"I think a lot of people will either love or hate our arrangements, but we don't want to be criticised for copying the artist. We don't want to be karaoke singers. We're very proud of the directions we took (with the covers) and, with all things in life, you've got to commit to it."

Each member of the trio took the charge of one of the original songs on the album.

Kevin Keepa wrote the love song Yes, while Danny Faifai penned the ballad Meant To Be (Waiata's Song).

Ngatai's reggae track Angels Have to Fly was inspired by his cousin's death from epilepsy.

"Everyone has a sad moment in their life when someone's left them," he said.

"I wrote that on the plane going to his funeral. Ten years later I reviewed it with the boys and they said this is cool. Then we had to figure out how to approach it in a trio because it was originally a solo, acoustic song.

"Then we added the ukulele for that Israel Kamakawiwoʻole feeling, which will hopefully help get people immersed into the lyrics."

The trio is currently putting together a trans-Tasman tour in support of the album.

"There's a lot of marketing going on, especially in New Zealand," he said. "We could be touring New Zealand first, it just depends on the scheduling."

Meant to Be is available in stores and digitally from today.

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