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Trio find fame with Wales study bid

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Sol3Mio members Pene and Amitai Pati and their cousin Moses Mackay found their fundraising venture for further study in Wales has netted them an album deal (Sol3mio.com//PA)

Sol3Mio members Pene and Amitai Pati and their cousin Moses Mackay found their fundraising venture for further study in Wales has netted them an album deal (Sol3mio.com//PA)

Sol3Mio members Pene and Amitai Pati and their cousin Moses Mackay found their fundraising venture for further study in Wales has netted them an album deal (Sol3mio.com//PA)

A trio of students who inadvertently became one of New Zealand's biggest music acts in order to study in Wales have landed a UK record deal.

Brothers Pene and Amitai Pati and their cousin Moses Mackay formed their operatic group Sol3 Mio to help them raise the funds to train at the prestigious Wales International Academy of Voice in Cardiff.

They went on to be talent-spotted and found huge success in their homeland, even outselling teenage singer Lorde, who has now become a well-known name around the world.

The group - from Samoa but who went to live in NZ when they were young - achieved their target and are all now based in Wales, developing their talents.

The brothers, both tenors, and their baritone cousin had the biggest selling album of 2013 in New Zealand and kept the likes of One Direction and Susan Boyle from the number one position.

Pene was the first to be chosen to come to Wales and within a year the rest of the group - who had already each collected music degrees - were accepted and they hit upon the idea of performing together to meet the costs of their further studies.

Their performances went from schools to town halls and then landed TV performances and a music deal. Now they have signed with the UK's Decca Records which has a strong record with classical and crossover acts.

The label's president Dickon Stainer said the signing marked "the arrival of the next global superstars in mainstream classical music".

Their debut album will be released in the UK in April.

PA Media