Suave Gold Coast trio The Koi Boys have been impressing crowds at famous Broadbeach haunt Koi and at private and corporate functions for the last ten years. But it was their success on TV’s The Voice which has really seen the handsome group step up their musical game. Jodie Bellchambers caught up with band member Nuz in line with the release of the boys’ debut album Meant to Be.
How are you feeling about the upcoming album release of the first Koi Boys album?
I’m excited, very excited, it’s been full on letting everyone know about the pre-order and the album release date. My job in the crew is to look after all of the social media so I have to make sure we are getting the word out, we hope that everyone loves it as much as we love it. We’ve had some good feedback on a few of the covers I guess from our point of view we have made some of the newer cover songs more melodic to feel the song to suit a broader range.
You’ve been singing together for 10 years! Were your harmonies always been this strong or have they developed a lot over time?
I think the placement of harmonies has developed over the years but the ear for harmonies has always been there. It’s just knowing where to place them being a good singer, do you do all these runs with your voice or do you hold back and know exactly where to put it, usually someone who does runs like vocal acrobatics with your voice usually that person has got it. Our harmonies have always been there we have just refined it and workshopped the songs as to where we should put it. Growing up in New Zealand everyone sings harmonies it’s our way of conveying stories there was no written word our history is always passed down through song and dance. Whether you can sing or not you are put in a position where you have to sing and be around singing constantly. It’s just a natural thing for us.
Do you all have the same musical influences – I am assuming that you all have a shared love for Motown and soul.
The boys definitely, they are a little bit older than me they have different views on their influences, for me personally when you sing so many peoples songs you have to learn to love them so when new music comes out you learn to love them – for example Justin Bieber – we’ve learnt to love his music. As much as we love our Motown and 90’s R&B we have to learn to reconnect with new music. The producer and I took a step back and had a look at what everyone was listening to – what are some of the most famous songs out now through YouTube. Drake and The Weekend have over 800 million views so we wanted to tap into that market. It’s a strategic approach to pin pointing which covers we wanted to sing on our album as we needed to reach a bigger market like the social media savvy younger generation who keep sharing and posting. We need the balance of the older generation coming to our shows and the younger sharing via social media.
Your debut album due to be release this month features three originals, one written by each member. This is very democratic. Did it just evolve that way organically or did you decide that each of you should have a go at putting pen to paper?
That just happened organically really we thought there would only be two, in reality there usually is only one original on a covers album. As we started planning our direction with the originals we again looked at our demographic and what are the avenues for these songs to be played. So each song has a target for example the bridal market so we have a wedding song called Yes written by Kevin so hopefully our song can be played for the next 15 years at a wedding. Then we have a sad farewell song – reggae style and that was inspired by my cousins passing. It’s the only reggae track we have on the album so it’s targeting the market that likes reggae. And also the flagship single Meant to be – which is country based tune.
How much has your experience and exposure on The Voice propelled your career?
Tenfold – we would never have this opportunity if we had not jumped on a vehicle like The Voice. It’s probably the biggest vehicle for any singer songwriter artist to propel from singing at your local venue to you to be performing on bigger stages. And having the opportunity to be presented and exposed to new networks even for inside information. Another advantage is releasing a cd to major outlets like JB they will only accept CDs that come from a label so it really helps. Whilst social media is big, you need radio stations and big distribution networks onside. Our expectations were overwhelmed we were like kids in a lolly shop when we were awarded this opportunity. You just don’t realise how big it is especially when you have been singing at a local restaurant for over 10 years.
You perform a lot of corporate and social events. Are you keen to write more of your own music and chart a new direction?
The idea of bringing out music is to reach to a market – it’s a marketing tool these days to earn money from music is very hard. Australia is a smaller market so you can’t make a huge living; our mindset is to get an album out and to reach out to other countries in the world – bigger audiences. Once we achieve that we can work out where we can tour – after which we could bring out another album as the audiences hopefully become hungrier for more.
If you could collaborate with another artist who would you choose?
My voice is a high voice – I hold that down in my new school music like R&B and even rappers. I’m not a rapper but I certainly enjoy them. Probably the Weekend or Drake or even John Legend – it doesn’t really matter who for me because I look at the networks of other artists and how popular they are so anyone who is more popular than me is a bonus. We just love music. It keeps you young and performing on stage, it has the healing ability to be vibrant and keep you moving and keep you happy. The basic ingredients for joy, we love bringing joy to people. We are happy chappies as we are and love having fun – we jump onstage and bring that energy. We have to watch that balance now, we have to maintain a serious etiquette to deal with the business side.