Move over Lorde, it's Moses
Moses Mackay has a sold-out New Zealand tour and five-times platinum-selling album to his name.
And he's only 23.
The Aucklander is one third of opera powerhouse Sol3 Mio, which bumped Lorde off the charts last year.
Moses and his cousins Pene and Amitai Pati have dominated the charts over 10 weeks and claimed the Christmas number one spot over fellow North Shore artist Ella Yelich-O'Connor, aka Lorde.
Lorde's debut album Pure Heroine had a seven-week head start, selling more than 45,000 copies.
But there is no animosity between the boys and Lorde as they are managed by the same company, Saiko.
The self-titled debut album Sol3 Mio has sold more than 75,000 copies, something Moses says he is thankful for.
Moses says his family owned almost nothing when he was growing up.
"Rough living" was what he knew but Moses says it made him stronger and taught him to appreciate his loved ones.
It also strengthened the bond between himself and his cousins Pene and Amitai, who he would eventually share the stage with as Sol3 Mio. And it shows in their performances such as December's Christmas in the Park, where thousands laughed and clapped at the "brotherly banter".
Moses says whenever they perform they attempt to put each other off.
Singing took priority for Moses after he was invited to further his opera studies in Wales with Pene and Amitai.
The trio put on a fundraiser concert at Massey High School in 2012 to raise the $120,000 fee for Moses.
He says they lost money on the gig but a Universal Music employee happened to be in the audience.
From there they were signed, Moses was able to travel to Wales and then they returned home to record their album.
Moses, a baritone, says he hopes to inspire young Samoans to follow their dreams.
"For me it's almost putting a footprint on the earth, creating a pathway for someone else to follow."
Moses' journey started with the NZ Youth Choir and at age 17 he performed in a backing choir for internationally renowned opera singer Andrea Bocelli.
At 21 he became a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with the New Zealand Opera company.
The former Rosmini College head boy has acted on television series Spartacus and toured with George Benson.
Sol3 Mio play Vector Arena on March 29. Tickets from Ticketmaster.
- © Fairfax NZ News