The Koi Boys have returned to the motherland after The Voice Australia catapulted the group to fame two years ago – and just in time to perform an evening of Motown classics with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
The Koi Boys' Kevin Keepa, Danny Faifai and Nuz Ngatai joined TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning to talk about their success overseas.
Keepa said, "Lots of doors have opened for us that might not have prior to that. We’re rolling along quite nicely, actually, ‘cause we’re here – look! Keeps us foot still in the pond, so to speak".
Another member, Faifai, described their new life in Australia as "glamorous".
"Sun! Nah, at the moment, it's really cold over there. Yeah, nah, it's been great, man. We're pretty busy. We just got back from Fiji couple days ago. We've been doing functions – quite a few of them overseas," Faifai said.
"That's what The Voice has done for us – open doors."
Keepa described The Voice Australia as "an eye-opener", saying the group "went through quite a bit" during their time on the show.
"[The Voice Australia coach] Jessie J was quite cool. She had a potty mouth, you know, off-camera, but I think I remember I said that, you know, we thought we knew everything until we went on that show," he said.
One member, Ngatai, was on reality TV show The GC before appearing on The Voice Australia with the Koi Boys.
"I was already part of the boys during that time, and I was on season one and season three of The GC. I think the boys actually cameoed on the first season, where they captured me at Koi doing my own thing on the streets, so yeah, it was a great journey," Ngatai said.
Faifai said life after fame has been "pretty hectic".
"Every Sunday is just full-on. The audience comes up – it's always different, they're always from around Australia and overseas, and they’re always booking out bars – gets ugly," he said.
Keepa says there have been moments where entire restaurants have been booked out by Kiwis looking to see the group live.
"A lot of folk coming from New Zealand over to see us, so restaurant all full of Kiwis, mostly, sometimes. We always ask, ‘Any Australians here?’ No one puts up their hand up. Everyone’s Kiwis," he said.
However, he says despite the fame, the Gold Coast-based group "get homesick a lot".
"See my whānau, my family and the kai, which is always the best. Here, when you come home, not saying that – will that get me in trouble? Nah. You know, I was saying to Danny, 'Oh, you know I saw Keith Quinn on TV', and said, 'You know you're back home when you see Keith Quinn on the TV screen'. Just things like that."
Faifai says they're currently writing new music, as well as "working on a new project for 2019" – filming an unnamed reality TV series.