Inspired by recent events and experiences the pair have released their stunning new Waiata and video clip for ‘Kia Mau’. Aro, proudly brought together, for this very special video, their family and friends – coming together to emphasise the importance of maintaining relationships and respect for people even if we don’t agree with them.
‘Kia Mau’ comes off the back of their Top 10 NZ single ‘Tohorā’, released earlier this year. ‘Tohora’ captured hearts & minds around the Motu with the pairs stunning vocals, the videos quintessential, breathtaking New Zealand imagery and the delightful young cast.
Timed perfectly for NZ Music Month, they further this recent success with ‘Kia Mau’, featuring ‘Aro’s’ signature playful and uplifting sound, with vocals melding together perfectly and with an awareness of recent covid related divisions between families and friends, nationwide, at the forefront.
“Our waiata “Kia Mau” is about maintaining relationships and respect with people even if we don’t agree with them. “He tapu te tangata ahakoa ko wai” is a mātāpono from the founding document, Te Aho Matua, of kura kaupapa Māori that Charles learnt while at school. It means that a person is sacred no matter who they are or where they come from – or what their opinion is.”
Silver Scroll APRA Maioha Award and APRA Best Children’s Award Finalists, ‘Aro’, are made up of husband and wife Charles (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Te Ata, Te Ati Awa) and Emily Looker (nee Rice). The Auckland based pair share a passion for the power of language and music to tell stories and remind us of our cultural identity.
The pair have become well known for their multi-genre offering of storytelling pop, RnB, electronic and jazz, fusing vocals, tāonga puoro and chants, and for often exploring the ideas of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga – looking after ourselves, looking after each other and looking after our environment.
The duo are also taking their music on the road through June in celebration of Kia Mau and their recent releases. This will be the first time fans and music lovers around the motu will have the chance to hear these songs live , due to covid 19 cancelling 3 of their tours over the past couple of years.
The pair are performing from Auckland to Bluff during and around Matariki 2022, as part of the Te Waipounamu Matariki programme – where they will be bringing workshops to schools and public spaces as well as being part of Matariki festivals, and a few ticketed shows along the way.
For the ‘Kia Mau’ video, the pair proudly brought together some of their whanau & friends to put differences aside and unite for this ever-important message. Directed and produced by Tom Grut – who they had the pleasure of working with in the past on projects like their charming single Baby Beat.
“The cast consists of our real family and friends, some of who were a little hesitant to be on camera but tautoko the kaupapa, each with our own beliefs and political views to truly represent what we’re singing about. ‘Kia Mau’ is an encouragement and an invitation to engage in conversation with others, listening to try to understand each other, eye to eye, face to face – kanohi ki te kanohi, and it doesn’t mean we have to agree with each other either.”
‘Aro’ have been performing nationwide in Aotearoa since 2017 with headline tours, festival dates and on tour support, as well as having had their music & performances featured on radio, TV & press around the country numerous times in recent years.
Both Emily & Charles have successful careers in music as individuals, but meld together with a stunning harmony and a breathtaking loving presence as ‘Aro’, Emily, who performs solo under her maiden name, Emily Rice, has been twice finalist of UoA’s songwriter of the year, has gone on to release four successful EP’s since 2012, has lived and performed across Europe and collaborated with countless fellow musicians, and is also currently part of the rōpū House of Misfits.
Charles has been writing and performing since 2012, studying first at MAINZ and then completing a Bachelor of Music at Auckland University. He then went on to complete a scholarship Post Grad in teaching and trained as a Te Reo Māori teacher. Charles is also part of House of Misfits and is one of the key songwriters of this collaborative gospel group.
After living in a van touring full time, writing music together for two years from 2017-2019, the couple now base themselves in Pukekohe with their daughter Olive – who arrived in Feb 2021.
Aro 2022 Matariki Tour Dates:
Tour details – Details and tickets can be found at Aro Music.
- Sat 4th June | Taste of Pasifika – 3pm on Queens Wharf, Auckland Details
- Friday 10th June | The Raumati Social Club – 7pm Tickets
- Tuesday 14th June | The Academy, Geraldine – 7pm Tickets
- Sat 18th June | Bellamys Gallery, Dunedin – 7pm Tickets
- Friday 24th June | Murihiku Matariki, Queens Park Invercargill 6 – 8pm
- Saturday 25th June | Invercargill Public Library 11 am
- Saturday 25th June | Winton Public Library 3 pm
- Saturday 25th June | Murihiku Matariki Queens Park Invercargill 6- 8pm
- Thursday 30th June | Puketeraki marae Karitane – public workshop and show from 6.30 pm
- Friday 1st July | Araiteuru marae – public workshop and show from 6.30 pm
- Sat 2nd July | Te Whare o Rukutia – A pou for Ōtepoti’s performing arts community 2-4 pm
- Sat 8th July | Auckland Art Gallery – family show 10.30am