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Watch Aro's Video For 'Tohorā'

Watch Aro's Video For 'Tohorā'

Chris Cudby / Thursday 10th March, 2022 2:51PM

Husband and wife duo Aro, aka Charles (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Te Ata, Ngāti Mutunga) and Emily Looker (nee Rice), have shared sun-dappled new visuals for beat-driven ballad 'Tohorā', the closing track from their 2021 He Wai EP. Sung in both te reo Māori and English, the single's video is "inspired by the story of kauri and the whale (Tohorā)," reimagined as young brothers (actors Jair & Dominic) representing land and sea, who encounter a frightening Taniwha after venturing together underwater. Directed by Hattie Adams, produced by Ryan Bradley and made with support from NZ On Air, the clip features a cartoony animated sequence by Georgia Shattky.

“This song is about the way a Tohorā (whale) is depicted in Māori legends, as a guardian, much like some people can be in our lives. This song is a dedication to those who have been there for us when we needed them to be.

According to Northland iwi, the kauri tree is the ancestor of the sperm whale. Many moons ago Parāoa called out to Kauri from the sea, “Hey Kauri, come join me in the ocean”. But Kauri said, “I don’t think so. It’s much warmer for my roots here on land”. Therefore, as an act of kinship, and to help protect each other, they traded skin. This is why their skin is similar to this day.

The video depicts this story with two young brothers, one representing land, the other sea. They meet together on a beach and play, and soon decide to adventure underwater together, but after a scary encounter with a Taniwha, the two realise they do not belong in the same environment. They decide to trade skin, symbolising their bond with one another and return to their respective homes as connected friends.”

Aro's 'He Wai' EP is out now via major streaming services.


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