Aro are taking their music on the road this spring to celebrate and share the stories of our waters, in support of their latest project, & EP release He Wai. The tour intentionally coincides with Māhuru Māori and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori which celebrates the Māori language.
Aro are performing across the whenua, throughout September & October, visiting coastal communities, big & small, and other intimate venues near bodies of water as part of their He Wai National release tour.
Husband and wife duo, Charles Looker (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Te Ata, Ngāti Mutunga) and Emily Looker, proudly share a passion for the power of language and music to tell stories and remind us of our cultural identity. The moving new EP, He Wai celebrates 5 waiata inspired and guided by our relationship to te taiao and what we can learn from it about ourselves and each other.
He Wai, is the band’s 3rd project. The EP release features Aros signature playful and uplifting sound, using a plethora of instruments and taonga pūoro, including guitars, strings and saxophone. A multi-genre offering of storytelling pop, RnB, electronic and jazz, fusing vocals, tāonga puoro and chants, each song also thematically explores the ideas of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga – looking after ourselves, looking after each other and looking after our environment.
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 UoAs songwriter of the year, has gone on to release four successful EPs 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 and have a new baby girl called Olive – who arrived in Feb 2021. This will be the first tour with pēpi and the couple are excited to be taking her on the road for her first big trip around the motu, with a grandparent or two joining them for parts of the adventure.
“The musicianship through out – haunting and interlocking vocals, stick percussion, evocations of taonga puoro, touches of Latin rhythms – is clever and diverse” – Graham Reid | Elsewhere Magazine
“This is currently my go-to album to take a break from the world and let the music wash over me.” – Corinne Rutherford | muzic.net.nz
Aro – He Wai Release Tour:
Tickets available via undertheradar & aromusic.co.nz from Tuesday July 13th.
Saturday 4th September- Bellamys Gallery – Dunedin
Saturday 11th September – House with no Nails – Wardville / Matamata
Friday 17th September – 4th Wall Theatre – New Plymouth
Thursday 23rd September – Le Cafe – Picton
Friday 24th September – Boathouse – Nelson
Saturday 9th October – Dvine Oasis – Russell
Labour Weekend – Wellington Folk Festival
Saturday October 30th – Music on the Mall – Onehunga