“Blending Emily’s honey voiced jazz with Charles’ full throated percussive sound with shades of haka, Aro’s story telling performance adds up to a warmth of experience, wholly original, anchored in Aotearoa, that leave all who are present with the feeling of having been let in on a special secret. On Waitangi Day 2019 Aro released their debut album Manu – a bilingual – te reo Māori & English, 10 track album transcribed from the melodies and rhythms of Aotearoa’s native birds, playing on their characteristics, and some of their significance for Māori to convey messages about life. Aro shared this album nationwide from Russell to Stewart Island with 25 shows, and are now working on a follow up EP called ‘He Manu Ano’, featuring 5 more songs inspired by the birds.”


19 August 2019: Aro were announced as finalists for the 2019 APRA Maioha Award for their song ‘Korimako’!



The APRA Maioha Award recognises the art of contemporary Māori songwriting and honours composers who are telling their stories in the language of Te Ao Māori.

2019 finalists:

  • Ka Ao by Tyna Keelan, Angelique Te Rauna, and Matauranga Te Rauna
  • Korimako by Emily and Charles Looker, performed by Aro
  • Paiheretia by Kaaterama Pou
  • Te Kete Aronui by Mara Te Kahika and Cory Champion, performed by Mara TK

There were more entries than ever before for the 2019 APRA Maioha Award, and the judges found it hard to choose just three finalists, so this year we have four.

All are first time finalists aside from Tyna Keelan (Ngati Porou, Ngati Rongomaiwahine, and Ngati Kahu) who took home Te Ngore when he won the Maioha Award in 2011 for his work Ko Koe. This year Tyna has teamed up with newcomer Angelique Te Rauna and her uncle Matauranga to write Ka Ao, which is a beautiful piano ballad about finding self-confidence and following dreams.

Also newcomers, Emily and Charles Looker (also known as Aro) are recognised for their song Korimakothis year.  Blending Emily’s smooth voice with Charles’ full throated percussive sound with shades of haka, Korimako is a warm, upbeat waiata from their debut album Manu – a bilingual album released on Waitangi Day which is inspired by our native birds.

Kaaterama Pou (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa) was inspired by gospel for her finalist song Paiheretia, from her debut EP Shine Your Light. Having impressed judges at the Waiata Maori Music Awards, winning the Best Emerging Artist prize in 2017, she’s now garnering attention by addressing indigenous and environmental issues through her music.

The son of Māori psychedelic rock legend Billy TK – Mara TK (Ngai Tahu, Ngati Kahungunu, and Tainui) is a finalist for his brand new work Te Kete Aronui, alongside drummer Cory Champion. It’s a soulful ballad infused with modern beats and various shimmering string parts, looking for faith and wisdom.




Kākāriki Music Video now out!

Released on 28th August 2019

Video Produced by Lance Revoir & Aro.

Director & Director of Photography – Lance Revoir.  1st Assistant Director – Angelina Mullins. Assistant Camera Bailey Hollingsworth & Ceci Johnson. Production Assistants – Abby Madsen & Paige Hamblin

Tauhou Music Video out now!

Released on World Refugee Day, 20th June 2019

This video was filmed, produced and directed by Hattie, Ryan and Mozza from The NZ Broadcasting School.

Acting as the beautiful bird dancer is Sophie Overend, and our gorgeous little star is Indiana Pudney.



Introducing our Korimako Music Video!

Illustrated and animated by  Jade Oskar Harvey
3D Compositing and VFX by Benjamin Whorwood

Big thanks to Creative New Zealand who supported us with the nationwide tour, school workshops and part of the making of this video!


Manu Album Release Show | Auckland

Waitangi Day – 6th Feb 2019

Photography by Hayden Box









Our debut album ‘Manu’ is out now! Listen HERE.

Recorded, mixed and co-produced with Vivek Gabriel
Mastered by Nathan Tiddy

Musicians who joined us on the album are:

Shaun McClean on Taonga Puoro (Māori Instrumentation)
Samuel Kelsen on Electric Guitar
Christina Looker on Poi
Jocee Tuck on Vibraphone
Eamon Edmundson-Wells on Upright Bass

Music, Lyrics, vocals, Acoustic Guitar, claps and all the other lil sounds by Charles and Emily Looker… Aro!

SM manu

Aro’s Summer Tour #2


Hayden Box Photography








Aroha nui!

Thanks to EVERYONEEE who helped us with our Kickstarter campaign! The album is recorded and on it’s way! Feb 15th 2018 it’ll be everywhereeee


Nationwide Tour Numero Uno!


From Leigh Sawmill Cafe right down to South Sea Hotel on Stewart Island we went, sharing our music in 17 different spaces with kiwi’s and travellers from all over the place!

March 9th | Leigh Sawmill | w. The Low Low | Leigh | TICKETS at UTR
March 14th | Butter Factory | Whangarei | Koha
March 15th | Milk & Honey | Whangarei | Koha
March 18th | Deep Dreek Brewery | Browns Bay | Free Show
March 25th | The Bunker | Auckland | $10 on the door
April 1st | Tairua Beach Club | Tairua | Free Show with set menu
April 2nd | The Old Mill House | Tairua | Free Show
April 7th | Paisley Stage | Napier | $10 on the door
April 29th | Blue Smoke | Christchurch | Koha
May 4th | Dee’s Cafe | Dunedin | Koha
May 6th | Bellamy’s Gallery | Dunedin | $10 on the door
May 11th | South Sea Hotel | Stewart Island | Free Show
May 13th | Level One Bar | Invercargill | Dine & Listen for free
May 16th | World Bar | Queenstown | Free show
May 18th | Sombrero’s | Queenstown | Free show
May 19th | Queenstown Market 1-3pm | Queenstown
May 19th | Sherwood | W. Nicole Andrews | Queenstown | TICKETS at UTR
May 25th | Pub on the Wharf | Queenstown | Free Show
May 26th | Muskets & Moonshine | Queenstown | Free Show
May 27th | Redcliff Cafe | Te Anau | Free Show


We moved into our little home on wheels in December 2017, and decided to put an ep together with some of our songs, recorded from inside our very own Jamba (that’s the van!) over the last few months whilst on the road!
Below is our fav one buy you can check the rest out right here! The audio can also be found on BandCamp here.


We moved out of our home and into our van on December 16th to pursue full time music, it all started with backyard gigs, a campground tour and a whole heap of wedding singing along the way!

poster tour.jpg

Kumeu Live!


Single Release


I’m delighted to share with you the most recent release of our duo Aro, this is our song – ‘A hymn of faith’. Check it out online HERE

Thankful to all the people who were involved in bringing this music to life with us- Vivek Gabriel, Nick Dow and Pascal Roggen, as well as all the kind souls who helped us fun this!

Isn’t this cover art by Huia just beautiful!?

ARO hymn of Faith



The Courtyard release for ‘Aro EP’!
29th July 2017

Photography by Beka Hope




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“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 |

Incredible voices…gave us goosebumps! And such awesome chemistry. A pleasure to listen to and watch.” – Sophie Greenly | Concert Goer – Queenstown

“This authentic and talented duo played at Leigh Sawmill Cafe last night and deserved many more encores! Their voices together are magical, with some lyrics in Te Reo Māori and amazing looping skills…seriously worth watching! Kia ora” –  Eva Tui | Concert Goer – Leigh

“Love the musical gel linking the wairua in your voices. Kia kaha. Meinga meinga” – Jeanne Kelber Hill | Concert Goer – Paeroa

“This is lively and cheerful yet at the same time inspiring and engaging. I was completely captivated by the stories told through the birds and I very much look forward to seeing Aro perform this album live.” – Corinne Rutherford | album review


Reviews and in the Media

Aro Interview and live song on RNZ

Forest and Bird Article

Manu Album Review by Graham Reid

Manu Album Review by Corinne Rutherford

Gig Review, Jam Factory – Tauranga by Corinne Rutherford

Gig Review, Common Room – Hastings by Rosheen Fitzgerald

Te Karere TVNZ ‘Manu Release Show’ Interview



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