A Conversation With Samara Alofa

September 2, 2020

Samara Alofa is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Auckland, whose varied talent ranges from music, performance art, acting, visuals and more. 

We caught up with them to ask a few questions and find out what inspires their creativity.

Check out the interview below:

What drives you to create art? Is it to comment on the external world, communicate your internal experience or as an outlet for emotion or something else?

We originally started out writing songs when we were little to kinda help us process our relationship with the unseen vs external worlds. We have always sort of lived half here half there. So it is a way to sort of allow the unseen realms to say what they need to through us. To heal these neglected wounds. 

We come from a long line of knowers and healers so the mana outlet just sort of formed according to our natural interests and abilities. Our nanny’s and aunties communicating with us to keep us in check ya know. 

What would you say was your first passion, what were you creating from the earliest age you can remember?

Probably writing songs and storytelling. When we were little our siblings were so charismatic. We would line up on the fence and perform backstreet boys dances for the neighbours, of course, our eldest sister was the director and instigating force! We all have this beautiful expressive thing in us which we used to vibe together when we were little. Now we just roast one another haha. 

Yeah, but mine was for sure making up stories and songs, or remembering stories and songs. We’d sit at the piano alone for hours at or Nana Alofa’s place when we were little, making up melodies and crack up lyrics, while everyone else was eating and laughing haha. 

What is your biggest fear as a creator?

We fear the selfishness and greed of the industries that sort of draw in creatives. We can respect some things when it comes to the financial support of course, but when we are made to feel as though we are a puppet or a clown. We don’t stick around for very long. Our understanding of BIPOC history has kept us educated on how people have capitalised off of our ancestors’ bodies. So we try to keep ourselves aligned to sovereignty. 

When and where do you find yourself the most or least creatively inspired?

Most inspired around fluidity and softness. Least inspired around straight cis men with unsafe egos. Just to be frank. Lol. 

As a multi-disciplined artist, how do you balance and manage your different passions without getting distracted?

I’ll let you know when I figure that out hahahahahahaha. Ffs. 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in all the years you’ve been making art?

Nothing is ever permanent, not if you don’t want it to be. 

Looking back at your younger self, what do you feel have been your biggest strengths and your biggest weaknesses as a creative?

Oooo, strengths are probably tenacity and being able to flow with the tides. We don’t hold on to things too tightly ya know, our heart is very forgiving. 

Weaknesses in the past would be our overly trusting side haha. We have a really great grasp on this now though, after going through some really hurtful situations. Collaboration in the scope of creation is so sensitive so you got to know who to trust with your heart and divinity, in time we learn. 

Live and love and then learn. 

If there was one change you could make to the current New Zealand creative landscape, what would that be?

We lack accountability towards women/femmes. The industry favours masculinity and/or the un-consensual hypersexual gaze of femmes. Many out there are abused and shown no justice in our communities. Elders, leaders, teachers they all have their stories. Hardly any of them are shown justice. Victim blaming and ostracism is all too common and it’s really destroying our communities. What is sad is how many femmes still have to exist having their abusers walk smug and freely through spaces, as if nothing ever happened. 

Abusers get to be positioned as directors and leaders and are idolised, even after victims have come out and asked for some accountability. It’s destructive and effects the authenticity of what it is we create. 

You can see and hear it in the frequencies once you’ve tuned yourself to be wary of the predators. 

So the shifting in frameworks of ignorance towards the abuse, objectification and in-consensual hyper sexualisation of femmes within our creative industries and creative practices would be excellent! Oh and some fucking accountability yeah!?

Do you have any projects or events on the horizon that you’re working on?

Yeah, we have a new project coming out real soon, a sonic expressway! Something we’ve been sitting on for way too long now, but for good reasons 

When it’s all said and done, what do you hope to be remembered for as an artist?

Hopefully, someone who taught us to evolve outside of the restrictions of capitalistic, materialised methodologies. Hope to teach myself that along the way too tbh. Lol.

You can find Samara on Soundcloud below.

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