MIZHADO - The Arere Family Story


17 Apr 2018




MIZHADO - The Arere Family Story

17 Apr 2018

Chris Arere had a dream, to let his children follow their hearts in all their artistic endeavours and to set up a way to make that happen.

Chris, a musician, performer and sound engineer, undertook an Audio Diploma at SAE Auckland in the ’90s and has worked as a sound engineer ever since.

In 2012, faced with a heath condition which made him unable to work full time, and a 14-year-old son with a passion to become a music producer, he decided to go back and build on his diploma, completing his bachelor degree in audio so he could set up a company to help support his children when he was gone.

He created the production company Mizhado, and taught his 14-year-old son Migalleon Enzo (known by his producer name, Façade), everything he could to help him become a music producer. Now 18, Façade works full time for Mizhado as an audio producer.

Mizhado always had family at its heart. Mizhado is a mix of Chris’ three children’s names, Migalleon, Zharnell (Zaza) and Dollee.

Middle daughter, Zaza, had just finished an IT qualification when Chris said that he was going to go back to SAE again, this time to do his Diploma in Film Making to learn how to make music videos for the family’s production company.

Zaza piped up and said, ‘I think you’re a bit too old for that Dad, why I don’t I do it?’

Zaza had always been creative, and had recently decided that IT was not for her. But it wasn’t until her Dad’s announcement that she realised she wanted to work in film.

‘Suddenly I was like, hang on, I could do that.’

With her father’s support and encouragement Zaza enrolled in the Diploma in Film Making at SAE. After four months she said, ‘I had that moment where I was like ‘Yes!’ I knew I had found what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.’

She stayed on at SAE, finishing the Bachelor in Film Arts in 2017, while working with her brother on Mizhado. In her final year her lecturer put her forward for a job contracting at NZME as an video editor, where Zaza has been working ever since.

Zaza loved her time at SAE, where she was very successful. She says, ‘I had a blast. The best thing about it was the support and friendship of my class. We all pulled through together. I look back on my class and I’m like, that’s my family.’

While studying at SAE, Zaza worked with artists like Raze Williams, directing two of her music videos. One music video, ‘Figure Out’ was directed by Zaza and produced by Façade. Zaza directed Raze Williams’s most recent music video, ‘Round and Round’, too, which has clocked up almost 4,000 views on YouTube.

Three generations of the Arere’s live and work at home in the home studio Chris set up. The grandparents are, Zaza says, the foundation of the family.

‘The only reason we can do what we do is that our grandparents gave us financial stability of a house. Grandad cares about art. He always wanted to give us the opportunity to do what he never got to do. He wanted us to be able to study if we wanted to.’

These days, sadly, Chris is too ill to continue with the business, but he has successfully fulfilled his dream. Zaza and Enzo work both together and separately on projects. 

Their older sister, Dollee, is, according to Zaza, ‘A shoulder to cry on. We couldn’t do this without her.’

‘And Dad’s the head of it all, we couldn’t have got this far without his support, networks and advice. Plus, he’s the reason we can do any of this. We’re so grateful.’

Zaza says that Mizhado believes in coaching artists and everyone they have worked with so far have been young and Polynesian, ‘Our family take people in, and we help them realise their dream.’

‘Dad said people say, “never mix family with business”, but our family and our business is the one. In our family, if there are people in our home they’re not going away unfed.’

Academic Manager at SAE, Dr Stephen Small, says it’s been a pleasure and delight to watch the family go through both the film and audio programmes at SAE. ‘It’s been a special thing to witness and help foster the growth this company. We here at SAE wish Mizhado all the best with their future endeavours.’