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The Singles Life: When did Naz become New Zealand’s BBQ Reggae it-girl?

Thursday 13th July 2017

Welcome to weekly series The Singles Life, where known experts Katie Parker and Hussein Moses peruse, ponder and pontificate on the latest and (maybe) greatest in New Zealand music

Bachelor NZ babe Naz was always destined for greater things than competing for the affections of the country’s most random guy, and her latest project is no exception - though at first glance it does raise some questions. Katie and Hussein are here to answer them.

***

What the hell are we watching?

Hussein: *Alex Behan voice* It’s my utmost pleasure to present ‘Groove Shooter’, the new single from Strangely Arousing.

 

Who are Strangely Arousing?

Hussein: The band describe themselves as “musical gypsies”, and their free spirit and wandering ways seem to have taken them from their hometown of Rotorua to the big smoke that is Auckland city.

Here's a quote straight from their own bio, which I truly and honestly didn't make up:

“Emerging from an era in which Fat Freddy’s Drop and Red Hot Chili Peppers are considered heritage artists and humans are no longer boxed by sexuality, one might describe Strangely Arousing as “Trans Genre!” And comfortably so.”

RIP me.

More importantly, do I spy Naz from The Bachelor NZ?

Katie: You do indeed! Everyone’s favourite scorned runner-up Nazanin 'Naz' Khanjani plays herself here in a parody/utopian alterna-world in which she has finally taken her rightful place as the Bachelorette. As you will no doubt remember, the country fell in love with Naz last year while competing for the heart of dud weirdo Jordan Mauger only for him to pick a girl he lost interest in five minutes later. Sassy and saucy, Naz is now an icon of New Zealand pop culture, a national treasure, and all around sexy lady beloved by all.

Is this Naz’s first foray into the weird and wonderful world of music videos?

Hussein: She's been here before, weirdly enough. Perhaps you remember her as the love interest in the video for K Dread's local reggae slow jam 'Jah Truly Bless'? Or... perhaps not. The video wasn't quite the moment anyone involved was likely hoping for, but that's what you get when you ignore all of Naz’s best qualities and instead have her trying to look enthusiastic about walking around Whanganui on a cold and cloudy day.

Naz just wasn't made for a lesser role. At least Strangely Arousing understand that much. (I'm getting grossed out the more I have to write their name down, by the way.) 'Groove Shooter' is a nod to everything that's absurd and amusing about The Bachelor NZ, but it works because Naz is in on the joke. Now we just have to figure out how she became the it-girl for BBQ Reggae videos.

Why is this four minute long video better than three whole seasons of The Bachelor NZ?

Katie: Because, unlike The Bachelor New Zealand, here we are given everything we could possibly want including the closest thing our country will probably ever get to a season of The Bachelorette.

As I have mentioned before, the reluctance, nay, refusal, of the Bachelor NZ producers to consider a female-led version of the show is a travesty and this only goes to show what we are missing: Naz in a starring role; Naz looking gorgeous in hot outfits; Naz shooting down unworthy males; and, of course, Mike Puru back from the dead. Oh what could be.

Wait isn’t Mike Puru still bummed about the Bach?

Katie: Yes! Which makes his appearance here all the more exciting. Having been dumped from his Bachelor NZ hosting duties in favour of perma-tanned replicant Dominic Bowden, Mike has been candid about his resentment towards the show and its producers at MediaWorks.

So what is he doing here? Looking bright eyed and bushy tailed, Mike’s cheery appearance here feels like a nice hearty surprise bitch to MediaWorks who, I note, did not share the video on any platforms or acknowledge it in any way.  

Why do some of these shaggy boys seem so familiar?

Hussein: That'll be The Vibes, from everyone's favourite faux-hippy band Brendon Thomas and The Vibes. They too came up short on a reality TV show - The X Factor NZ - and haven't made quite the dent in the music industry that was promised by their mentor Shelton Woolright. To be completely honest, it's really hard to tell these guys apart, so I'm not fully sure which of them are from Brendon Thomas and The Vibes and who is from Strangely Arousing.

How did they pull this off?

Katie: Employing the same production crew responsible for previous video ‘Kupenga’, it seems the Strangely Arousing boys got lucky and managed to use the crew’s TV3 connects to snare Naz who apparently is very generous with her time.

What does this tell us about the state of BBQ Reggae in 2017?

Hussein: It’s the official soundtrack for first year university students and it will never die. This is not a joke: Six60's last album has been on the NZ Top 40 chart for 123 weeks now. Read that sentence again. It's probably about time we made peace with it.

How can we express our appreciation for Strangely Arousing?

Katie: I have just the thing:

 

We committed Wellington, you should too #arousal

A post shared by Strangely Arousing (@strangelyarousing) on

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