Watch: Nine-year-old karate expert in Sia's new 'Alive' music video

Watch Mahiro's amazing moves in Sia's new video clip.
Watch Mahiro's amazing moves in Sia's new video clip.  Photo: YouTube

Move over Maddie, Sia's got a new sidekick.

Australian singer and songwriter Sia has released the video to her new song Alive. Instead of featuring the very talented Maddie Ziegler we are used to seeing, the clip puts nine-year-old martial arts star, Mahiro Takano, in the spotlight. 

Similar to Sia's previous clips, choreography plays a huge part with Takano performing a series of karate moves while wearing a two-toned Sia wig.

This isn't Takano's first few minutes of fame.

In 2009 a video of Takano, who is also the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Karate Ambassador, performing her moves  was viewed over four millions times.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, co-director Daniel Askill, who also worked on Sia's videos Chandelier, Elastic Heart and Big Girls Cry, said the new clip is their way of continuing the storyline from Chandelier.

"I thought we were in some way finding a sort of nemesis or friend to Maddie [Ziegler, star of "Chandelier"], that maybe Maddie was someone in America who had been inspired by Sia's music to make the choreography, and maybe in the Far East there was a counterpoint to Maddie - Mahiro," said Askill.

"We decided to make the new avatar something in that space. We still wanted to do choreography, and this moved away from traditional dance and became based on martial arts."


Shot in Chiba, Japan, Askill says he and Sia were initially looking at young actors who had been in martial arts films. After the success they had with Ziegler, finding her through Dance Moms and YouTube, they headed online.

"I think at one point I was like, 'Sia, I wouldn't be surprised if we could find someone out there who's a little less discovered with amazing talent. Sia jumped online and started Googling something like 'young karate expert' and she immediately sent me links she dug up. It became clear Mahiro was a star."

Most importantly, what Askill hopes Sia fans take away from watching the new video clip is "empowerment."

"Fundamentally, hopefully, with all of these videos there's a message of empowerment for people who like Sia's music — young girls around the world, expressing yourself in a way that's truly yourself. It's about celebrating the spirit of the individual," he said. 

Alive was written by Sia with Adele, and will features on Sia's upcoming album This Is Acting, released next year. 

Watch the video above. 

See more: 

Kristen Wiig and Maddy Ziegler's powerful Grammy performance with Sia

Maddie Ziegler doesn't know what Sia's 'Elastic Heart' video is about