Sia released the video for “Alive,” the lead single off her forthcoming album, This Is Acting, on Thursday, and like her previous videos, Sia is nowhere to be found. Instead she cast Mahiro Takano, a 9-year-old Japanese child star, to be the sole performer in the clip.
The video, directed by Daniel Askill and Sia and shot in Chiba, Japan, shows Takano practicing mixed martial arts in a black-and-white wig in a plain room. We see nothing besides her athleticism. Not much is known about Takano, but EW dug up a few ways to get to know Sia’s latest find.
1. She was the subject of a viral video
Last year, a video of Takano at 7 years old appeared online with little description. The clip showed her practicing Kanku Dai kata, a choreographed pattern of movements that can either be practiced alone or with a partner, and garnered almost 5 million views.
2. Sia found her online
Last year, Sia cast Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler in the music video for “Chandelier,” and Ziegler told EW that she connected with the artist after Sia tweeted at her. This time around, Sia’s rep tells EW she also used the web to find a new wunderkind and got in touch with Takano after seeing her videos on YouTube.
3. She’s also an actress and a dancer
Takano isn’t just a mixed martial arts prodigy; she has a background in acting and dancing. As seen in clips found online, she’s also appeared in commercials like this one for Aeon, a massive retailer in Japan.
4. She regularly practices Karate with Rika Usami
Videos show Takano with Usami, the 29-year-old Japanese karate star who won the World Karate Championship in 2012. Together they’re a force, and have racked up thousands of views on YouTube.
5. She’s a bad ass
Takano has won dozens of karate titles in her elementary schools, and earlier this year the Japan Karatedo Federation certified her as a 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Karate ambassador. Clip after clip of Takano shows patience, restraint, and serious physical power. We can’t stop watching.