Parris Goebel aka Parri$ is the New Zealander sitting at the top of the cool charts. Singing and dancing from the age of 12, at 18 she set up her very own hip hop dance company called The Palace. 18 awards at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships later and she's one of the most talked about names in the business. Having received three separate nominations for her work on Justin Bieber's Sorry and choreographed Rihanna's brilliant 2016 VMA performance, the 25-year-old's CV also includes work for the likes of Janet Jackson, J-Lo and Nicki Minaj. Now, she's turning her attention to her own music career. Two singles deep (both colourful club tune Friday and trappy skrrrt-filled NASTY were released complete with self-directed, produced and choreographed music videos in August), we were left anticipating what might come next and Fiyah is a most welcome surprise. But if that wasn't all, young Parri$ has just landed the gig of a lifetime, as a judge on Elton John's The Cut, a YouTube competition and talent search for the music video directors of tomorrow. Here, she explains what she's looking for.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I have one older brother and two older sisters along with lots of nephews and one niece. I spend around 10 months of the year traveling the world.
What is it that you do and what was the biggest influence on your decision? Who and what inspired you?
I am a dancer, a choreographer, a director and a creative. My decision to follow dance was the passion I had about dance from a young age. I am inspired by things around me and also by all the dancers in my studio in New Zealand.
Did you always know what you wanted to be when you were younger?
Definitely something to do with dancing. Around the age of 11 years old I knew it was hip hop.
How/where did you hone your craft?
Originally I was self taught and just watched lots of clips on YouTube learning different styles. Then I travelled to the USA and learnt of various choreographers. Then just kept working hard in the studio and developed my own style.
Do you think that going to university is necessary in securing a career in your industry?
It really depends what you want a career in. If you want to be a lawyer, doctor, engineer then you need to go to university. I left school at the age of 15 and have made a career in dance.
What's the moment that made you?
When I left school. I had no choice but to get to work to make a career and achieve my goals.
What's been your career highlight?
Couldn't really choose one thing as each thing has been an highlight for a different reason. Then thing I am most famous for is the 13 videos I created for Justin Bieber.
Who is your favourite dance partner of all time?
I always love dancing with my ReQuest girls.
Can you tell us a bit about The Palace, what it stands for, when it was set up, why etc.
I opened the Palace at the age of 17, so we had a home to train and develop. Since then we have grown and added crews of all different ages. It is a place where dancers can chase their dreams and also provides a pathway for dancers to have a career. I love coming home to work in the studio. It's a place where everyone is family.
If you could dance with anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and why?
Michael Jackson, the king of pop! He could dance.
How does dancing make you feel?
What's the best way to wing it when you forget a dance step?
What's the song that gets you immediately on the dancefloor?
It changes to whatever I'm listening too but Missy always gets me up.
Image via Instagram
What's the best piece of advice anyone has ever shared with you?
Hard work pays off.
What advice would you give to anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Be prepared to work hard. Have great support around you. Dream big. Passion is the most important ingredient to ensure you never give up.
Can you tell us about the project you're working on with Elton John?
Elton John is going to make three music videos to his biggest hits and is running a search worldwide for entries. I am fortunate to be helping select a winner for Bennie & the Jets.
What are you looking for in contestants?
Art, fashion, innovative choreography and the piece must be timeless.
What's your favourite music video of all time?
Missy Elliott, Lose Control.
What excites you most about your creative future?
I want to create things that the world has never seen. There are no boundaries or limits to what can be created these days.
Where will you be and what will you be doing in 2020?
Directing movies and shows.
Text Tish Weinstock