take an exclusive look at rihanna choreographer parri$' new music video

Fresh off the back of three VMA nominations for her work on Justin Bieber’s 'Sorry,' the proud Polynesian choreographer, dancer, and musician is taking giant steps into her own music career as she releases the fierce video for third single, 'FIYAH.'

by Francesca Dunn and Frankie Dunn
26 September 2016, 6:58pm

Parris Goebel (aka Parri$) is the New Zealander sitting at the top of the cool charts. The 24-year-old received three VMA nominations for her work on Justin Bieber's "Sorry" and choreographed Rihanna's brilliant 2016 VMA performance; her CV also includes work for the likes of Janet Jackson, JLo, and Nicki Minaj. Now, she's turning her attention to her own music career. 

Already two singles deep (both colorful club tune "Friday" and trappy skrrrt-filled "NASTY" were released with self-directed, produced, and choreographed music videos in August), Parri$ has kept us eagerly anticipating what might come next. Her newest project, "Fiyah," is a most welcome surprise. There's something quite CL about the single in both attitude and style; Parri$' sultry flow is broken up with a fittingly fiery chorus. 

Of course, given her status in the dance world, the accompanying video is a thing of beauty. Shot in London, the visual sees her lead a beautiful crew of dancers through the city streets and into a church. There's a solid dose of head-shaving, fire breathing, and dog walking. Her look is fierce and her monogrammed cape is the best. Overwhelmed by the "Fiyah," we called her up for a quick chat.

How did you first get into dancing?
I have always loved dancing from a young age and my mom enrolled me in a performing arts course that did a variety of styles.

Do you remember your first performance?
I think it was in elementary school with my sister.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
If you dream big and work hard then you can achieve anything.

What was it like working with Rihanna for her VMA performance?
Amazing — she is such a great individual and is really at the top of the game in music around the world. It was special to choreograph for her and also to have six of my girls from ReQuest Dance Crew dance with her.

And how was it attending?
It was my first time and I had a great time. Walking the red carpet was very special and was proud to wear a Samoan dress to represent my culture. It was definitely a star-studded event.

How would your friends describe you?
Very focused and driven to achieve my goals. There are no grey areas for me and I tell it like I see it. My family means the world to me.

Where are you from? What's the best thing about your hometown?
Auckland, New Zealand. The best thing is that it's where my family lives.

How important is it to you that you represent Polynesia as a young woman in 2016?
Growing up I didn't really have a lot of Polynesian female role models to look up to, so I feel it is really important for me to represent not only Samoa but all Polynesians. If a little girl from South Auckland can make it, then I want to encourage all our kids to do the same.

Have you been to Paris?
Yes and I loved it. The energy there is great and the dancers are very unique.

What do you think of the current trend of interpretive dance solos in music videos?
I feel any dance in videos is great for the industry. You see all types of expressions and interpretation of music and lyrics. It's great to see so many forms being used.

Tell us a little about the video for "FIYAH."
"FIYAH" was filmed in London and was very much inspired by the landscape and my friends there. Fashion is a big part of the video, and the church we filmed in was breathtaking. Walking the streets of London was raw, and then having our own fire truck with female fire breathers just brought the whole video to life.

What exciting projects do you have coming up?
I really want to create something in film and TV.

What advice would you give to those wanting to pursue a career in dancing?
You have to work everyday at improving your craft. The more hours you spend in the studio with the right teachers and dancers, the better you are going to become. Dance is a way of seeing the world — something you can wake up and do each day if you are passionate and love what you are doing.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Creating things that the world has not seen.

Parris Goebel
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