Parris Goebel, dancer-choreographer-director, transitioned to the next phase in her career Friday night in Las Vegas, adding recording artist to the multi-hyphenate’s list of credits.
The New Zealand artist gave the first live performance of her single, “Friday,” during a late-night centerpiece spotlight at the Westin in Lake Las Vegas. The premiere came during Hip Hop International’s (HHI) week-long competition that crowns U.S. and world dance champions in multiple categories.
ReQuest and mega crew the Royal Family, dance crews that have involved Goebel as a dancer and organizer, have competed in the event, with the Royal Family winning a record three straight gold medals at the world championships. The group, which features dancers seen in Goebel’s other endeavors, hauled in the bronze medal on Saturday night.
Those projects include Goebel choreographing and directing a video for Justin Bieber, and crafting moves for Janet Jackson’s most recent tour, for Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott, Jennifer Lopez and even Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson’s ONE.” Goebel chatted about finally being able to debut her secretive endeavor at HHI.
When did you decide that recording music would be your next step?
It wasn’t until the beginning of last year. I kind of fell into it and was doing a favor for a friend. It just kind of sparked a light in me and inspired me to take it a bit more seriously and see if I could fuse all of my gifts and talents together to create something really special.
What did you do on the album, and how involved were you in making it?
I rap and sing, and I’ve co-written and co-produced a lot of the music. It’s definitely been a whole process in putting it all together. I feel like when people hear it, they’ll know that it’s authentically, genuinely from me.
Your choreography is very specific for those who know what to look for – so how’s your music? Any familiar influences?
I don’t really know. It’s like a fusion of all my favorite styles and genres. I guess once you hear it, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
How is the music scene and business in New Zealand as opposed to what you may have experienced in different parts of the world?
There isn’t really a huge music business in New Zealand compared to over here in America. I’ve been making some good connections over here, meeting different people. There just isn’t really much there.
You directed and choreographed Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” video, which is currently at over a billion and a half views. People probably really want to see what you’ll do with your own song with choreography ...
A few of the video clips will premiere at HHI. [The show is] a whole experience because it’s choreography, music and visuals, so they’ll be seeing snippets of the video during the show.
Debuting your music, or your first public performance of it, at HHI is kind of like coming home. What do you expect as a reaction?
I’m just excited, really, to share my work with people that I know will appreciate it and be into it enough to not put any negativity into it. It’s such a positive crowd, and that’s really what you want – you just want people to be open-minded and be there to support you and not bring you down. I’m really excited and have been working really hard on this. It’s something that I’ve been keeping to myself and waiting for the right time, but it’s been a long time for me to actually put this out. I’ve had this for a while, not putting anything out into the public – so it’s been a little bit nerve-wracking, but yeah, I’m excited.