1 Sep 2016

The Singles Life: Bow down to Parris Goebel

9:59 am on 1 September 2016

Welcome to weekly series The Singles Life, where known experts Katie Parker and Hussein Moses peruse, ponder and pontificate on the latest and (maybe) greatest in New Zealand music.

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Photo: Unknown

Everyone knows Parris Goebel for being our very own superstar choreographer expat extraordinaire, but did you know she’s got a burgeoning music career in the works? Katie Parker and Hussein Moses take out their headphone bobbles and put on their thinking hats to discuss Parris’ swift ascent to glory.


Katie: Parris Goebel is big right now. Huge. She’s our biggest, best and coolest export to date. (Sorry Lorde.) I don’t know how she has time to launch her own music career at the same time as having several dance troupes, having reality shows about those dance troupes, choreographing every single person in pop (and K-pop) AND shilling NZ Post. She’s a total wunderkind.

Nasty and Friday are two videos she’s released recently ahead of an upcoming EP, Run and Tell Your Friends, and obviously the production and visuals and dancing are *flames emoji*.


Hussein: Bow down, everyone. It was only a matter of time before Parris Goebel took centre stage and delivered a line like “You say you got friends … where they at though?” Launching a music career in the lead-up to the VMAs – where she was nominated for masterminding the visuals to Justin Bieber’s glorious smash hit Sorry – felt all too perfect as well, even if the timing was actually engineered with that in mind. PARRI$, as she’s going by in her songs, is going to be a nightmare for the “who’s next” artists lining up for their shot at the top. One piece of advice for them: get the hell out of the way.

Katie: She’s just so cool. It’s hard to imagine anyone here even bothering to try and follow her because obviously no one really could. You’re so right about the VMAs timing, plus she looked great on the red carpet. I think Nasty and Friday, both the tracks and the videos, work because it just feels communal and collaborative and fun and modern. She’s launching a solo pop career but it’s as though she’s bringing her friends with her. It’s not a cult of personality so much as a movement.

Hussein: I’m pretty curious to know who’s behind the boards of Nasty. There was talk of the EP being produced in collaboration with P-Money, but apparently Friday was actually co-written by New Zealand duo Jupiter Project (aka rap’s 48 May). What I do know is that Nasty and Friday are the best videos we’ve seen since SWIDT’s No More Parties In Stoneyhunga, which better win some sort of NZ Music Award come November.

Katie: I love how as well as the dancing, she’s really established a kind of a signature production aesthetic and style, and the frenetic single-shot camera style of Nasty reminds me a lot of the video she did with K-Pop star CL for Hello Bitches. She’s harnessing the power of global female talent and pioneering melting pot pop. How could you not love it?

Hussein: Here she is explaining the Nasty video to The Fader, where it premiered:

“The concept was to embrace the natural feel of New Zealand, and I wanted to shoot on a farm while the sun was setting,” she said. “All the dancers — who are part of my core squad — were wearing clothing that was made to feel fresh and raw to represent the beautiful outdoors of our country.”

It’s worth noting that none of this is being done with support from a record label, unless they’re staying super low-key about it for now. Nor is there any sign of funding from NZ On Air. The brand is strong.

Katie: The brand is super strong; she’s got her own sound and aesthetic and the love of a nation behind her. Should we be offended she’s not using her Kiwi accent?


KRS-One did a fake patois
Miss Cleo got a fake patois
Even Jay-Z did a fake patois
Bad Brains had a fake patois
My man Snow had a fake patois
Even Jim Carrey fuck with the patois
So you know he come through with the fake patois

- Das Racist

Katie: Alrighty then.

Follow Katie and Hussein on Twitter.