By Cam Lucadou-Wells
From carols at the Music Bowl to national anthems at Melbourne Arena, 15-year-old singer-songwriter Paris Marie’s career arc has been nothing short of spectacular.
Paris, of Endeavour Hills, sang Advance Australia Fair in front of 10,000-plus fans at NBL side Melbourne United’s final home game on 13 February.
She has been regularly invited to perform the well-worn ritual ever since being talent-spotted by United’s chief executive Vince Crivelli when she sung at a ‘friendly’ against Wisconsin University in Cranbourne.
Since then she’s sung more than 20 NBL, WNBL and NBL1 games, including flying to Sydney as guest of the Sydney Kings as well as the debut home game for South East Melbourne Phoenix.
Singing the pre-game anthem never ceases being an honour, Paris says.
With thousands of fans “dead silent”, she hears her heels clatter as she walks onto centre court.
She sings a traditional rendition with the crowd on their feet, before they erupt in an ovation at the anthem’s crescendo.
She wore an LA Lakers top in tribute to the late, great Kobe Bryant.
A keen Lakers fan, she remains a great admirer of Kobe’s mentality, hard work and generosity.
“He wanted everyone to be the best they could be.
“He was an amazing family man whose legacy can be carried beyond basketball.”
Paris considers herself lucky to have shared the same room as Kobe, hearing him talk about his life at an event at Crown Casino 12 months ago.
She imbibed his positivity, his mantra to work harder than everyone else and caring for family.
“You could tell how much family meant to him.”
Meanwhile Paris, an accomplished pianist and guitarist as well as vocalist, is blazing her own story.
She hasn’t looked back since her first gig as a seven-year-old – Carols by Candlelight at the Myer Music Bowl.
The sight of hundreds of candles in the darkness as she sang Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas remains a profound memory.
As was the limousine that delivered her and her family from their doorstep to King’s Domain.
Besides regularly performing at corporate events and carols, she’s collaborated with celebrated artists such as Andrew de Silva, Katie Underwood and Joe Cammilleri.
This year, she plans to release an EP of her original “pop-RnB” songs.
“I want my music to reach as many people as possible. I hope that they will be songs that everyone can sing along to.”