Rebecca Black: Internet Pariah
Overnight teen sensation Rebecca Black has been inundated with media attention since the video for her debut single “Friday” blew up earlier this week, garnering over 16 million views on YouTube -- and it's on its way to being dubbed the worst music video in the world. The sudden success of her song has been attributed to the subpar execution in her auto-tuned vocals and over simplified lyrics about mundane teenage basics (i.e. "Gotta make my mind up, which seat should I take?"). The masterminds behind Rebecca Black’s sudden success are a group known as the ARK Music Factory, an independent record label and production company that specializes in discovering the new teen stars of tomorrow.
Rebecca Black is just one of the many faces ARK has in its ever growing roster of adulated teens. But the defining characteristic of the success of Black’s hit single “Friday” is the fact that the video looks and sounds like a professional grade product, made by individuals who are apparently not professionals at all, but merely money hungry Svengalis that found a niche in deceiving parents into funding ARK Music Factory to help transform their teenage daughters into over night pop sensations. With a current roster of nine teen artists, ARK seems to have found at least eight other sets of parents who are willing to shell out big bucks in order to get their daughters the attention they fail to receive in school or at home.
The rise of Justin Beiber’s celebrity over the past two years has lent a breath of fresh air into a tween market where acts like New Kids On The Block and N SYNC thrived in previous years. Since Justin Timberlake’s rise to adult stardom there hasn’t been another act to come along and replace the fledgling elders of yesterday’s tween scene until the success of Bieber-mania. Now that Bieber-mania is in full effect the founders of ARK were clever enough to create a company that specializes in delivering dreams in the form of ill conceived YouTube videos and pasteurized bedroom-produced beats. Backlash against Black’s hit single has been brutal, with viewers providing vitriol comments like, “She is a crap singer know I don’t like her.” and, “Ha ha! This is so shity (sic) bad, it's actually good! I wonder if it's deliberately so?”
Black recently appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to address her sudden fame and acknowledge her detractors. When asked if she cried after reading some of the hateful messages regarding her video she replied, “I did cry. I felt like this was my fault and I shouldn’t have done this.” With hindsight being 20/20 and her first week in the national spotlight coming to a close, many are left wondering what the next step for Rebecca Black’s unexpected career will be. Perhaps a redeeming appearance on Comedy Central’s hit show Tosh.0 is in order? Or maybe the young artist will actually be signed by a major record label willing to take a chance with the world wide web’s latest pariah.