If you haven’t heard of Rebecca Black, this is the first time you’ve turned your computer on this month. This 13 year old American ‘artist’ (and I use the term loosely) has shot to stardom after her YouTube music video ‘Friday went viral. As of this writing, its sitting at over 14 million views. This video sums up the song well:
Its been near universally ridiculed, with Yahoo Music even asking rhetorically if this was “the worst song ever?” it isn’t, of course. While no doubt a huge amount of Rebecca’s youtube views are people “doing it for the lol’s” the worst song ever is probably not getting any attention, because, well, that must be a really horrible song. Also, taste is subjective. ‘Friday’ is written by a professional song writer, and the video has good production values. Black herself by have negligible singing talent but a team of editors have all but hidden that in the final version of the song. Who was behind this? Ark Music Factory. According to the Vancouver Sun;
The California based music production outfit has struck upon what appears to be a profitable business model: Taking absurd amounts of money from parents who can’t say no to their precocious teenage daughters who reeeeeally want to be rock stars.
Ark Music Factory is to music what the vanity press is to publishing. Does this mean that Rebecca Black is of no significance to popular music? No. Sure she’s likely to experience an obscene amount of publicity and then fade into obscurity once we get sick of this one song, but that happens to acts on major labels too, remember The Baha Men
No, of course you don’t remember the Baha Men, just as a decade from now, no one will remember Rebecca Black. However, for her next 15 minutes of fame, the young singer and her ‘career’ open up a discussion about popular culture and late capitalist society that will be explored in future articles.