‘Music Factory’ does kids more harm than good

Delaney Lovett

With over 65 million views, it’s safe to say that Rebecca Black’s laughable song “Friday” recently went viral. Lesser known is Ark Music Factory, a Los-Angeles record label that created “Friday” and brings about descriptions such as sketchy and phony. For a few thousand dollars, Ark will churn out a meaningless song for an aspiring artist to sing and produce a video on what looks like a $20 budget.

There are people claiming that Ark is exploiting children, and the actions of founder and president Patrice Wilson aren’t too far off the mark. Wilson appears in nearly every music video, and though he would probably never admit it, he seems more interested in making his own name and label famous than promoting the artists paying him thousands.

Andy Harmon/NW

An interview with a shady Wilson was posted on the Ark Music Factory website on March 25, full of contradictory statements. “We don’t charge our artists. If we are to charge an artist it could range from $2,000 to $4,000,” Wilson said. “Friday” might be a catchy song as Ark intended, but catchy songs are allowed to be deeper than learning the days of the week. Wilson went on to say that it was necessary to use auto-tune in order to “balance” Ark’s songs with most music on the radio. Wilson apparently only listens to T-Pain.

Everyone who has seen the video for “Friday” should have the common sense to know what they’re getting into with this label. Ark searches for undiscovered talent, and while sometimes it’s found, what they produce for these kids isn’t fame; it’s embarrassment and opportunities for parodies. Black was victim to countless rude remarks about her music, with the consensus that her song is the worst ever made. I would rather be an ordinary teenager than be famous and ridiculed. Black’s mother, Georgina Marquez Kelly, said in an interview with Good Morning America that she “probably could have killed a few people” in response to some of the nasty comments about her daughter.

I’m amazed that Ark Music Factory thinks it’s doing such wonderful things, and that parents pay for their children to go through with this. Ark whips together dozens of songs that sound nearly identical and dish them out to kids who think they’ll be the next Justin Bieber-YouTube discovery. They keep kids dreaming, but Ark’s artists won’t achieve any dreams with the shoddy quality of this label. And if an Ark artist happens to become famous, Wilson will be sure that he receives more credit than he deserves.