(Above picture: Clarence Jey, left, and Patrice Wilson, right: founders, producers and songwriters at Ark Music Factory.)
50 million views. It’s Friday, March 25th, approximately two weeks after Rebecca Black’s name first entered the pop culture consciousness, and that’s how many views her video for “Friday” has garnered on YouTube. Let that sink in: 50 million views!
But wait! (Cue my best late night infomercial voice.) There’s more! According to this Billboard feature story Rebecca has not only ruled the YouTube roost, she’s had “first-week U.S. digital track sales of 37,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan,” and will further appear at #72 on the Hot 100.
She’s also appeared on “Good Morning America” and “The Tonight Show”, and as Billboard notes (and as we’ve noted in previous coverage), the young lady has taken all this new attention with a pretty good amount of poise and sincerity. In addition to that poise and sincerity, she’s hired super manager John McEntee, the President of TEI Entertainment in Anaheim, CA.
According to Billboard: “Record labels have been contacting myself and Ark Music directly about Rebecca,” McEntee says, declining to disclose names. “There is definitely interest from real record labels. They’ve found out she can sing. With all this exposure, we’re looking at her coming out with more songs and an album. We’ve been getting submissions from a lot of fantastic songwriters. That’s a good sign.”
Her success has not only set herself up for a near future of great potential, but also for her Ark Music Factory peers, particularly Alana Lee and Abby Victor, two more young ladies who have ridden this gigantic wave with great success. When we first started charting the Ark Music Factory phenomenon, Alana Lee and her video “Butterflies” was down around 200,000 views, Abby Victor and “Crush On You” down around 120,000. A solid amount, but nothing near Rebecca’s.
Ten days later and while they still have a miniscule share of Rebecca’s attention, Alana’s 4 million views and Abby’s 1.4 million are nothing to sneeze at. In fact, far from sneezing, Alana’s fun anthem for the flying insects in one’s stomach and Abby’s hypnotically catchy dance pop number are actually credible numbers that could stand the test of time.
All this is a preamble to the news of the night.
It’s Friday, Friday, and since we “gotta get down on Friday”, I’ve chosen my seat in the kitchen in front of my computer and am getting ready for the first live press conference from Ark Music Factory. It will reportedly feature Patrice Wilson, aka Pato, the ubiquitous rapper (whom we’ve also profiled in a very popular article) who seems to have made the acquaintance of many a 13-year-old girl. I only mean that half jokingly, of course, because as one of the founders and producers of AMF, he and his fellow producer Clarence Jey have indeed fulfilled the dreams of these young ladies to get noticed in a world crowded with wannabe popstars, and they’ve done so with songs that have entranced, beguiled and sometimes befuddled listeners all over the world.
They’ve proven themselves to have the ability to get people’s attention, and also to deliver a product that people want. Trust me, as someone who’s been watching the phenomenon unfold every day for the last two weeks, it’s not just the Rebeccas and Alanas and Abbys of AMF that people are interested in! Even supporting actors in their videos are getting worldwide attention!
UPDATE! Ark Music Factory’s website had a few technical issues getting up their interview in time, but here it is! I’ll provide a complete transcript in the morning (got about half done). Until then, here’s Patrice Wilson of AMF in his own words.
UPDATE 2! The first video was taken down for a time but it’s back up now. Here’s the transcript. There are no comments at YouTube so feel free to leave some here about your take. Starcasm will continue to cover Ark Music Factory and its artists, so check back for more!
(Look me up on Twitter at ChrisGainesPop)
Everyone wants to know: Who are you?
That’s a very good question. My name is Patrice Wilson. I’m actually the CEO and the founder of Ark Music Factory. I’m an artist myself. I am from Europe, my dad’s from Africa, and I moved here a couple of years ago. I used to sing back in Eastern Europe and I used to be pretty big but I said, “Hey, I have to go to the United States and start making music, to let people know what clean, good music is”, and ever since coming here I started Ark Music Factory and Productions.
The whole goal is to bring people together and show young people that, hey we can make great music and keep it clean; keep it clean and safe and have fun. You know? And that’s who I am, I’m the guy behind Ark. I’m the face of Ark Music Factory, Patrice Wilson.
What is Ark Music Factory?
Well, AMF is a platform to reach out to every known artist out there, to musicians who have a passion for music, who want to reach out to the world and show, hey, I ‘m doing what I’m doing…it just brings all the artists together, it gives them that hope, that future; be yourself and you’re welcomed to AMF.
It’s been posted online that you charge for your services. Could you elaborate for us where you stand on these comments and posts that say what you’re doing is wrong and that you’re exploiting kids?
Yes, you know, in fact, hey, I read a couple of articles about Patrice/Ark Music exploiting parents, you know? Large amounts of money: 20k, 30k for a project… You know, I’ll put it this way, what we do and the amount of work put into all these artists that you guys watch on television … is very amazing. Because we provide that platform, we give that music video, we give that song, we give that photo shoot, that image consultant, everything.
How much do we charge? Number one, we don’t charge our artists. If we are to charge an artist, it could range from $2,000 to $4,000. Is that a bad deal? 2k or 4k and you get everything? Hey, you even get lunch!
Look at Rebecca Black, she’s basically a viral star, and she’s appearing on different TV shows. That’s a success right there.
What would you say to those that think that what you’re doing is detrimental to pop music and music in general?
Listen to a song on the radio, okay? Listen to any artist out there on the radio and try to compare it with the song “Friday”? A pop song is supposed to be really really catchy. Now, regardless of the lyrics or how easy the lyrics might be, a part can stick in your head and you get out of the shower, and you’re singing “Friday, Friday!” It’s stuck in your head and thats the whole purpose, that’s the goal of creating tunes and songs like that.
Because we want it to be catchy, we want people to keep on singing along and they say, I cannot get this out of my head!” That’s the whole goal. But there’s no difference whatsoever to the songs you hear on the radio today and the song that we make.
In fact, people say, “Autotune, autotune is so much on the artist!” You know what? I guarantee you – or I actually dare you guys to try to compare a song that has so much autotune….versus one of the artists that we work with. It’s actually less autotune we use. But to get that radio sound, we have to go ahead and create that autotune to balance it out.
What’s in the future for Ark Music Factory?
Very exciting, lots of work, and I’ll just say taking it day by day as well. Ark Music Factory, number one, and why we got here in the
first place is finding talent, going out there, auditioning people. Back in the day, we were not privileged to go to other cities and states because we had to stay in California.
Today, we are privileged. We are going to be going out to different places, finding talent and just bringing them to the Ark community. We’re going to keep working with people, we’re going to be holding massive auditions. We’re going to be looking for the next viral star. So lots of great things to come.
It’s actually a surprise. If you guys stay tuned, then you’re gonna see, hey, wow, Ark just sprung out from a box. I guarantee you there’s going to be something next week and the week after and the week after. And my promise to the people of America and the world, we’re not gonna let you guys down. You’re going to be intrigued and surprised. Happy!
Anybody – young, old, it doesn’t matter – anyone basically who has a dream out there. I want you to go ahead and
don’t let anyone tell you you can’t accomplish your dream and that’s a fact, that’s why we’re here today. We’ve had a bunch of “noose” it’s not gonna work, you can’t do it.”
But the fact about it is if you are dedicated and you hold on and you don’t listen to what people tell you, your dreams will be accomplished. And this goes for any singer, any actor, modeling, whatever you want to do. You gotta put your heart to it, and that’s why I’m here today.
You’re gonna have a lot of negative comments and people saying you can’t do it and you’re bad and this and that, but you know what? Put your feet down keep your head up and I guarantee you, you will accomplish your dream. This is a message from Ark Music Factory, founder, CEO Patrice.