Ark Music Factory might be the SPECTRE of the entertainment industry. Festering somewhere beneath the surface of well known Music Industry rogues gallery producers like Dr. Luke and RedOne is Ark, the evil organization of super villains behind Rebecca Black and other recent mindless child exploitation.
The official website for Ark
lists a roster of artists that certainly has someone who watches way too much procedural TV wondering if their offices are frequented by one-liners from Munch and Finn.
Before Rebecca Black was on the tip of every critical tongue in America, Ark's greatest child success was probably Alana Lee, a 14-year-old who blessed us with this bit of pop-culture mulch last October. You probably missed it.
I wonder why it didn't take like "Friday". Four million Youtube views isn't really anything to scoff at, which is what makes Ark so dangerous. A company that champions lowest common denominator songwriting with pre-teens (and perhaps intending to appeal to their simple tastes and parental wallet grabbing) would just suggest Disney Channel
. But Ark is a different kind of insipid.
The story behind Rebecca Black (who Alana Lee supposedly 'discovered') involves wealthy parents and a greedy Ark Music Factory, who glamorize a child's faux music career by providing a blaise song, auto-tune, and high quality video for some unknown sum (I've heard different figures). Black's tune, the perfect storm of vapid lyrics, generic pop-washed sound, and unbelievably mundane "talent" at the center, raised a few eyebrows with its sales figures, but also with its origins. What force maintains the balance of Ark's ability to act as a "record label" and jazz up a pre-teen for early-onset stardom with a discerning eye that DOESN'T suggest a forthcoming appearance from Chris Hansen?
Founder/creeper Patrice Wilson doesn't do much to combat our suspicions here.
Also, as the principal songwriter/producer of all of Ark Music's productions, you'd think he would have a better idea of what they do and why they do it.
"We don't charge our artists. But when we charge our artists we charge 2,000-4,000 dollars, is that so much? They get lunch!" Wilson actually raises a few more questions. What exactly is going on here? Why is there not a mother's association hell bent on shutting this down yet? Why is an obviously self-produced "interview" still full of terribly-worded answers? How do you really pronounce "intrigued"?
Couple that with the fact that the America's Choice brand rapping on "Friday" and "Butterflies" appears to be Wilson himself (under the rap name "Pato") and the whole thing begins to reek of insincerity. Does Wilson really want to find the next viral star through organic means, or is he just exploiting childhood simplicity for monetary gain and his own aspirations for infamy?
Ark's roster also includes Lena
(who can really sing, according to some unedited Youtube vids), whose Ark tracks are more of the same generic auto-tuned pop-schlop, despite her natural talents. And she's barely visible in comparison to the schock-success of Black, who dominates the site's sales adverts. Even by the big picture standards of talent and popularity, the microcosm of Ark's roster alone is a jarringly unbalanced scale of stupidity, tipped by pedobear and Detective Stabler duking it out on Celebrity Deathmatch
Either Ark Music Factory is some sort of self-aware sick joke about the state of the music industry (with Wilson laughing his way to the bank), or we're all seriously f*cked by a guy who genuinely thinks discovering girls before high school and slapping the perfect amount of auto-tune on them is the most important indication of quality.