Patrice Wilson of Ark Music just wanted to write a ‘kind of sweet' song for Rebecca Black.
Last summer, Rebecca Black's mother paid L.A.-based production company Ark Music Factory a reported $2,000 to write and produce a song, and shoot a music video, for her 13-year-old daughter to sing and star in. The result, “Friday,” a track about having friends and being young and how rad it is that it's the end of the school week, was posted on YouTube about a month ago.
The song has logged more than 64 million views, peaked at No. 19 on the iTunes charts, spawned much disdainful online commentary (such as, “I have a replacement for the death penalty — this song”) and inspired countless mockeries. Black has appeared on “Good Morning America” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” been the subject of a parody music video from Conan O'Brien and been declared by Lady Gaga to be “a genius.”
The man responsible for all this hoopla, for “Friday's” unapologetically inane lyrics and infectious beat and the high-gloss gleam of Black's video, is Patrice Wilson, a hitherto unknown musician and producer who arrived in Los Angeles in 2007 from Spokane, Wash., to build a company that he says “was based on the idea of Noah's ark. In other words, a place to gather people together, where they could be safe.”
Wilson, who has a rapping cameo in “Friday,” has remained a mysterious “man behind the curtain” throughout much of the Black brouhaha. Until Friday, that is, when he released an Ark Music Factory-produced “press conference” which consisted of a wide-eyed young woman asking him questions such as “Who are you?”
In the video Wilson comes off as slick, stiff and perhaps a little defensive, a stance that has reinforced a notion that he is a kind of Suge Knight of the preteen schoolyard, harnessing young girls' dreams to his own financial advantage.