"Everyone wants to know—who are you?"
So begins the self-released interview with Ark Music Factory CEO and founder Patrice Wilson, asked by a "reporter" who's about as convincing a performer as most of the adolescent pop stars on the Ark roster. It's true that this is one of the biggest questions buzzing around the Internet these past 16 days, ever since 13-year-old Ark recording artist Rebecca Black changed the internet forever (for now) with her impossibly viral and eternally perplexing hit "Friday." What the hell is the deal with this Ark Music Factory, and what does that guy rapping in the video have to do with it?
"I'm an artist myself," started Wilson, behind his trademark shades. "I am from Europe, my dad's from Africa, and I moved here a couple of years ago. I used to sing back in you know, Eastern Europe, and I used to be pretty big, though I said, you know, hey, I have to go to the United States and, you know, start making music there, let people know what clean, good music is." The cleanliness factor is big for Wilson, who evidently knows what the parents signing the checks want to hear. "The whole goal is to bring people together and to show young people that hey, we can make great music, and keep it clean, keep it clean and safe and have fun," claimed Wilson.
Wilson went on to address the haters, those who say that Ark is exploiting parents out of their hard-earned thousands. "I'll put it this way," began Patrice. "What we do, and the amount of work put into all these artists that you guys watch on [TV], 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." And how much does the "everything" package run the show biz parents of America these days? "If we have to charge our artist, it could range from $2,000-$4,000. Is that a bad deal? 2k-4k, and you get everything, And you even get lunch! Look at Rebecca Black. She basically is a viral star, and she's appearing on different TV shows. And that's a success right there."
Ah, but not everyone would call Miss Rebecca a success. Some would say she was the ignorant victim of a particularly poor Ark Music product, which became famous solely on the basis of its ineptitude. Patrice would disagree, however. "Listen to a song on the radio. OK?" he challenged his doubters. "Listen to any artist out there on the radio. And then compare it with the song 'Friday.' A pop tune is supposed to be really, really catchy...vit can stick in your head and you get out of the shower and you're singing 'Friday, Friday,' because it's stuck in your head, and that's the whole purpose, that's the goal of creating tunes and songs like that...there's no difference whatsoever to the songs you hear on the radio today, and the songs that that we make." You hear that, Dr. Luke? It's all the same to Patrice.
So now that Phase One of Ark Music world domination is complete, what does the future hold for Patrice and Ark? "We are going to be going out to different places, finding talent, and just bringing them to the Ark community," said Wilson. "We're going to keep on working with people, we're going to keep on holding massive auditions, we're going to be looking for the next viral star... If you guys stay tuned, then you're gonna see that hey, wow, Ark just sprung out from a box. And I guarantee 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." I'm not even sure what the people of America's expectations are, precisely, but that's comforting regardless.
Wilson ended the interview with a personal address to the camera, offered to anyone (especially those anyones with parents with too much disposable income) listening out there:
Anybody...young, old, it doesn't matter. For 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. That's a fact, and that's why we're here today...We've had a bunch of 'No's,' '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 is for every singer, every actor...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 going around. 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 AMF, founder / CEO Patrice."
Word. Here's looking forward to the bright future of teen pop on the internet with Patrice Wilson pulling the strings.