Nine years ago, a 13-year-old Rebecca Black — who just discovered her love for theater in music in middle school — asked her mom for permission to tap into that passion by recording a song. So the pair paid Los Angeles-based (and now-defunct) ARK Music Factory for studio time and video production. The end result? “Friday.”
Later released in March 2011, the track was corny and bizarre, and drowning in Auto-Tune, a try-hard attempt in coming across as a teen party anthem. Black didn’t think much of it at the time, as she fulfilled her singing dream. Yet once social media got hold of it, “Friday” exploded in a wild and often nasty phenomenon that took over pop culture. After being branded as “the worst song ever,” Black was met with an onslaught of cyberbullying that was paired with nonstop parodies and commentary about the song.
“[The backlash] certainly affected me growing up, in positive and negative ways, as to who I am and the insecurities I had as a teenager,” Black tells Billboard. “Now I have people that go, ‘Oh my god, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m so sorry I said those things about you because I didn’t think about the fact that you were a person.'”
Now 22 years old, she is ready to move on from a moment that she never planned to have defined her career in such a negative light. The singer has been growing her YouTube channel over the past six years, along with independently releasing a colorful stream of breezy pop tunes. Her latest, “Sweetheart,” (released on Oct. 25) is an unapologetic insight as just how much she’s matured.
Below, Rebecca Black speaks to Billboard about how she surpassed the “Friday” craze, her musical and personal growth, and the inspiration behind her new singles.
Complete story on: Billboard.