Here’s someone you probably haven’t thought about in awhile: Rebecca Black. If you don’t remember her, go back in your memories six years and watch this viral video Rebecca produced for $2,000 as a 13-year-old with Ark Music Factory, a local production studio that helped make tween dreams come true:
The insane badness of the video was so wildly charming that is catapulted Rebecca into Internet stardom, and it’s apparently been a wild ride ever since. MTV interviewed Rebecca, who is still making (much better) music about what her life is like now.
At 19, Rebecca is still living the dream. She’s now in Los Angeles writing and producing music, with 1 million YouTube subscribers she regularly shares videos with. In fact, she just came back from Coachella and has recently released a new single, “Foolish.”
It sounds like the perfect life for a 19-year-old interested in media, to be honest. When asked how she’s changed since the days of “Friday,” Rebecca says, “There was so much that I didn’t know or that I thought I knew because obviously I was a 13-year-old at the time who thought I knew everything. But I realized very quickly that, no, there’s so much about everything — about myself, about the people around me, about the world — that I don’t. So what I’ve at least tried to do is accept that I don’t know everything. Life is so much more fun that way.”
Very wise. And if you’re thinking about trying to recreate the magic Rebecca released on us all in 2011, be careful, because it was not easy. The singer revealed that having to deal with major backlash to her video was an unprecedented challenge.
“I don’t think any 13-year-old — or anyone, no matter how old you are — knows how to deal with something like that. All you can do is try your hardest. Something that I did to cope during that time was just to pretend that it didn’t bother me and that I was fine. In one ear and out the other. Every now and then I come across an old interview and I can’t even watch them because I was lying to myself," she says.
Rebecca adds, “So many people out there — whether they’re in public and dealing with a viral video or even if you’re just in school dealing with a bully — you feel like you have to pretend, ‘Oh, it doesn’t bother me. I’m fine, I’m fine.’ But the reality is, it bothers everybody, and someday, you’re gonna have to deal with it. And it’ll wait for you. It’ll wait until the day you die.”
One way Rebecca says she’s processed her feelings about the abuse she got online was through songwriting. She’s written a lot of new songs for herself and has been able to come around and love “Friday” again.
“So it was in that that I finally just gave myself the opportunity to cry for myself,” says Rebecca, “And then I could start really healing. Now, I can look back and say, ‘I f***ing love that song.’ I love that song. It’s a part of my life, but it’s not all of me. I’ll never let that song define the rest of my life.”
The bad news is that it probably will be mentioned alongside her name for the rest of her life, but you gotta embrace what you love.