Scene Picks – YouTube “Stars”
Observer Staff Report | Monday, March 28, 2011
It seems that Bieber Fever has sparked a love of pre-pubescent pop stars with floppy hair. Bieber’s rise to fame using the video-sharing website YouTube has inspired many young teens to break out into the music scene in a similar fashion, putting their own videos onto the site in hopes of gaining a following. Ark Music Factory, a new production company, has capitalized on this new fad and helps aspiring young stars break out on the web. Although these preteens may not have the melodic voices of seasoned stars like Lady Gaga or Bono, they have nonetheless found fame. Check out Scene’s favorite YouTube hopefuls.
Zachary Freiman, “I’m Zack”
Zack’s family helped him make this video for his Bar Mitzvah, and, if possible, the corny lyrics and painful tune stick in your head faster and longer then Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Normally Bar Mitzvahs do not call for such videos, as hopefully everyone in attendance understands your “fabulosity.” But Zack, as he explains in his video, is not like other kids. And his video is unlike anything on the Internet. His video explains his unique philosophy on life — that he is his own person. Mind-blowing. The song covers the basics of his life, from his love of gardening to his fascination with pottery, from “Hairspray” to his mom’s casserole. With bumpin’ lyrics like “a purple tie and a velvet tux/and I look like a billion bucks,” Zack’s music strains the ears and sensibilities of his audience.
Zack’s single is now available to assail your ears on iTunes. All proceeds benefit Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown, NY. Money would probably be better spent on earplugs, in case this song ever hits the radio.
CJ Fam, “Ordinary Pop Star”
CJ actually has a decent voice, a unique characteristic of an Ark Music Factory production. The topic of her debut song and video, however, still invites snickers and questions her grasp on reality. Her song, titled “Ordinary Pop Star,” details her journey as a pop star and her desire to just be a normal kid. She just “wants to have a regular life again/like going to school/and having good friends.” This is coming from a girl who does not look like she has ever seen a paparazzo, let alone been chased by one. Nor does she look like she has graduated elementary school. The “fans” in her video are probably the best part. Ranging from age eight to ten, they resemble kittens that played with their catnip toys just a little too much.
Overall, CJ’s video earns a good laugh and a vague appreciation of her voice, which she will hopefully grow into. It’s just hard to take in a ten-year-old you’ve never heard complaining about the paparazzi hounding her.
Rebecca Black, “Friday”
The monotonous yet catchy tune and lyrics of Rebecca Black’s debut single as a young artist, “Friday”, are what have surprisingly made this song an incredible music hit. Thirteen-year-old Black describes in her song how she loves the weekend and anxiously waits for Fridays, the day of the week when she can party and have fun with friends. She also reminds viewers what days come after and before Friday, continuing to highlight the message of the song. As funny and silly as “Friday” might sound, since the music video’s post on You Tube, Rebecca Black has become a teen pop sensation. With over 40 million views, “Friday” has surpassed the latest Justin Bieber and Lady GaGa YouTube videos and has also reached the top 100 songs on iTunes.
Kaya, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind”
Watch out Ke$ha and Britney! Although her song and music video have not yet been as successful as Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, Kaya definitely has pop princess potential. Her first single, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind”, is very much appealing to the teen audience. In her video, the seventeen-year-old can’t get enough of a twenty-something year old guy who follows her everywhere and texts her constantly. She wants to “let him go” and knows she deserves better. Kaya’s new tune, as well as many other Ark Studio’s young artist songs, may seem funny and repetitive, but it continues to amass a great number of views on You Tube, and therefore great popularity in the music world.
Alana Lee, “Butterflies”
Alana Lee’s Butterflies sets up the possibility for a fantastic 90’s style pop rivalry. If Rebecca Black initiated the whole awful auto-tuning trend, Lee is an equally talentless rival. The song features a rap verse from the same man featured on “Friday,” so one can only assume he owns Ark Music Factory. What an admirable job. The best part of the song, however, is the stereotypical junior high setting for the music video. Note passing, popular girls stealing all the good guys and a teacher who begrudgingly respects Lee’s profession of love in the middle of his class — it’s just too good to be true. The song ends with a Ke$ha-style talking and laughing bit where Alana Lee simply says butterflies about five times. It’s not a gem of a song, but neither are many of Ark Music Factory’s songs.