At the tender age of 13, Rebecca Black entered the national conversation as the star of a music video for a song called “Friday.” Made by a song-and-video factory, the age-appropriate, auto-tuned bop wasn’t really intended for widespread public consumption. Yet it blew up into an early — and widely panned — viral sensation with well over a 100 million views on YouTube. Black soon retreated to high school before reemerging as a popular YouTube vlogger. Now, six years later and finding her way out of the maze of adolescence, she’s back to where she started: making music. But this time, she comes equipped with exposure to the industry and an understanding of how to deal with the fickle tides of internet favor. Plus, she’s writing her own songs.
“I spent so long only feeling like I was this internet girl, this meme,” she explains to TIME. “Right now, I just want to get to a spot where people can refer to me as a musician, as a songwriter.” To that end, she’s releasing an EP this summer, and spoke with TIME about new single “Foolish” — a dreamy, summery pop tune. Below, listen to the song and read what Black has to say about leaving the naysayers behind and moving in a new direction.
TIME: What have you been up to in the last six years?
Rebecca Black: Really, for the most part, I’ve been growing up. “Friday” was such an unexpected thing that neither I nor my parents nor anyone was prepared for. So I went to high school. And I started doing YouTube. At first I was really scared of it, since a lot of great things happened with “Friday,” but there was a lot of negativity that came with it, too. But once I bit the bullet and put myself out there, I found a really cool community. Girls that were also in my same boat of, “I’m just a 16-year-old trying to figure out high school,” and you don’t really know who you are, and you’re just trying to find your way — they connected with it.
What’s your advice to kids like you who have gone through cycles of of cyberbullying?
I think if there’s one thing I wish I could have told myself when I was 13 — or even when I was 7 years old and going through bullying in elementary school — it’s that you don’t have to be strong. People preach this message of “Stay strong, don’t let them get to you.” But as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned, “Oh my God, if only I felt it was OK to cry and tell how hurt I was.” You can pretend like it doesn’t bother you, but at the end of the day, humans are humans and we feel real things. Until you acknowledge it, it’s not like it goes away. It sits there with you, and it waits for you to acknowledge it.
Even before “Friday,” …
Source:: Time – Entertainment