Rebecca Black is a singer and YouTuber, well known for her song “Friday”, has turned bullying and hatred into a positive platform expressing strength and beauty. Channeling personal experiences, Rebecca Black has captured a rawness in her music few singers are able to grasp. With the release of an amazing single, “The Great Divide”, Black is an artist on the rise.
What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you?
I know that the thing that I was originally known for was “Friday”. Recently, I’ve been talking about the detail of that whole situation and I’ve outlined how hard various aspects for me were because the whole thing was so fast and so intense. I had no idea that something like that could ever happen, so I can say that the experience around making the video, “Friday”, was so strange for me. But, looking on the positive side, it has been an amazing experience overall as well.
Do you think it was easier for you to start a YouTube channel as you were already on the platform or was it harder?
I was really lucky to be surrounded by a bunch of friends who were already making videos, so they helped me get my feet on the ground. Whether it was just helping me with confidence or picking out tech equipment, I had a really good support system.
When writing songs, what inspires you?
I have a list of concepts in my phone that I’m always adding to. Sometimes the best ideas come at the weirdest moments, whether that be when I’m stuck awake in the middle of the night or out with a group of friends, so it’s helpful for me to have a hub for all my ideas. As far as what inspires me, it can be anything – I’ve been inspired by visiting new places, by people and the way the make me feel, or just even by where I’m at and how I feel at the moment I’m writing. Also, inspiration can happen in real time in the studio when myself and my co-writers just hit upon something, and that’s always a really exciting moment.
I absolutely love your new song, “The Great Divide”, what was the process of making that song like?
That song was really inspired from where I was at in life at the time. I’d been going through a lot of change and growth, so writing that song was almost a therapeutic way for me to deal with everything. You could really feel the connection made between everyone in the studio that day. We all felt comfortable enough to get personal, and to really lend ourselves to the song. We were in such an emotional place that the vocals we recorded that day were the ones we kept. So, the words you hear me speak on that song are coming from a very raw Rebecca, which is I think one of the most special parts of that song.
What do you plan to do in relation to music in the upcoming years?
Well music, as most people know, is my first love and I’m so happy that last year I was able to really get into the writing process and I am so pleased with the outcome of it. So, for the future, I want to slowly build on this momentum, I want to write music that helps me feel new things in life and I want to share that with people.
Who is your biggest music inspiration?
I spend a lot of my free time looking for what’s new and up and coming – whether it be on Spotify or SoundCloud. I love finding artists who aren’t afraid to do something new and unheard of. I recently discovered a band called Lewis Del Mar – they have such a new and inventive style that is so exciting and inspiring to me.
I love finding artists who aren’t afraid to do something new and unheard of.
You also have a YouTube channel, what is your favorite type of video to film?
I’ve been filming and posting a lot of covers lately with people I love, to songs I love. Music is where my heart is, so it’s really fun to share that with my friends, and create something new and exciting! I love imagining different ways to make a song sound new.
What makes you want to stay in YouTube?
To be honest, sometimes YouTube can be really frustrating. Constantly coming up with quality content that both you and your audience will enjoy is not easy to do on your own, really it’s a full time job. But, in a way, YouTube feels like a home base. I know some people wait every week to see what I end up posting, and they really enjoy it. I’d never want to let my audience down, there’s a really special connection creators can make with their audience that is hard to find in other ways.
So, you got your start from “Friday”, which was a very controversial song. How do you feel that has affected you and an artist?
Over time I am coming to love “Friday” so much more – because it gave me so many amazing opportunities. It wasn’t that “Friday” was ‘controversial’ because I am not sure that it was that controversial, but rather that it attracted so much hate and cyber-bullying, which at 13 years old I was in no way equipped to handle.
I remember when “Friday” came out, I was also in middle school. Some of the stuff that was written about you was horrible and hurtful, I am so sorry about that. How did you keep your head above water after that?
If I am being honest with you, it was so hard to keep afloat in some ways because as I said, it was such a shock. When I think calmly about it now it seems beyond comprehension that so many people could be so cruel to someone so young. I was only making that video to help me gain some sort of experience. So it has taken me time to recover, but I have, it is all behind me now and I am so excited to see what the future brings.
Do you have a favorite lyrics you’ve ever written?
This is another hard question, I always get so excited about each and every new song I write. But honestly, “The Great Divide” is so close to my heart, and I love overall concept and pictures the lyrics provide. “Dancing on the line of The Great Divide” gives such clear imagery to go with the song, and I love that about those lyrics!
Words by Ana Sandoval & Anna Zhang
Photos by Tia Liu
Hair and makeup by Michaeline Becker
Originally published in Volume II, Issue No. 001 – Winter 2017.Like this