Front seat? Back seat? How about the trunk? If you’ve heard “Friday” - that’s a three-syllable word now - you know that it’s either the BEST SONG! about Friday EVAR! because you’re 14 and it’s right up your demographic alley, or you hate it. Ten million people have watched the YouTube video - sorry, that was yesterday; it’s up to 11 million now - and it’s entered the top 100 on iTunes. That’s right. It’s a hit. But how did it come to exist in the first place? Who sat down and wrote those lyrics? Didn’t some one stop and say “Hey, we have to say something more about cereal. It’s not enough to say you gotta have it. What rhymes with cereal?” (Puzzled looks around the table) “Okay, never mind that then.”

 We’ll tell you why it exists. But on the off chance you haven’t heard the song:



As for why it exists, says blame these guys.

The answer is Ark Music Factory, a Los Angeles-based company operating as an industry hybrid of Maurice Starr and John Bennett Ramsey. Their casting calls are perfect bait for starry-eyed parents: “If you are a great singer without any material and you want to get discovered,” one reads, “then Ark Music Factory is looking for you.”

The formula is simple: They’ll fly your child between the specified ages of 13-17 to Los Angeles, write her a “hit,” record it in super-compressed Autotuned production, shoot an edge detection-overlay video and BAM! Maybe your kid can notch up a couple thousand YouTube views while you watch your dreams of being a pop-star parent percolate.

That’s right: rich parents are indulging their kid’s pop-star fantasies, and who pays the price? Well, they do, in the specific sense. But the rest of us pay, too, if these things start to appear in places like shopping-mall background music, where there’s not a MUTE or BACK button you can hit.

 If this makes you despise the parents for some reason, keep in mind that they paid a lot of money for graphics that look like something a 4th grader would do:




 Here’s another Ark video. Demonstrating that their abilities are not confined to discussing Friday, this one beings with Saturday.


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