Looks like Gen Y is vying for even five minutes of fame via the Internet. But do such shortcuts to success count? Neeti Sarkar tries to get answers
This is one YouTube video that has made its presence felt a gazillion times on our Facebook pages over the past month. Everyone is still tweeting, blogging, writing and talking about it for all the wrong reasons mostly. And what's worse is if you've heard the song even once, the wearisome tune, more so the inane chorus is bound to get stuck in your head for a good amount of time.
“Friday” by 13-year-old Rebecca Black has garnered over 85 million views already, of which close to two million have “disliked” the song! “And what's to like about it?” asks 20-year-old Priyanshu Kumar. “We're told yesterday was Thursday, today is Friday, tomorrow is Saturday and next comes Sunday. Even a five year old knows that! And the toughest decision she has to make is whether she wants to take the front or the back seat when in fact there's an empty seat only at the back!”
LOL and then some
Most would agree, however, that if there's something to like about this video it is to do with the fact that it has provided us something to laugh about, what with comments like “Justin Beiber should marry Rebecca Black” and “Rebecca Black, you make Miley Cyrus sound good” pouring in. Despite the audience almost hating the song, this teenager has surely managed to get noticed.
Lord Byron couldn't have been more precise when he said: “Fame is the thirst of youth.” With platforms like YouTube, Gen Y is vying for even the five minutes of fame that perhaps comes with making a video like “Friday”. But does this shortcut to success even count?
Sridhar TVN, strategic manager, EMI Music poses a rhetoric question of sorts. “There are fireworks in the sky and loud crackers on the ground, what would you like better? He asks. “I like lovely fireworks that take time to go up in the sky. They explode, shimmer, shine....and leave gracefully.”
Content writer Meghna Rao seems to concur with this opinion. “The song's mismatched ideas will never fall into place even though there is music involved! The five minutes to fame trend works for a select few, but fails miserably for the rest. One hit wonders don't really matter much to me, it's ‘genius' that really counts,” she says.
Ask YouTube sensation Wilbur Sargunaraj (of “Love Marriage”, “Chicken 65” and “Cricket” fame) what his motive was behind using YouTube as a medium to broadcast his songs and he replies: “Many people have asked me what is the key to getting ‘famous' on YouTube. I always tell them that they are aiming at the wrong target. I never set out to be ‘famous'. I just enjoyed what I did and people started to enjoy it too. I wanted to write my own music and release it for people to enjoy, not for me to become famous.
At that time YouTube happened to be the medium and so I went with this platform. I am not using YouTube as a platform to be famous but to get my message heard. I want a long career in the industry, not five minutes of fame! In this age of trying to get famous quickly people forget the reason why we do art and music. It's not about fame but expressing a deep part of yourself. Fame like that is so fleeting!”
If you believe youngsters are the only ones that want to make it in a jiffy, the shock factor is that parents today provide not just moral support to their children in this endeavour but go all out and spend a bomb just like Rebecca Black's parents did by paying for everything from the bus signs in the video to Auto-Tune, the audio processor that corrects pitch in vocal and instrumental performances.
The medium hardly seems to matter anymore.
If Rebecca Black's parents backed her to do the YouTube video, people like a certain Poonam Pandey supposedly had the support of her parents to go nude if Team India won the World Cup! All we can ask is ‘Next is what?'