Ark Music Factory is a musical composition and production company based in Los Angeles, California. The company was co-founded in 2010 by Patrice Wilson, who partnered with producer/composer and multi-instrumentalist Clarence Jey.
In May 2011, Jey left Ark Music Factory to focus on his own production company Music Intersection. Later in 2011, Patrice Wilson established his own enterprise, Pato Music World.
Patrice Wilson co-founded Ark Music Factory in 2010; Wilson is also the CEO of the company.
Ark's business centers on the recruitment/discovery of new young singers. The artists (or their parents) pay a $2,000 to $4,000 fee to Ark, and Ark then writes and produces music in collaboration with these artists, often producing music videos and promotion of the songs. The singer owns the master recording, and Ark retains publishing rights to the song and all the sales from the song.
They state that their main objectives are to bring aspiring acts to the musical fore: "We at Ark make it possible for an emerging artist to be discovered, defined and delivered, to advance in their chosen career and be successful." Ark is predominantly based in the US, although they claim that artists they have supported have had success in different regions across the globe.
Ark's Facebook page claims to be creating a community where artists from all fields can come together to build connections and interact. Their website also claims that their dedicated team has industry professionals who have worked with Miley Cyrus, the Backstreet Boys, and Ashley Tisdale. Wilson has rebuffed claims of exploitation, claiming that the company provides a relatively inexpensive entry into the pop market for artists:
"I'm getting a lot of criticism saying I'm exploiting rich kids and their parents," says Wilson, "but find me another company that would do all this at a cost this low. I don't promise anyone fame. In fact, if someone approaches me with their only goal to ‘get famous,' I tell them they're not in this for the right reasons."
The staff of Ark Music Factory includes Patrice Wilson (also known with the name Pato for his various acts) who is the founder of the company, CEO and Sri Lankan / Australian record producer, songwriter and co-founder and producer, Clarence Jey. At Ark, Jey writes the music and Wilson writes the lyrics. Ian Hotchkiss and Chris Lowe are the video directors.
In March 2011, Ark gained notoriety through a viral video when one of their songs, Rebecca Black's "Friday" (which also includes rapping by Wilson) unexpectedly became an Internet meme. According to the British newspaper The Independent, Black trended high on Twitter, after the release. As of 2016 the song has been viewed over 100 million times on YouTube. The video was removed from YouTube for a time due to copyright claims from Black's family but has been reinstated. Mirrors of it remain available.
Wilson posted two music responses about "Friday" and the controversy it created. The first was posted on March 13, 2011 entitled "Friday (Rap Remix)" written and produced by Wilson and Jey, the second on April 4, 2011 entitled "Say What You Wanna Say" written by Wilson and Kustom. Both songs address some of the most common grievances against the song and the way Ark runs its business. Both these postings have received negative attention as well.
Wilson and his Ark Music Factory team appeared in One Week to Hit It Big: Pop Star the ABC (American Broadcasting Company) show Good Morning America (GMA) one-week special feature. After auditions of tens of candidates, Lexi St. George was chosen for the GMA challenge of trying to make a viral star in one week. She recorded the song "Dancing to the Rhythm" written for the show and made a music video that was broadcast on the program on June 30, 2011. The song was also used for Wowwee's Paper Jamz Pro microphones promotional ads.
Ark Music Factory is planning another nationwide online talent search and finalists will be chosen from online submissions, the company said in a statement. The contest named "Ark Star" began on July 22, 2011 offers eligible contestants the chance to win their own custom song, music video, and artist promotion by Ark Music Factory.In May 2011, Clarence Jey left Ark Music Factory to focus on his own production company Music Intersection. He is also a cofounder of Ark Music factory co-founded co-created MIAM Music Publishing.
Later in 2011, Patrice Wilson, the other cofounder established Pato Music World (PMW) / PMW Live. He signed a number of acts to his new label, some of them from ARK Music Factory signings. The company went on to release a number of new songs including an "official sequel" to Rebecca Black's infamous song "Friday". The "sequel" called "Happy" (alternatively "Happy (The Official Sequel to Friday)" or "The H.A.P.P.Y. Song"), features Antoine Dodson and Lela Brown and focuses on Saturdays, with plenty of remarks to Friday and a self-deprecating music video. Previously, Wilson had also written a song called "Tuesday" for Jon Ronson. In November 2012, PMW released "It's Thanksgiving" by Nicole Westbrook, a song written and produced by Patrice Wilson.