Singer, songwriter, and queer creator Rebecca Black is releasing her first music project in 10 years: Rebecca Black Was Here — a six-track hyperpop-infused journey.
The project opens with “Better In My Memory,” a new song with boosted bass and a retro feeling, highlighting its nostalgia focused lyrics. “Personal” melts bubble-gum pop and smooth hyperpop glitches and “NGL” is distorted to perfection. “Blue” introduces a more sultry, sensual, yet sad, side of the project, followed by “Worth It For The Feeling,” in which the soon to be 24-year-old grapples over an ex-lover. The project closes with the anthemic track “Girlfriend,” which Rebecca performed on the Tamron Hall Show, and after 5 tracks of getting over her, Black is “getting back with [her] girlfriend.”
In 2022, Black is embarking on a tour across the US and Canada stopping in six cities:
Thursday, January 13, 2022 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage+
Friday, January 14, 2022 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom+
Saturday, January 15, 2022 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground+
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Tuesday, January 18, 2022 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall+
Thursday, January 20, 2022 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop – Popscene+
Friday, January 21, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour+
+Supporting artist Alice Longyu Gao
Since becoming a viral sensation in 2011 with her hit music video “Friday,” Black has been not so quietly improving her musical talents and overcoming insecurities. “I have spent the past 10 years constantly questioning myself and asking myself if I was really able to ever overcome my own insecurities. Now looking at this project completely finished, I couldn’t be more proud of what I have been able to create with some of the most talented and kind team I’ve known. Truth is, I couldn’t have made this project without having experienced what I have in my past, and I am finally able to celebrate that for myself,” she said.
Last year, Black came out as queer on Jack Dodge and Amy Ordman’s former podcast Dating Straight and has since felt that she has been able to be more expressive in her music. “I feel like I can be a lot more honest,” Black said in a Zoom interview.“This project is very straight forward in the way it was written. It felt so good. I can just be like, ‘This is my life!’ I don’t have to walk around it anymore.” This year, she proudly received the honor of being featured on Variety’s ‘Power of Pride’ 2021 list, Logo30, and Bustle’s Pride Yearbook.
In 2011, Black’s viral hit “Friday” was viewed by more than 150 million people worldwide and became the fastest-growing song and video that year. Now with a RIAA Gold certification, a No. 1 on Youtube, Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, and a Teen Choice Award to her name, the decade wrapped up with Rebecca making notable highlights of the past 10 years including features in Rolling Stone and Billboard. Black also appeared in Katy Perry’s music video “Last Friday Night.” In her leisure, Rebecca advocates for anti-bullying, mental health initiatives and the LGBTQ+ community, across recent partnerships with the AdCouncil, GLAAD, and Best Buddies.
Rebecca Black shared more insight on her latest project and the experiences that lead to becoming a hyper-pop musician in a Zoom call.
Jackson Weimer: What should fans take away from the title of this project? Where was Rebecca Black and where is she now?
Rebecca Black: I’ve been here! The title can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on where you have been in accordance to me in the past few years. For me, it was a really succinct way of describing what my experience has been like putting out music.
Weimer: What was the most musically difficult phrase to create for this project?
Black: The beginning of “Personal.” We re-wrote it four times, but the way it is now was the original way we wrote it. It was a lot of words and it was very fast, but it said exactly what it needed to say. “Personal was a song” that really morphed so many times. It took us close to 10 months to finish the song.
Weimer: What was the inspiration for the song “NGL”?
Black: I was connected with Marshall Vore, whose work with Phoebe Bridgers I loved. His writing was very different from the music I’ve been doing, but after a few minutes of meeting each other, it became obvious how similar our tastes were. I think we were both ready to try something new. Vore introduced me to a producer named Glitch Gum, who produced the track behind “NGL.” I had an idea of what I wanted to write about that day and that track put it perfectly in the context of how we wrote those lyrics. It was the last song we did and it was really fun and a closing chapter on the project.
Weimer: When reporters ask you about the “Friday” video and your past, what feelings does that evoke?
Black: It was a learning experience. Now that I have had time and been able to reflect and really understand what happened, I have learned how to make that meaningful for myself. If talking about it does that for somebody else as well, then fantastic.
Weimer: What do you feel you missed out on because of your internet fame as a kid?
Black: I was homeschooled and doing online school. I really related to what kids are going through now with online school. I don’t think I missed out on much, because I have lived my own experience.
Weimer: Do you have a particular location or headspace you want your fans to consume this newest project in?
Black: Alone. It’s such a singular perspective throughout the course of a relationship. While I think a lot of these songs could be great at a little gay club over the summer, I feel like you find new music best when you’re alone.
Weimer: What song(s) on this project encapsulate the new you the best?
Black: All of them! Songs like “Blue” are vulnerable, whereas songs like “Better In My Memory” and “Personal” represent sounds I have been wanting to incorporate for years into my music and I just feel happy that it’s there now.
Weimer: What is your favorite meme?
Black: I’m really a big proponent of a really good cursed meme. I find myself using those. Anything that Nicki Minaj says, I’m a huge barb. But “Power Bitch Moves” is my favorite meme.
This conversation has been edited and reduced for clarity.