Patrice Wilson, the songwriter responsible for giving the world the inner ear infection known as “Friday”, and Nicole Westbrook, the 12 year-old singer behind his latest piece of pop pablum, “It’s Thanksgiving”, spoke with ABC News to discuss the sudden success of the video, the negative reactions online, and the inevitable comparisons with Rebecca Black.
I already said my peace last week regarding the positives and negatives of the video, but I feel the need to point out what a great attitude this girl has about everything. Kudos to her on being well-adjusted, if not self-aware, about the inherent silliness of it all.
With more than a whopping 3 million hits since it was originally posted on Nov. 7, Westbrook, of Lake Balboa, Calif., cannot believe the attention her turkey day tune has already had.
“I had no idea how big this would get,” Westbrook told ABCNews.com. “It’s so overwhelming but at the same time it’s so great. I’ve never experienced this before. I haven’t listened to any of the comments, so I don’t know how exactly people are taking this, but it’s so big right now so it’s great.”
Westbrook is the latest musical protege to emerge from producer Patrice Wilson with PMW Live, a site he created for independent artists to “get their music out into the world.” Wilson, also responsible for the wildly successful viral hit “Friday,” by Rebecca Black, which got more than 42 million hits, has been dubbed by critics as the ringleader of horrible tween music. But Wilson chooses to take the high road and focus on what matters most to him.
“Sometimes I read the comments and laugh over it,” Wilson said. “But our main job is to make sure Nicole is OK and she’s having fun doing what she does.”
Westbrook is also choosing not to focus on her song’s criticisms or comparisons to Black’s “Friday.”
“Patrice had told me it was so hard for her [Black] because she gave into all the negative feedback,” Westbrook said. “I’m just not like that. I’m staying as far away from that as I can. I’m at a good age and know what I should and shouldn’t read. They’re entitled to their own opinions.”
“I’m really excited for her. She’s always done a great job,” Wilson said. “She’s always impressed and surprised me with her skills. I had a good feeling that the Thanksgiving song would get big. At the end of the day, I just have to make sure she’s OK and her family is OK.”
Westbrook’s parents are also standing behind their daughter with her new fame.
“They are just so happy, but at the same time they are really protective of me. They’re really excited, but also maybe a little worried that I still stay grounded,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook, as any 12-year-old would, said she had a blast shooting the video and sharing the experience with her closest friends.
“The best part about it is the kids in the video are my closest friends. It was so much fun shooting. The food was so delicious,” Westbrook said. “They are just so excited. They just helped me through it. Even with the negative comments, they had so much fun. They can’t stop talking about it.”
Wilson not only wrote the song, but also came up with the idea to use the turkey leg as a microphone and dress up in the turkey costume. He admitted his favorite lyric is “Can’t be hateful, gotta be grateful.”
When asked how Westbrook feels about being directly compared to Black, she replied, “I feel like people view us as being really similar, but I’m probably a lot different than her in many ways. They’ve both gotten so many hits and people are talking about it. I guess this is like another déjà vu.
“It’s not the best thing to be compared to someone else, but I’m OK with it. I don’t really mind. But she is really great and she went through the same things as I do.”
And if you’re a fan of Westbrook’s, don’t worry that her musical talent will stop after Thanksgiving is over. She has already recorded a rap song with Wilson’s company and will be shooting a music video for it at a later date.
Credit: ABC News