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Music

Revisiting Robert Pattinson's forgotten music career

@notmyyaztattoo

Calling all my Twi-hards, Batman bros, and honestly, soft indie acoustic lovers of the Gregory Alan Isakov, Lord Huron, Sufjan Stevens, Ben Howard, and Bon Iver variety. You need to pay attention to Robert Pattinson.

The English actor has made a name for himself as a prolific and gifted artist since his Twilight days with gems like Good Time, The Lighthouse, The Devil All the Time, and now, The Batman, which more than proves his acting chops. He can do it all, from blockbusters to indie darlings. 

However, one thing you might not know about Pattinson is that he had an entire music career in the mid-2000s, which he more or less put to bed when acting began to take flight for him. Pattinson has been playing guitar and piano since the age of four, as well as writing his own music during his youth. 

Digging into his music, there’s actually a ton to be discovered. Pretty much none of it is available on streaming platforms, as he’s never been signed to a label or officially recorded a studio album, but there’s an abundance of his stripped-back, soulful, carefree music floating around on the internet.

Some might remember that Pattinson sang two songs for the Twilight soundtracks, ‘Let Me Sign’ and ‘Never Think’, both of which were used in the film (as backing music for scenes he was in as Edward Cullen). But those songs merely scratch the surface.

Not only does he have lone tracks like ‘Stray Dog’, ‘I’ll Be Your Lover Too’, ‘I Was Broken’, and the aforementioned ‘Let Me Sign’, but there’s an entire album of his unreleased music just floating around on YouTube. This actually shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering that he once told The LA Times: “Music is my back-up plan if acting fails”. Something tells me that Pattinson has nothing to worry about in that regard.

But back in 2008, he sat down for an Artist on Artist interview for MySpace alongside Hayley Williams of Paramore, an interview in which he revealed that he was about to give up acting in favour of music before auditioning for Twilight, because “I got to the end of the year and I had no money”. They even floated the idea of singing a duet together. Who knows? If not for his sparkling role in the sensational vampire film, the world may have gotten an entirely different Robert Pattinson. 

In terms of what his music actually sounds like, he has a simple, folky singer-songwriter thing going for him. It’s clear that he knows what he’s doing and can hold his own on piano and guitar, making the space for his voice to take the spotlight. His voice which, by the way, almost doesn’t seem like it would come out of his face. It’s gritty, wild, and casually free, but somehow, he also sounds pitch-perfectly trained. It almost mimics jazz in that way.

His music has that fresh sparkle. That lively yet grounded demo quality of a highly-competent yet early-career talent. Quite frankly, it’s a marvel that this man didn’t push a little harder to make it in the music world, too.

Although the world will never know for sure, I think Robert Pattinson would have made his way regardless of whether he picked the acting path or the music one. Maybe one day he’ll find that inspiration again and shock the world with his talents lying just below the surface.

But for now, if you want to check out his music, you can take a listen to his unreleased album below.