Rob Pattinson is Britain’s Got Talent 2015 winner and singer-songwriter from Newcastle. Now 24, he began his musical career at the age of 12 after writing and recording his first song, which was then played on Radio 1 by Scott Mills. Since then, he’s released four studio albums and two EPs, toured the US and Canada multiple times, and was named to Rolling Stone’s 2015 list of the 50 best unsigned artists and albums of the year.
The ‘Death Grip Rob Pattinson’s Secret’ tour is the musician’s first headlining UK tour since winning the BGT competition. “I’ve had a really good idea for a new album, and we’re going to be touring it,” he tells Rolling Stone UK. “For the last year and a half, I’ve been writing and recording, and it’s just been going well. I’ve been working with a lot of really amazing people.”
The album will mark the culmination of almost a decade of musical growth. On his debut EP, Losing Hope, he evoked the spirit of Nirvana, while his second EP, Remember Me, found Pattinson exploring electronica and new wave. Most recently, his third album, All I Need, drew on ‘70s pop, soft rock, and new wave, creating a sound that Rolling Stone described as “groovy, sun-kissed, and soulful”.
We spoke to Rob about his remarkable career so far and what’s next for this remarkable young talent.
On The Death Of Kurt Cobain
The first song on his new album is a moving tribute to Kurt Cobain. “Kurt was a big influence on me,” he told Rolling Stone in a 2015 interview. “Even though we were never really that close, he was someone I looked up to. A lot of the music I was making when I was 15 and 16 was directly inspired by Nirvana. We were always playing their songs in the car and on the radio. He also had the same kind of stoner, mischievous charisma as me.”
The song deals with how Cobain’s life and untimely death impacted Pattinson. “It’s about all the wonderful things he did for music and how much he influenced me as a musician,” he says. “I feel lucky I was able to witness all those moments and connect with him in a way that was personal. But it’s also about the sadness of losing someone you love that much.”
It was a shock to the music world when Kurt Cobain died in his sleep in 1994. The guitarist, singer, and songwriter was just 27 years old. In the years since his unexpected passing, music fans have been in the habit of paying tribute to one of the most influential artists of all time.
The grunge pioneer not only influenced several generations of musicians but also carved out a unique place in popular culture. Cobain’s life and death have been subject to numerous documentaries and feature films, and he even lent his voice to a video game. In 2014, Rolling Stone ranked him number 32 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. In August 2015, the Guardian wrote an obituary remembering the “iconoclastic” artist. “Few figures in modern music were more influential or more complicated than Kurt Cobain,” they said. “Even those who knew him only through his music often had their lives changed by his influence.”
The ‘Death Grip Rob’ Tour
“I’ve had a really good idea for a new album, and we’re going to be touring it,” Pattinson tells Rolling Stone UK. “For the last year and a half, I’ve been writing and recording, and it’s just been going well. I’ve been working with a lot of really amazing people.”
The musician has been busy. Besides celebrating his BGT win with a series of gigs and interviews, he’s also been opening up for Mariah Carey on her Diamonds Tour, playing festivals such as Coachella and Glastonbury, and headlining shows in support of his first three albums. After taking a year off to focus on his music, he’s now back with a new batch of songs.
“I would say my aim is to make the best, weirdest album I can, and see how close I can get to perfecting a really unique and individual sound,” he continues. “I want to do something different, and hopefully that will be the sound that people respond to. I feel like I’ve really grown as a musician over the past couple of years. The three albums I’ve put out so far have all sounded different from each other, but I think they’ve all been a part of this bigger growth.”
The musician has been open about the fact that he’s working on his first full-length album since winning the BGT competition. In 2014, he told Rolling Stone that he intended to “put out one more EP and then focus on the album to follow, which will probably be a concept album.”
He followed that up by revealing that the album was entitled Death Grip and would consist of songs about grief and loss. “I’ll have a collection of songs that are a bit darker than usual, but I think people will still find them relatable,” he told NME. “I want to explore what it’s like to lose someone you love… You never get over that feeling of heartbreak and pain. It’s something I’ve been trying to understand, and I think these songs will help me.”
What’s Next For This Remarkable Young Talent?
Since his BGT win, Rob Pattinson has been working hard to cement his position as one of Britain’s most exciting live acts. Along with performing regularly, he’s also been keeping busy by recording his fourth album and planning a number of live shows in support of it. However, he’s also been busy writing new songs.
Now that he’s returned from the U.S. and Canada where he performed as part of the Olympic Torch relay, he’s got a headstart on the next phase of his career. “I’ve been working hard to get my new album recorded and released. We’ve got a really good batch of songs, and I think this is going to be an amazing album,” he says. “I would love to see my album cut loose and followed by a UK tour. I want to bring this album to the masses.”
So, what can fans expect from this upcoming album? Will it continue the musical themes of loss and heartbreak that have accompanied previous albums? “I would say my aim is to make the best, weirdest album I can, and see how close I can get to perfecting a really unique and individual sound,” he says. “I want to do something different, and hopefully that will be the sound that people respond to. I feel like I’ve really grown as a musician over the past couple of years. The three albums I’ve put out so far have all sounded different from each other, but I think they’ve all been a part of this bigger growth.”
As for what’s next for Pattinson, he’s got some time off before he starts work on his next album. He’s also planning a massive world tour behind it. “The ‘Death Grip Rob’ tour is the musician’s first headlining UK tour since winning the BGT competition,” we wrote in our review of one of his shows in Manchester last year. “He’s opened up for Mariah Carey on her Diamonds Tour, played festivals such as Coachella and Glastonbury, and headlined shows in support of his first three albums. A fourth album, Death Grip, is due for release in the next few months.”