Most fans of pop culture phenomena Drake and Coachella can now relate to the struggles of a young Robert Pattinson, as the English actor has followed in the footsteps of his idols and taken on the roles of a struggling artist and a music festival founder. In a big break from tradition, Pattinson has decided to share the highs and lows of his life as an artist in an intimate and inspiring memoir. Though many famous faces have come together to promote #DrakeandCoachella, the music festival and the novel, the quintessential reason behind the collab is Pattinson himself and the story he wants to share.
Music, Male Artists and Fans’ Imagined Girlfriends
Pattinson has always been a devoted fan of music and has even gone so far as to form his own band. The musician found fame as the lead singer of the indie-pop band The Libertines, which attracted a devoted fanbase and earned him spots in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest vocals by a male artist. After releasing five albums and touring the world, the singer/songwriter decided to retire from music in 2010. Although he took time off to pursue movies, his love for the stage and live performances never left him.
Meanwhile, fans of Drake and Coachella have been eagerly awaiting the English rapper and the Indio, California-based rock band’s official collaboration for weeks. Though the event was initially shrouded in mystery, the hashtag #DrakeandCoachella began trending globally on social media as fans waited anxiously for the announcement. As it turned out, the English rapper was a longtime fan of the festival and decided to lend his support in the form of a collab with the band. Like Pattinson, Drake also has a history of playing the part of a struggling artist in his music and videos. One of his earliest hits, 1995’s “Started From The Bottom”, is about the rapper’s humble beginnings, and it was later turned into a movie of the same name. The song also served as the soundtrack for David O. Russell’s 2013 film The David O. Russell-produced movie also stars U2’s Bono and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler as a trio of rock stars who discover an unknown singer and help him rise to fame.
While Drake and Coachella’s partnership was clearly a marketing decision aimed at attracting new fans, the celebrity collab also marked a notable departure in how musicians and celebrities interact with their fans. On his Instagram account, @drake, the rapper shared a rare glimpse of his personal life, revealing that he was dating a fan named Matilda Kluck, to whom he dedicated his 2015 album, Nothing Was The Same.
Prior to their partnership, Drake had mostly remained silent on social media, only occasionally sharing photos of his luxurious lifestyle and extravagant gifts for his fans. But in a rare show of personality, the Canadian musician decided to take on an entirely different approach and engage with his adoring public on a personal level. For his part, Coachella’s founder, Billy Howerdel, has also kept a low profile, only occasionally sharing new concert dates and festival lineups with his followers. But now that the dust has settled, the San Francisco-based music lover can be seen regularly posting photos of himself with famous faces and promoting major music festivals around the world.
Looking back, it’s evident that both artists saw a void in the music industry that needed to be filled by making a concerted effort to reach out to their fans on a deeper level. The decision to team up was likely spurred by their shared appreciation for European culture and design, which they’ve represented in their music videos and onstage performances. The English singer/songwriter cited the success of British musicians such as Adele and Elton John in transitioning to a solo career after years of collaboration, as a key motivation behind the venture. “I really want to do the same, but I don’t know how,” he said in a press conference in April 2018. “I think that this is the year that I’ll do it, and I’ll do it with you.” John added that he’s always been a fan of what Pattinson has brought to music, so it was only natural for him to join forces with the actor. “As an artist, you want to work with people that you admire,” he said. “Whether it’s musicians, or directors, or producers, or just fellow actors—you want to work with people that you admire and respect.”
‘The Great British Bakeoff’: From Reality TV to Book
While Drake and Coachella were busy preparing for their collab, another celebrity couple was also hard at work on a project that would find its way onto both the page and the small screen. Earlier this year, Robert Pattinson released his memoir, Somewhere Along The Way, and the English actor revealed that he’d been working on the book for years. The memoir is Pattinson’s attempt to deal with the lows and highs of his life as an artist, as well as showcase his musical and culinary talents to the world. In an interview with Esquire, he discussed how difficult it can be to balance his acting and music careers, as well as the pressures that come with having a large fanbase. “The book is a mix of my life from my very beginnings through to now,” he said. “I don’t think there were any straight-forward stories in it. It was more about the ups and downs that life brings.”
The story of a struggling artist isn’t completely new, as the archetype has been featured in countless films and TV shows. What is new is the way in which the celebrity chefs have risen to fame primarily through social media. With the exception of Guy Fieri, who exploded into YouTube stardom with professionally taken videos of him cooking and interacting with fans, most of today’s top celebrity chefs began their journey as social media personalities first.
The ‘Roach Coach’ who became the viral celebrity chef behind @guypotatoes was, for example, originally known for his elaborate cakes and candy-inspired dishes. His popularity quickly expanded when he started posting videos of himself preparing and eating these mouthwatering confections. The now-famous chef’s ability to attract and retain an audience through his videos means that he has the opportunity to expose millions of fans to his cooking style and unique brand of humor. Though he’s mainly known for his candied yams and marshmallow roaches, the 56-year-old has released dozens of cookbooks and has even taught numerous classes on how to make simple yet unique dishes. “In my opinion, social media and the internet have been the biggest game changers when it comes to food,” he told the Wall Street Journal in 2018. “People are inspired and can find a way to showcase their talents. People can connect with each other and develop communities around the dishes they love preparing.”
Making Art A Part Of Your Daily Routine
Whether or not you relate to the struggles of a young Robert Pattinson, it’s undeniable that the celebrity blues have helped make art more accessible to the masses. Since the early 2000s, many famous faces have turned to art and design as a form of therapy, dealing with their personal demons and offering fans a new perspective on the stresses of being a celebrity. In many ways, art therapists like Robin Burns and Elle MacLeman, who specialize in working with celebrities, are experts in helping clients find the creative outlets that enable them to process their feelings and stressors. “I believe that the more we can do to expose more people to art and creativity, the healthier and happier we’ll all be,” MacLeman told the Wall Street Journal when discussing the role that art plays in her work. “People are getting better at hiding their pain, but that doesn’t mean that art isn’t helping them. When you’re in a room with someone who is incredibly talented, it can be pretty confronting. The chance to shine a light on something that you find difficult is incredibly rewarding.”