Cellar Door magazine chats with Rob’s sister, singer/songwriter Lizzy Pattinson. Great interview…
We Love Lizzy by Olivia Weeks
Dimly lit and shrouded in a floaty maxi dress, a female silhouette can be made out and a husky, smooth voice fills the room. The first notes sung in the music room of this West London pub immediately transform it, giving the feeling of a 1950’s style jazz bar. The lights brighten and there stands London-based singer/songwriter Lizzy Pattinson.
The room is packed, with both fans and first-time listeners and neither are disappointed. Her performance with her band includes songs written with brother, actor Robert Pattinson, as well as StarSailor’s James Walsh. It proves impossible to pigeon-hole her music into one genre, and you wouldn’t want to. She isn’t afraid to explore different avenues of styles and use all of her voice, and her work is honest and evocative.
She is carving out a name for herself with her folky, soulful style and is well on her way to taking her place in the music industry. She is definitely a Cellardoor girl. We caught up with her to see what she is currently working on…
Where do you draw inspiration for your work from?
Everything and everywhere. I guess the tricky part is turning what you feel into a song that others might enjoy too.
What made you want to be a singer/songwriter?
I started singing aged 15. We had a class concert at school and everyone had to take part, for some reason I decided I wanted to sing, having never done it before. My parents were really worried for me as I was painfully shy, but I felt compelled to do it. Writing was something that came later; I’m still working on that skill.
Who, dead or alive, would you most like to work with?
I’d like to have sung a duet with Roy Orbison.
Is there a song or album that has been really important to you growing up and why?
I used to listen to my Mum and Dad’s records. Tracy Chapman was a favourite. I appreciate the lyrics more as an adult. I also remember being in a restaurant when I was younger and there was a kids disco downstairs; they only had one record and played it over and over again, it was ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This’ by The Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield, I was in a total pop trance and still love that song today!
If you weren’t a singer/songwriter what would you be doing?
I really enjoy what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else. I used to work in a library… perhaps I’d still be there!
Where is your favourite place to perform?
It’s been great playing intimate acoustic gigs in London recently. The Bedford and The Regal Room are lovely acoustic venues.
You performed at IOW festival this year – how was that?
It was really fun, we played the acoustic stage and managed to catch performances from a few of the main acts too, Blondie was a highlight for me!
What was it like working with the UK dance act, Aurora?
It was a great experience. I was 18 and had just done my A-Levels. It was like a crash course in the music industry. I’m grateful that I had that little bit of luck early on as it made me feel that it was possible to have a career in music as opposed to it just being a pipedream in my head. It’s still a roller coaster ride!
You wrote a song for “Twilight”, what was it like hearing your song on film?
It wasn’t a song as such; I sang ambient background vocals on the film score. My vocals are probably most prominent on the piece ‘Who Are They’ at the moment when Edward Cullen first appears in the Cafeteria Scene. I recorded the vocals with Carter Burwell and Catherine Hardwicke at Hans Zimmer’s studio in Los Angeles and Air Studios in London. They were both such amazing people to work with and it was fascinating to see and hear how much the music affects the mood of the scene. I feel honoured to have been a part of the film, albeit a very small part. It was so much fun!
What’s been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The first time I heard one of my songs on the radio felt great!
How would your friends describe you?
I just text one of my friends. They say enigmatic, nuts and thoughtful!
Who are your favourite heroes/heroines of fiction?
Pippi Longstocking! I’ve always wanted to clean the kitchen floor with hand-brushes worn as roller-skates!
How would you describe your fashion style?
The feel of clothes is more important to me than anything, I like being comfortable. On stage I’m more flamboyant, I find myself drawn to the cut of 1940’s clothes with a defined waist and sharp silhouette, and recently I’ve gotten into 1970’s maxi dresses and biba style platforms.
Who are your style icons?
Marilyn Monroe for her natural charisma and glamour, I loved her casual style in Pucci dresses and print blouses. Raquel Reed for her psychedelic individuality and Jennifer Connelly for her mysterious elegance.
Do you have any favourite places to shop?
I generally come across things by accident whilst on the way to somewhere else, like one-off boutiques or charity shops; I like clothes with a story to them.
You grew up in London, what is it you love most about the city?
I think the cultural diversity here creates a really exciting atmosphere. You can’t fail to be impressed by the amazing architecture alongside the Thames in the centre of town.
So what can we expect next from Lizzy Pattinson?
Songwriting for the rest of the year and showcasing new songs at gigs in London. I’ve also been collaborating with really varied artists and bands. I recently recorded a duet with Brian Molko from Placebo called ‘Inseparable’ and a duet with British band Beatbullyz called ‘Heartbeat’, which will be on their album, released September 19th.
And lastly, as this is Cellardoor’s Autumn issue, what is your favourite thing about Autumn?
I love Autumn in London. You see amazing colours in the parks; greens, purples and golds. It’s still sunny with blue skies, but you can feel winter on its way. I like that we have quite defined seasons, it appeals to my sense of drama!
Lizzy will be playing The Bedford in Balham on September 7th and September 30th.
Check out Lizzy’s MySpace and Twitter pages for more info.