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Male Actors That You Didn’t Know Make Music

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Vic chapter.

Have you ever been watching your favourite actors in a movie or TV show when all of a sudden, they break out into song? It could be as casual as Chris Briney’s performance as Conrad in The Summer I Turned Pretty (TSITP) where he plays the acoustic guitar at his mom’s funeral or as mega as Ryan Gosling’s performance as Ken in Barbie. Doing a bit of ✨research✨, it seems that more male actors have released music than I originally had thought. 

Starting strong with Ken— ahem, I mean Ryan Gosling —who wowed audiences in theatres with strong vocal performances such as in La La Land, and more recently, Barbie. What few fans know is that in 2007, Gosling started an indie rock band called Dead Man’s Bones where he sang vocals, played the bass guitar, and the cello. I recommend checking out their song “In The Room Where You Sleep.” 

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Next up we have another household face, Stranger Things star Joe Keery. Surprisingly, the producers have never utilised Keery’s hypnotic vocals for his character Steve Harrington in the hit Netflix TV series. His alias for music is “Djo” and his latest release is the album DECIDE, which was released in 2022. Although his music might not be to everybody’s taste, he’s sure to incorporate some Stranger Things-esque sounds into his work. I recommend checking out his song “Change” from his most recent album.

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Another star you’re sure to have heard of (both literally and musically) is superstar Jack Black. All the way back in 2003 (before some of us were even born), Jack Black starred as Dewey in the iconic comedy School Of Rock where he pretends to be a music teacher at an elitist elementary school and eventually enlists these youngsters into his band. More recently, he played Bowser in The Super Mario Bros Movie. In it, he gave a riveting performance with his vocals to a song called “Peaches”. Knowing his history with music, I couldn’t help but be curious to see if Black had done anything else musically over the years —and as luck would have it — he has! Tenacious D is a comedy rock band that Black is a partner in that has been releasing music spontaneously over the years. I recommend listening to his hit song “Tribute.”

For any Wes Anderson fans out there, this next one is sure to ring some bells. Jason Schwartzman has starred in numerous films with the famous director with phenomenal performances across the board. What is less commonly known is that he also produces music under the name “Coconut Records”. Although he hasn’t released anything since 2012, Schwartzman has some stellar tracks. In his albums Davy and Nighttiming, he plays the majority of instruments. His artist profile was randomly recommended to me on Spotify one day. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered one of my all-time favourite songs, “West Coast” was written and sung by Schwartzman himself. Talk about a fangirl’s dream come true. 

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Ending with a bang, there is the alternative rock band Wallows, which at first might not ring any celebrity bells. With over 9 million listeners on Spotify, band member Dylan Minnette, who is known for his performance in the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, has contributed to vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, and drums for the band, but primarily does rhythm guitar. Their hit song, featuring singer Clairo, is called “Are You Bored Yet?”, but they have a number of top hits that are sure to ring a bell when you listen to them. If you’re looking for inspiration, their album Nothing Happens is a great place to start!

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Ending on Canadian soil, the Ontario-born actor Michael Cera also takes a chance with music. He is known for his role in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World which focuses on the story of a rock band. He also co-starred in the filmJUNO from 2007 where he and actor Elliot Page (formally Ellen Page) sang a cover of The Moldy Peaches song “Anyone Else But You”. For his music, his artist name is also his actual name which simplifies matters. He plays the bass guitar and sings. His most popular song is “Clay Pigeons”, which you should definitely recognize if you are on TikTok.

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And that’s it! All of the musicians on this list are genuinely artists whose music I listen to monthly, and in some cases, daily. There are so many talented artists out there and it’s wonderful to see how many forms art can come in. Happy listening fellow streamers!

Ashley Ciambrelli is the Senior Editor for the Her Campus Chapter at the University of Victoria. She is in charge of ensuring a high quality of professional writing for the writers that are on her team. She manages the editing team, ensuring they meet Her Campus standards and stay on schedule. Alongside overseeing the editing team, she also loves writing articles herself. Ashley is currently in her third year at the University of Victoria where she is majoring in writing and minoring in journalism and publishing. Ashley has been with Her Campus since the fall of 2022, where she began with writing articles. Later that year, her passion for writing led her to take on a more prominent role within the editing team. In her free time, Ashley enjoys making tea and watching any 2000s teen drama. She casually records vocals for local singers on the side, and is currently working on releasing some music of her own. She is a foster mom with the BC SPCA, and has a strong love for all fluffy creatures — especially bunnies. She loves DSLR photography and hopes to combine her passion for writing with visual media sometime in the future.