‘Gossip Girl’ Stars Leighton Meester, Ed Westwick Parlay TV Success Into Music Careers

You know you love them ... but will you buy albums from Blair and Chuck?

When they’re not out on the town, becoming fodder for New York’s real-life gossip rags, most of the “Gossip Girl” castmembers have been honing their acting chops in movies. But stars Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick — a.k.a. on-again, off-again item Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass — are taking a stab at music careers. It’s a road frequently taken by up-and-coming actors, but these two seem to be attempting a fresh approach.

Meester, 22, is currently working on an album she recently described as “a good mixture of hip-hop-sounding, very vibe-y music.” Of course, MTV News tried to speak to Meester herself, but her rep thought it was too soon for interviews about her new project, which they hope to release next year.
This actually isn’t the actress’ first foray into singing: She sang the growly rock track “Inside the Black” for the 2007 teen horror flick “Drive Thru” (which also featured “GG” star Penn Badgley). And Meester already seems savvy to the music business. Instead of going with a record label, she’s opted for a production-company deal that will allow her more “creative freedom,” her rep tells MTV News.

“I’ve always done [music],” Meester told “Access Hollywood.” “It’s so cool because it’s a completely different creative process.”

Before he was setting off sparks with Meester onscreen, 21-year-old Westwick and his mates back home in London formed the punk outfit the Filthy Youth in 2006. The guys were inspired by the Rolling Stones, the Doors and more contemporary artists like the Kings of Leon.

Westwick’s publicist also fears the curse of “overexposure” in the press (too late?), so MTV News spoke to bandmate Jimmy Wright instead. He said Filthy Youth are happy to benefit from Westwick’s TV success. Two of the band’s songs — “Come Flash All You Ladies” and “Orange” — were used in the season-one episode “School Lies.”

“It’s great to get involved in ‘Gossip Girl,’ crossing over both mediums,” Wright said.
The band is unsigned, and four of its five members are still in the U.K. But Westwick’s presence in New York has no doubt helped them book gigs on this side of the pond.

“It’s very different out [in America] as we have gained a younger audience due to ‘Gossip Girl,’ which is great,” Wright said. “But we formed the band before there even was a ‘Gossip Girl,’ so perhaps that’s why we have an older audience at home. Two of our songs were on one of the ‘Gossip Girl’ episodes, which have also gained us more fans, who perhaps before had never had the chance to listen to us.”