Harry Styles Talks New Album, Taylor Swift, and Fangirls with 'Rolling Stone'

Harry Styles Talks New Album, Taylor Swift, and Fangirls with 'Rolling Stone'

Read the highlights from his most revealing interview yet.

Read the highlights from his most revealing interview yet.

Text: Jake Viswanath

While the rollout of Harry Styles, solo artist, has been nothing less than exciting, with his thrilling single “Sign of the Times” and an intriguing debut album to come, there really hasn’t been much context about what inspired this endeavor to begin with, until now. Styles got in-depth with Rolling Stone about his life since One Direction, speaking about what made him want to go solo, what inspired the tracks on his upcoming album, and how being the world’s most sought-after heartthrob affects him today. Oh, and Taylor Swift, of course. Read highlights from the fascinating interview below.

On his mission as a solo artist: "I didn't want to write 'stories,' I wanted to write my stories, things that happened to me. The number-one thing was I wanted to be honest. I hadn't done that before."

On why he writes about love and romance: "The one subject that hits the hardest is love, whether it's platonic, romantic, loving it, gaining it, losing it ... it always hits you hardest. I don't think people want to hear me talk about going to bars, and how great everything is. The champagne popping ... who wants to hear about it? I don't want to hear my favorite artists talk about all the amazing shit they get to do. I want to hear, 'How did you feel when you were alone in that hotel room, because you chose to be alone?'"

On keeping his personal and work lives separate: "More than 'do you keep a mystery alive?' – it's not that. I like to separate my personal life and work. It helps, I think, for me to compartmentalize. It's not about trying to make my career longer, like I'm trying to be this 'mysterious character,' because I'm not. When I go home, I feel like the same person I was at school. You can't expect to keep that if you show everything. There's the work and the personal stuff, and going between the two is my favorite shit. It's amazing to me."

On the inspiration behind "Sign of the Times": "Most of the stuff that hurts me about what's going on at the moment is not politics, it's fundamentals. Equal rights. For everyone, all races, sexes, everything. ... 'Sign of the Times' came from 'This isn't the first time we've been in a hard time, and it's not going to be the last time.' The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there's a complication. The mother is told, 'The child is fine, but you're not going to make it.' The mother has five minutes to tell the child, 'Go forth and conquer.'"

On his Central Park date with Taylor Swift: "When I see photos from that day, I think: Relationships are hard, at any age. And adding in that you don't really understand exactly how it works when you're 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn't make it easier. I mean, you're a little bit awkward to begin with. You're on a date with someone you really like. It should be that simple, right? It was a learning experience for sure. But at the heart of it – I just wanted it to be a normal date."

On rabid teenage fangirls: "Who's to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That's not up to you to say. Music is something that's always changing. There's no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they're not serious? How can you say young girls don't get it? They're our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don't lie. If they like you, they're there. They don't act 'too cool.' They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick."

Credits: Photo: MediaPunch

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