Ahead of his long-awaited, self-titled debut, Harry Styles has given his first in-depth interview since going solo. It covers just about everything, from the old-school influences for his post-One Direction full-length, to his time spent recording in Jamaica, back to his brief but well-publicised fling with Taylor Swift, right up to why he doesn’t Google himself.
A couple of weeks on since releasing debut solo single ‘Sign of the Times’, Styles’ Rolling Stone interview offers an insight into his solo approach. It’s clear he’s keen to start a fresh clean slate, over a year after One Direction announced their hiatus.
Here’s the best of what we’ve learned from Styles’ extensive interview:
He made a carrot cake for Stevie Nicks
Forget about all the important in-depth album info – this is the real takeaway from Styles’ interview. He’s such a big fan of Fleetwood Mac, he baked Stevie Nicks a carrot cake. What a sweetheart. “Piped her name onto it. She loved it. Glad she liked carrot cake,” he said. Watch out Paul Hollywood…
He’s not ruling out a 1D comeback
His solo debut could pave the way for a massive decade-plus career of his own, but he’s not waving goodbye to his old band just yet. “I love the band, and would never rule out anything in the future. The band changed my life, gave me everything,” he said, while also addressing why he’s enjoying his new independence. “Every decision I’ve made since I was 16 was made in a democracy. I felt like it was time to make a decision about the future … and maybe I shouldn’t rely on others.” He went on to address former bandmate Zayn’s comments about how 1D was not music “that I would listen to.” Styles said: “”I think it’s a shame he felt that way… but I never wish anything but luck to anyone doing what they love. If you’re not enjoying something and need to do something else, you absolutely should do that. I’m glad he’s doing what he likes, and good luck to him.”
His ‘Sign of the Times’ song has an… interesting subject matter
We’ll let Harry explain this one. “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.'”
Initially recorded as a voice memo on his phone, Styles fell for the song so much, he wanted to name his album ‘Sign of the Times’. Except that, y’know, one of his heroes got there first.
He looks to Prince for inspiration
That much is already clear from ‘Sign of the Times’, but Styles is also a big admirer of the mystique that continues to surround Prince. “With an artist like Prince, all you wanted to do was know more. And that mystery – it’s why those people are so magical! Like, fuck, I don’t know what Prince eats for breakfast.” Haz obviously hasn’t heard about The Purple One’s famed scrambled egg recipe, then. No word just yet on if Styles has a hundred songs hidden in a vault.
He’s an amazing advocate for his teenage fans
Styles gave an eloquent, honest answer when asked about the fans who’ve followed his every move since X Factor. In both a massive gut-punch to music snobs and a perfect summary of teenage music fans, he said: “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.”
He loves British sweets
Despite living the LA lifestyle, Styles buys imported British confectionary when he misses the taste of home. He’s a big fan of Branston Pickle, Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles and the “irresistibly smooth” Lindt chocolates you had one too many of this Easter.
He slept on a mattress for two years
During 1D’s peak fame, he stayed at the Hampstead Heath family home of television producer Ben Winston. What was meant to be a two-week visit soon turned into a twenty-month stay. He slept on a mattress in an attic, living there in secrecy as 1D fans stood outside a North London house he didn’t actually live in. Winston recalled: “No one ever found out, really. Even when we went out for a meal, it’s such a sweet family neighbourhood, no one dreamed it was actually him. But he made our house a home. And when he moved out, we were gutted.”