HS Quotidien Interview
Hi folks! Here is a transcript of Harry’s interview with Yann Barthès. I didn’t want to spend too much time on it, so I apologize if there are a few typos. However, I moonlight as a lyrics transcriber so it should be pretty accurate… This includes a bit that was cut in the replay version, so don’t be surprised.
YB: Welcome to Paris.
HS: Thank you.
YB: How are you?
HS: Um, good. I’m good.
YB: Can you answer in French? Comment ça va? (= how are you?)
HS: Umm, I have… a little bit…a tiny bit… Très bien. Et toi? (= very well and you?)
YB: Well, very well, thank you. Thank you very much for being here. We always start interviews with international stars with this question: can you give us your five favourite words in French? Or a sentence that you know in French? I was told you know some.
HS: “Comment vous-faîtes un café si délicieux?” (=how do you make such a good coffee?)
YB: Ah, ah, ok.
HS: (mumbles something I can’t understand) It’s all I have.
YB: Do you often use that sentence?
HS: … no. Yes! Yeah…
YB: Who or what comes to mind when you think of France?
HS: …. um… best people I’ve known… I think *her* (points to a fan). And then I guess…Fabien Barthez.
YB: (slightly surprised) Fabien Barthez, yes. (note: he is a French footballer who played in the 90s) So Harry, you are 23 and you are one of the biggest pop stars in the world. You know that everyone is watching you very carefully (note: the French expression YB uses, which is not mean, kind of implies: waiting for you to trip or fail) with your new album, Sign of the Times. Why did you choose this song? Why Sign of the Times? It’s very far from what we expected from you.
HS: Yeah, I think I, uh, I wanted to… I always liked music that makes me feel something and I, you know I think…writing it, I kind of felt something and wanted to put that out. I think it is a good indicator, um, for me of what the album means to me. So that’s why I wanted to go with that first. I think.
YB : Billboard Magazine wrote that this single is, I quote, “one of the most ambitious song in pop music of the past decade”. Not bad… do you have friends at Billboard?
HS: (cute little laugh) I don’t know anyone at the Billboard.
YB : Upon listening to it, we think of David Bowie, of Queens… Who else inspired you?
HS: Um, I mean…. I think, I think, everyone, anything, any song you’ve ever listened to growing up or throughout your life that you’ve enjoyed (…he then says something I can’t catch) so I think a lot of different things but I think, uh, I wanted to… I wanted to just write, and see what came out …. and see, you know I didn’t know what I sounded like, to make an album, so the process was as interesting for me as I think it will be for people listening to the album for the first time.
YB: Do you know any French singer? This is a trick question… and don’t say Serge Gainsbourg!
HS: I know Woodkid.
HS: Woodkid, yeah. He directed my music video so, uh…
YB: Why did you choose him?
HS: Um, I just think, I think his videos are amazing. I think he is a really, really talented guy. And I love French people. So I wanted to work with ‘em.
YB : (makes faces at Harry) When you are in Spain, you say that you love Spanish people…
HS: No? Great tie, by the way. Good tie.
YB : Really? (looks for the label for half a second) Uh, it’s French.
HS: I’m sure. Wouldn’t be a Spanish tie, would it?
YB: Can I see your loafers? I was told you have great loafers. (zoom in on Harry’s Gucci rainbow shoes). Wow, yeah. What is it? It’s not French, it’s Italian. (a fan in the audience then says it is Gucci).
HS: It’s not, no.
YB: It’s from the European Union.
HS: (laughs) Probably, yeah.
YB: It seems like everything is very easy for you. Has everything really been easy for you?
HS: Um, was what simple?
YB: Well, your life. You have a dream life. With 1D.
HS: Oh, I mean, I feel very lucky to be able to be making music, I feel very lucky to able to make this (points to his album) and I feel very lucky today being in France (… says something I don’t understand…) singing this song. And uh, yeah, I can’t complain.
YB: And what was less pleasant?
HS: (pauses)Um… I don’t know.
YB: One thing…
HS: Um, I think, I think when you care so much about something it’s hard to get to a point where you feel like you’re finished. I think you always feel like your adding, like you wanna add something to make it better. So I think the hardest part was getting to that part and be like, ok, it’s finished. Um, yeah.
YB: You said in the May issue of Rolling Stones that a big part of your album was inspired by a women. (Leans forward and asks sarcastically) Really?
HS: No, I think, I think, honestly, I think the album is much more about me than it is about anyone else. I think if I said the album is about a woman, it kind of feels like… and I…uh, I don’t know, I put a lot of work into it so I don’t feel, I don’t feel like it revolves around a woman. I feel like, it is a lot about me and things like (??) Yeah, I feel like it’s more about me than about anyone else. (makes a cute sassy little face)
YB: How do you navigate going from a group adventure, being in a boyband, to a solo career as an adult?
HS: Um, I mean, it’s been a lot of fun, I think. You know, we were very lucky to get to do some amazing things. And at the moment in our lives, we’re at a time when everyone is trying their own thing and having a good time. It’s been amazing to see everyone do so well. So if I can, kind of, do as well as the other boys, that would be amazing.
YB: Do you talk or text them everyday? Whatsapp?
HS: I don’t have that. But yeah, we talk, yeah. Yeah, absolutely, yeah. It’s uh, and everyone’s been bringing stuff out and it’s been, it’s been a lot going on, so it’s been… it’s been a good time.
YB: Here is the album cover. Can you describe it? Why this photo?
HS: Yeah… Um, so… (cute little sound) I worked with, um, I worked with a photographer, Harley Weir. I’m a massive, massive fan of her, of her work. And uh, it was an amazing opportunity to get to work with her and I think she’s incredible. And I felt like, this was what I wanted…
YB: Why is it pink? Why the water, why the back? Why…why?
YB : It’s beautiful! But why pink for example?
HS: I dunno man.
YB: (fakes surprise) Really? That, you don’t know?
HS: I don’t know. Um, I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll ever want to…
YB: (interrupts Harry) Some say it is the colour of rock’n roll?
HS: (pauses). Apparently so. I dunno. I think, I think, it means something to me and I think if it means anything to anyone else. I wouldn’t want to take away from that by explaining it. I think the cool thing about stuff like photos and art is you can just leave it, you don’t have to explain it.
YB: So everyone can see whatever they want, is that it?
HS: Yes, exactly.
YB : Have you seen that? (shows a video of fans reacting to Sign of the Times). Your fans film themselves listening to your song for the first time… So there are some very relevant analysis… (the video continues to play out) Do you read what people say about you on social media, here on YouTube, or Twitter, or Instagram. You use Instagram, right?
HS: Yes, I use it a little bit. (To the crowd that sounds sceptical) Yeah, I use it a little bit! I mean I wish everyone was having as good a time as the girl that was (makes vague arm movements). That, that’s what I do when I listen to it. So…
YB: Do you do your own Insta posts, with your own fingers, or is it someone else?
HS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I do mine.
YB: Do you still vote in Redditch?
HS: Where I was born? I don’t live in Redditch anymore.
YB: So you don’t vote there. When was the last time you voted?
HS: No, London, yeah.
YB: Do you have an opinion on Brexit?
YB: Welcome to Europe by the way!
HS: Thank you very much, thanks for having me. Um, I mean I don’t… I don’t really comment on politics. Um, to me I think anything that brings people together is better than something that keeps people apart. Uh, that’s, yeah…
YB: And yet, you do support legal equality. Man, woman, heterosexual, homosexual. It is politics, isn’t it?
HS: Um, I don’t know, that doesn’t feel like politics to me, I think. Stuff like equality feels much more like fundamentals. I feel like everyone really is equal. That doesn’t feel like politics to me.
YB: Do you know that your fans are very fetishist. They know every tattoo, every piece of jewellery you have, they have a heart attack when you cut your hair. So clearly, here, you are playing on their nerves. Today, you are playing on their nerves.
HS: (a bit coy) Ok. Is it?
YB: Yes, of course. (shows pictures of Harry’s tattoos) Yes, clearly. What is your favourite tattoo?
HS: Um, I think uh… probably, I don’t know actually.
YB: What is the last one?
HS: The latest is this one, there (points to the Arlo tattoo). And this guy (point to Jackson). And this guy (points back to Arlo).
HS: This guy (point to the bottom of the bee? I’m not sure). This guy (points to another tattoo on his right arm, off camera, and then to the rose).
YB: (laughs) All at the same time?
HS: Yes, it is close. (it is what I hear but the French interpreter translated it by “there is a lot”)
YB: And your hair? What’s the deal with your hair? How many tons of hair products have you used when you were in 1D (note: in French, there was no connotation of the 1D era being over or not)
HS: (sigh) Yeah, like a lot. I think a lot, yeah.
YB: You are in the next Christopher Nolan movie. It’s called Dunkirk.
YB: How did you end up there?
HS: Um, I auditioned.
YB: There, there we see you (as images of Harry in Dunkirk are shown on screen)
HS: There I am. Yeah, it’s me. Um, yeah, I auditioned. Um, yeah, it was great, it was an amazing experience. It’s gonna be a really cool movie.
YB: Harry, it feels like we’ve known you since you were just a kid. The world discovered you in 2010 on the seventh season of X Factor. (shows a clip of Harry’s audition) So in this video you are alone but Simon Cowell, member of the jury, has an idea. He puts you together with Zayn, Louis, Liam and Niall and you become One Direction. You are the one who came up with the name One Direction and the five of you sell millions of albums. One Direction is quickly considered as the new Beatles, you fill the biggest avenues in the world, the whole planet talks about you. When you travel, we feel for your eardrums… you become the pride of the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron even makes a cameo in one of your videos… you sing in front of the Queen… but in 2015, bang!… Zane leaves the band. The fans can’t get over it… but they can rest easy now, one of their favourites is on the cover of Rolling Stones, he will be in the next Christopher Nolan movie, plays Mick Jagger on SNL… but what you don’t know is that we already met in 2012 (shows a clip of Harry talking in French)… you were doing promo in France… and now I have questions for you.
First, when you are in the car (Harry is shown on screen surrounded by a crowd of fans, trying to get to his car) and fans are coming at you from everywhere, do you see that? (shows a photo of faces squashed against a window).
HS: Uh, I think I actually lost my shoes that day. And then I got in the car… I got in the car and I was like, I don’t have any shoes (… note: I can’t make out what he says next.)
YB: I have a second question. Do you always do that before going on stage (shows a clip of Harry and Zayn having their teeth and nostrils checked out). Do you still do that? Shall we do it?
YB: Really? You won’t do it?
HS: (shields himself with his hand and shows YB his teeth and nostrils) Thank you.
YB: What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked in an interview?
HS: Um… Mm… um, I think it actually was a French interview. I got asked if I would uh, if I would pee in a sink.
YB: Why, indeed, that is weird!
HS: It was the first question!
YB: Well, it sets the mood!
YB: And what question do you never want to hear again? Did I ask it?
HS: (turns to where the audience is giving suggestions) Which one? Oh, crush.
YB: Oh, that… (makes a heart of his hands) Ok, good. I haven’t asked that. Phew. Do you know that at a young French writer has just published a novel about you? It’s called « Styles », it’s published by Jean-Claude Lattès. It is a novel about the writer’s obsession with you. It’s in French so well…
YB : You can translate it. I’m giving it to you
HS: Is this true?
YB: It is true. He dedicated it to you. Jean-Claude Lattès is a very serious publishing house. It is called “Styles”. So read it.
HS: Thank you
YB: Thank you very much Harry styles for coming on our show. His first self-titled album comes out on May 12th. Thank you very much, have a good trip back
I really loved that interview. I thought Harry was very relaxed and it was lovely to see him having a good time, laughing and interacting with the audience. I liked that YB addressed Harry as an equal, joked and was interested in what Harry thought as a musician and as a person. All in all, it was very respectful and set the record straight on many RS controversial points.
Also, there a was segment later in the show called #fakenews and one of the joke was someone saying “Harry Styles doesn’t make real music” and then getting slapped across the face and a big #FAKENEWS coming on screen!