January 2016. There’s a bench at the top of Primrose Hill, in London, that looks out over the skyline of the city. If you’d passed by it one winter night, you might have seen him sitting there. A lanky guy in a wool hat, overcoat and jogging pants, hands thrust deep into his pockets. Harry Styles had a lot on his mind. He had spent five years as the buoyant fan favorite in One Direction; now, an uncertain future stretched out in front of him. The band had announced an indefinite hiatus. The white noise of adulation was gone, replaced by the hushed sound of the city below.
The fame visited upon Harry Styles in his years with One D was a special kind of mania. With a self-effacing smile, a hint of darkness and the hair invariably described as “tousled,” he became a canvas onto which millions of fans pitched their hopes and dreams. Hell, when he pulled over to the side of the 101 freeway in L.A. and discreetlythrew up,the spot became a fan shrine. It’s said the puke was even sold on eBay like pieces of the Berlin Wall. Paul McCartney has interviewed him. Then there was the unauthorized fan-fiction series featuring a punky, sexed-up version of “Harry Styles.” A billion readers followed his virtual exploits. (“Didn’t read it,” comments the nonfiction Styles, “but I hope he gets more than me.”)
But at the height of One D–mania, Styles took a step back. For many, 2016 was a year of lost musical heroes and a toxic new world order. For Styles, it was a search for a new identity that began on that bench overlooking London. What would a solo Harry Styles sound like? A plan came into focus. A song cycle about women and relationships. Ten songs. More of a rock sound. A bold single-color cover to match the working title: Pink. (He quotes the Clash’s Paul Simonon: “Pink is the only true rock & roll colour.”) Many of the details would change over the coming year – including the title, which would end up as Harry Styles – but one word stuck in his head.
<b>bob dylan:</b> i'd fuck a harmonica if i said his singing was good. i fuck harmonicas everyday<p/><b>the beatles:</b> i'm fucking annoying as hell<p/><b>the rolling stones:</b> i would fuck anything and anyone<p/><b>pink floyd:</b> i would fuck either gnomes, or my own sadness and self-isolation<p/><b>the kinks:</b> not even kinky wtf also i never get the attention i deserve<p/><b>the doors:</b> i'm fake deep. I sandwiched a book of poetry between my asscheeks and called it performance art<p/><b>the who:</b> i would fuck a pinball machine, and mick jagger<p/><b>david bowie:</b> i would fuck an alien, and mick jagger<p/><b>iggy pop:</b> i'm always naked. always.<p/><b>t rex:</b> i astral project myself into tolkien books every night<p/><b>yes:</b> no one understands what i say also i never cut my hair<p/><b>roxy music:</b> I went to art school, which means I can understand a photograph of naked boobs unlike the common man<p/><b>elton john:</b> i own the world's biggest collection of novelty spectacles<p/><b>queen:</b> i jack off to opera music<p/><b>lou reed:</b> I have fucked, and will fuck multiple copies of my B.A in english<p/><b>the velvet underground:</b> I caught my friend putting his dick in his B.A in english<p/><b>sparks:</b> all i ever think about is ridiculous situations while having sex<p/><b>the beach boys:</b> contrary to popular belief, i hate surfing<p/></p>