Harry Styles has officially gone solo as his self-titled debut album dropped on Friday.
In a new interview with the New York Times, the former One Direction member reveals that the current state of the world was the main influence for his album.
When he began putting together the solo effort, no one knew what it was going to be.“When we started, I didn’t know what it was going to sound like, or what I wanted it to sound like,” he admits.
“We’re in a difficult time, and I think we’ve been in many difficult times before. But we happen to be in a time where things happening around the world are absolutely impossible to ignore.”
Events like Brexit, Donald Trump’s election win, and the Black Lives Matter movement all had a part in influencing him sonically on this album.
“I think it would’ve been strange to not acknowledge what was going on at all. For example, ‘Sign of the Times,’ for me, it’s looking at several different things. That’s me commenting on different things,” he continues.
The album is about his view of the world and his feelings on what is going on. While it’s a frustrating time, he recognizes those doing amazing work. “It’s a time when it’s very easy to feel incredibly sad about a lot of things. It’s also nice sometimes to remember that while there’s a lot of bad stuff, there’s also a lot of amazing people doing amazing things in the world,” he says.
In an interview with BBC Radio 2, he also talks about his role in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film, “Dunkirk”. In between his time off from One Direction and the making of his solo album, he filmed his role. He says he had to audition for the role, but it was a worthwhile experience. “It was good. It was fun. It was a lot of hard work.”