In the past several months, I traveled the world, following Harry Styles as he released his impressive and groundbreaking third album, Harry’s house, and played explosive sell-out shows for hundreds of thousands of fans from Coachella to New York to London. We finally sat down in Hamburg for a long chat that spanned his career and personal life, and then picked up the phone while he was in Italy.
During our interviews, he revealed his thoughts on fame, relationships, internet toxicity, what he does in his downtime, and more. You can read most of what he had to say in rolling stoneit is September coverbut he shared so much that we couldn’t fit it all in. Here are 10 other things you learn when you hang out with the pop frontman.
No, Harry Styles is not bald.
After a TwoMe blind item claimed that an A-list male pop artist and occasional actor was secretly bald and sporting a hair piece, a few TikTok conspirators began speculating that Styles might be the star in question: few people are more of a list than Styles, and he’s been in multiple movies, including Dunkirk and the next movie Don’t worry darling, directed by his girlfriend Olivia Wilde. Fans started zooming in on photos of her hair, wondering if it might be a hairpiece.
Styles laughed it off and said he didn’t even know his hairline was a topic of discussion until his friend and collaborator Tom Hull (aka Kid Harpoon) told him about it.
“He’s completely obsessed with it,” Styles says of Hull. “He keeps texting me about [people] trying to find out if I’m bald.
Styles confirms he’s not bald yet. “What is baldness? … It skips a generation or something like that, doesn’t it? If your grandfather is bald, will you be bald? Well, my grandfather wasn’t bald, so fingers crossed.
The success of “Watermelon Sugar” started with a group of small children and took them by surprise.
Styles remarked that “Watermelon Sugar” – the mega hit from his 2019 album, Thin line — seemed to connect with her smaller fans first. “Sometimes you’ll meet people and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, can you meet my kid? They’re a huge fan,’ and the kid is around 18 months old. Is this person a big fan?Styles says. “And I remember someone came up to me at a party with his son, who was very small, and he started singing ‘Watermelon Sugar’ and I was like, ‘Oh, OK’.”
The videos kept coming. “‘Watermelon Sugar’ was probably the most videos I had received from friends sending me pictures of their kids singing it, like videos of them dancing,” Styles explains. “It wasn’t a single when we put [it] out. It was just like, ‘OK, interesting…it’s a high volume of videos of little kids singing the song.’ »
From there, he exploded in a way Styles hadn’t expected. The song took off during the pandemic, and even though people couldn’t come out, they still showed love for the track. “There was nothing we could do, and he kind of did his job. I think it was a really good reminder that songs have power,” he says. “It’s the moment, and if people connect with it, and how people feel, and what they feel however they want…that part of it feels like it’s really luck. ”
He wants to continue working with Dev Hynes.
Hynes and Styles have been working together a lot lately. Hynes was the surprise guest and musical director for Styles’ 2021 Grammy performance of “Watermelon Sugar,” and he continued to play cello on “Boyfriends.” He is currently opening for Styles’ 15-show residency at Madison Square Garden, under his stage name Blood Orange.
Styles wants to maintain the relationship. “I think his way of working is really special. I really felt very lucky that he played on the album,” he says. “Hopefully we can do even more things together at some point.”
He’s ready to have proper features on a future album, but only if it happens organically.
Although Styles has worked and performed with many intriguing artists, he has never had any real feature or collaboration on his albums. “I would if it happened organically – if I was writing a song with somebody and that’s why we wanted to do it,” he says. “I want to release stuff exactly the way I want it to be.”
He says “collaborating for fun” is not something he wants to do. “But if it happened organically, I would definitely be open to it,” he explains. “I really like disappearing to go make music, and I don’t necessarily expect anyone to go through that process with me in such a massive way. Maybe one day.”
Steve Lacy and Paolo Nutini made two of his current favorite albums.
Lacy Gemini Rights and Nutini’s Last bittersweet night, both released this year, have recently been favorites with Styles. After reading Haruki Murakami Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa, Styles also became interested in classical pianist Glenn Gould, whom Murakami and Ozawa discuss in the book. (“I tried to listen to stuff while they were talking, which was fun.”)
He also has that of Kendrick Lamar Mr. Morale and Big Steps on repeat (“It’s one of those albums where if I’m going to listen to it, I know I want to listen to it in its entirety. I don’t go back and forth,” he says), and has played a lot of English rock band Wolf Alice, who opened most of their European tour dates.
He is delighted to have been able to spend time with Joni Mitchell.
For the past two years, Mitchell has convened special groups of artists for the shows she co-hosts with Brandi Carlile. Styles is a longtime Mitchell fan and was one of the lucky few to receive an invite. According Maggie Rogershe even sang Mitchell’s “River” at one such gathering.
“I can’t claim to know her that well,” Styles says. “It’s one of those things where if you listen to her music, you feel like you know her very well. And then you realize you don’t. But it was definitely very special to meet her. ‘one of those, for me, where you meet people like that and realize how important the songs are.
One of his favorite books is that of Joan Didion The Year of Magical Thinking.
Styles is famous for his readings and he was particularly struck by Didion’s classic. “I think it’s the first book I’ve read twice,” he says. Recently, he was also moved by Viktor Frankl’s film Man’s quest for meaning and Alain de Botton The architecture of happiness, both offered by a friend. He also read Jon Ronson So you’ve been publicly shamed and Colson Whitehead The Underground Railroad.
He can’t believe how much people started singing the “Leave America” line.
During his European and UK tours, fans found a way to express how upset they were that Styles was in the States and had to wait so long to see him. During “As It Was”, they started shouting the “Leave America” line from the bridge. It got so strong that Styles stopped singing it himself and let stadiums handle it for him.
“They definitely hit decibels,” he joked days before wrapping up the overseas dates. “It seems to be getting louder and louder as I’m about to go back on tour in America, so I’m intrigued as to what exactly will be shouted in this section when I’m in America.”
It was difficult to fit “Fine Line” into his set list.
Styles performed the fan-favorite epic from his second album more closely on the first two shows of his UK dates, but found it didn’t fit the whole package. “If I’m honest, it’s really hard to get into the set now because there are songs that I would like to play there,” he explained at the time. The nearly seven-minute slow-building track originally followed the softer ballads “Matilda” and “Boyfriends.” “We played it on the first few shows, and when I played it, I felt like that moment was just a bit too long, in terms of energy.”
Pulling it off was a tough call because of how much he loves the song. “It’s one of my favorites on the album. Because the new album was out, it was weird to close the set with him because he’s from another album. Everywhere we put him in the set, he feels rushed. But I still love the song. It’s not like I changed my mind about it,” he said.
But after he took it down, fans across the UK and Europe spent most of the tour begging him via signs, tweets and endless TikToks to put it back on. “I will play it before the end of the tour”, he promised rolling stone. He kept his promise when he sang it for the crowd in Lisbon, on the European tour closer.
His friends are a mix of childhood and work buddies.
Over the years, Styles has been able to keep a few of his school friends by his side. Most of his closest friends are people he met after moving to London early in his career. He describes the past two summers as some of his favorites as he was able to reunite with family and old friends in London.
He is also grateful to be so close to many of his colleagues. “With touring and making albums and stuff, you get so close to people and spend so much time with each other,” he says. “My relationship with the people I work with is, I would say, quite unique. I think a lot of the people I work with are the same people I choose to spend time with outside of work.
In his months off, he focuses on quality time with his friends. As he got older, he realized how important it was to him: “My favorite experiences over the last few years are when it’s with a group of great people. You can go to a shitty restaurant with your favorite group of people and it’s a much better meal than having dinner with people you don’t like in the nicest restaurant.