The Biggest Musical Takeaways from Harry Styles’ Rolling Stone Profile

Harry Styles is appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone this month, which means that, as much as he is always the cover star of my entire life, I got a chance to learn a lot more about what he’s been up to, what he does in his free time, and what the world can expect from his upcoming sophomore album. Here are some of the best, craziest, and more important things we have learned about Mr. Styles himself and his upcoming album from this excruciatingly in depth interview.

First and foremost, this second album is just about finished and not only has Harry been hard at work on it, because he really is a true artisté, but it was a way for him to release his heartbreak and frustrations on life and love. It seems like it will be coming from quite a dark place and I wouldn’t be surprised if this new era of his has an aesthetic that is quite the opposite of his debut, which was one of flowers, peace, and what is now known as Harry Styles Pink.

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In his own words, and I kid you not, this is apparently straight from his equally as pink lips, this album is “all about having sex and feeling sad.” I guess that we can say goodbye to Harry Styles Pink, everyone! Let’s gear ourselves up to meet Harry Styles Black! (Or maybe it’ll be more of a dark, charcoal-y grey, since black might just be too obvious and mainstream for this sad, dark album of his.)

Speaking of this upcoming release, Harry also found inspiration in a lot of rock and roll icons – many of which are all basically his friends at this point. We all know that he’s über close with The Queen of All Things Witchy and Rock ‘N’ Roll, Stevie Nicks. We also know that he’s a massive fan of bands and artists like Queen, Pink Floyd, and Hall and Oates – of whom have graciously signed on via Twitter to play Harry’s 30th birthday party, as they were too expensive to book for his 21st, apparently. What we have now found out, though, is that he spent much of his time during the recording process of this new album listening to and obsessing over albums by both Paul McCartney and Wings, Paul’s stellar post-Beatles band. 

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Probably the most surprising tidbit of information that may or may not be a TMI moment, depending on how big of a fan you are, is that Harry Styles dabbled with hallucinogenic drugs for creative purposes. “We’d do mushrooms, lie down on the grass, and listen to Paul McCartney’s Ram in the sunshine.” Do with this information what you will, but no matter what, don’t do drugs. That’s what you have to remember. Don’t do drugs. We all took DARE classes growing up, so please stick with the principles that you learned back then and don’t necessarily be like Harry and end up biting the tip of your tongue off while on a psychedelic trip. 

In addition to that, and being the throwback that Harry is, he found motivation and inspiration in an interview of David Bowie’s from the 1990s. In the rare clip, he speaks of feeling safe in where you are working and who you are creating alongside, even when you are taking small steps toward exciting risks. (If I didn’t think Harry and David would’ve been great friends already, I absolutely think so now.)

Lyrically, his second album was inspired by Joni Mitchell’sBlueand Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. On the topic of Blue, Harry and Kid Harpoon were so enthralled by the dulcimers used on that record that they tracked down the woman who made them back in the sixties specifically for Mitchell. They ended up trekking to her house to meet her and get an impromptu private lesson on how to play such an eclectic instrument.

Now, when it comes to Van Morrison, it is important to note that he is one of Harry’s absolute favorite artists of all time, and he also just so happens to be quite the stoic and somber man. Ever charming, Harry’s picture with the usual tight lipped performer is one of smiles and laughter. He told Rolling Stonethat he was “tickling him behind his back,” and ultimately felt so special and humbled to have not only met one of his idols, but to get him to really smile. 

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 Only Harry Edward Styles, singer/songwriter/actor/producer/model/creative force to be reckoned with, could get away with tickling Van Morrison and visiting the woman who built Joni Mitchell’s dulcimers. I mean, was being friends with Stevie Nicks and inducting her into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame not enough of a classic-rock-idol-moment for him this year? 

Don’t get me wrong, I love this man, but he’s something else. A truly powerful, talented, humble, beautiful person who constantly challenges stereotypes and toxic masculinity, publicly supports the LGBTQ+ community and the Black Lives Matter movement, encourages people to grasp what feminism really means in the modern world, and understands his place in the world as both a public figure and a white male. 

Musically, though, Harry is just as dynamic and influential. If this profile that Rob Sheffield did on him is any indication of what his sophomore release is going to sound like, we’re in for the trippy, yet probably silky smooth rock album of our dreams. He is pulling style elements from the some of the greatest eras of music for his very own lyrics and instrumentation. He is working alongside people and in an environment that he feels safe and comfortable in. He reaching deep into his soul for moments of sadness, jealousy, and frustration from his past relationship and experiences to draw influence from. He is about to bring all of us on the most personal, musical journey of his yet… and I can’t wait.

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