If You're Happy Doing What You Love, Nobody Can Tell You You're Not Successful

What defines success? Is it money, material things, a steady job, a college degree? There’s no right or wrong answer — success is measured in different ways and quantities for each person. For Harry Styles, success is the happiness he gets from doing what he loves. 

Styles recently sat down with Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe in Malibu, California. They discussed his upcoming album Fine Line, One Direction, and his outlook on success in life. 

Lowe began the interview by asking Styles about his days in One Direction and subsequent solo career. Lowe asked Styles how it felt to have the independence to do whever he wanted following the hiatus of One Direction. “It felt pretty amazing actually. I didn’t really have a plan for when I wanted to make a record or start writing,” Styles said. Styles equated songwriting to surfing — you can practice standing up on the board, but the waves may never come, or the waves may come, but you haven’t practiced standing on the board. Every so often the wave comes and you’ve practiced enough, and that’s when you write a song. 

Styles talked about writing songs for himself while in One Direction, but never releasing them. “I knew that maybe one day I’d want to do it, but I wasn’t like 'I can’t wait to get out of this thing so I can make my own record,'” Styles said. When One Direction decided to take a hiatus in 2015, Styles felt that he needed to make some decisions for himself moving forward. In 2017, he released his self-titled album and will be releasing Fine Line on Dec. 13. Reflecting on his first album Styles said, “I can hear all of the places where I feel like I was playing it safe because I didn’t want to get it wrong.” Going into his new album he wanted to figure out a way to make the process fun. “I was trying to redefine what success meant to me,” Styles said. “I had a friend who said to me, 'If you’re happy doing what you’re doing then nobody can tell you you’re not successful.'” 

Coming into his new record, Styles wanted to feel free, joyful, and less guarded. “With this record it’s so much more open,” Styles said. 

Fine Line will be released on Dec. 13 on all major streaming platforms. In the meantime, his two singles “Lights Up” and “Watermelon Sugar” are available for streaming. Styles's exclusive interview with Zane Lowe is available on Apple Music and YouTube

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