In a lengthy interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Harry Styles opened up about his incoming third album Harry’s House, its influences, and his own maturation as an artist. When it comes to transitioning from his boyband days to his solo artist arc, Styles says fellow singer and multi-Grammy winner Billie Eilish helped put things in perspective.
“I definitely had a really big moment, I think, when Billie Eilish kind of first blew up. I think being in the band, I’d always felt like… it was fun and exciting because we were young,” Styles tells Lowe. “And I had a moment, seeing her do this at such a young age, where I felt like, ‘I’m not that young anymore.’”
It’s never easy to stare down aging and mortality as a younger generation takes the lead, but Styles shares that Eilish’s rise actually helped him break away from his own expectations as an artist.
“For a while, it was like, ‘How do you play that game, of like, remaining exciting?’ And I just had a moment where I felt like, ‘OK, we’re not the same thing,’” he explains. “And in the same vein of, like, ‘You’re not always going to be the kind of young thing,’ I was like, ‘OK, I would really like to think about who I would like to be as a musician.’”
This realization also pointed out a necessity for him to move on and work toward not being the “hip young thing,” but to create what makes sense for him.
“It felt like [she] came in in a way that was like, ‘You’re not… Like, don’t worry about being this thing, ever.’ Because, you know, she’s a lot younger than me, and there’s no point in me going, like, ‘OK, how do I get back in? How do I like, get back to like… She just totally broke the spell for me, in a way that I’m very grateful for.”
Styles’ third solo album, titled Harry’s House, arrives on May 20. He is also set appear in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, opposite Florence Pugh.