When One Direction began and the boys were thrust into the public eye, it was obviously a tough adjustment. Overnight, they became the center of attention for both fans and the media. In some ways, this was incredible – they had support from all across the world. In some ways, this was horrible – they were heavily scrutinized. Harry Styles was very honest in an interview towards the bands beginning where he said, through tears, that he always wanted to be someone who didn’t care what others thought of him, but he just didn’t think that he was.
It was heartbreaking, in that moment, to see someone so bright and kind be made to feel small and insignificant. He deserved so much more than that, and as time went on, he started believing that for himself.
We’ve watched Harry grow up, and not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. He became stronger, more sure of himself, and less afraid of what people would say if he were to embrace himself more. Harry lives this life with kindness and positivity, he gives out love even if he knows he won’t receive it back, and he believes that happiness is something we all deserve.
Seeing Harry’s transformation was a gift, and after One Direction announced their hiatus, Harry was able to get a deeper feeling of what it means to truly be himself. With a name like Harry Styles, there will always be people with ideas on what’s best for him in the public eye, and in a way that’s a great thing. Someone should be looking out for his best interest, especially now when he’s baring his soul and releasing his first solo album – revealing yet another part of his spirit to his fans.
That reveal, so far, is absolutely stunning. ‘Sign of the Times’ is art set to music. It is an experience, not a song. It is a testament to his talent and his drive to produce music that means something to him.
It’s also stunning in a way that allows him to shine. Harry’s cover art for SOTT was unique, simple, but open for interpretation. It wasn’t bright and bubbly – it wasn’t striking in a way that demanded your attention. It did, however, receive your attention – and it took nothing more than a whisper.
Harry is allowing his project to speak entirely for itself. The visual approach is minimalistic but absolutely breath taking. In soft hues of pink and water that cleanses, Harry is surrounded by flower petals, leaves, and a bit of debris. It’s his rebirth. It’s a breath of new life in an already beautiful existence and an appreciation of what it took to get there.
The last 6 years of his life have been a dream, and while he’s taken every moment and been appreciative for them, some of what came with the dream wasn’t easy to deal with. However, he knows that with the bad comes the good and the good for Harry – well – it’s an absolutely lovely good and he deserves nothing less.
We can only imagine the songs on the album will reflect that same sentiment, and we won’t have to wait much longer to find out. Harry’s album, Harry Styles, is available on May 12th and you can preorder it, as well as limited edition physical copies, here.