Harry Styles is a bright and beautiful soul and his new interview with Another Man Magazine showcases that the way he deserves for, quite possibly, the first time since he went from being the boy his mum and sister loved immensely, to the man loved all around the world.
He went from a boy thrust into superstardom and afraid of what other people thought of him to a man who is unapologetically himself and this magazine, these photos, these open ended questions with no stapled down scripted answers finally gave Harry the space to let out a breath he’d been holding for five years. He truly is ‘another man’ now.
From the moment his magazine covers hit the internet, people were floored by the evolution of the photos. The first and second seemed like obvious nods to Mick Jagger while the third seemed to be Harry embracing his new found freedom and sense of self.
The pictures inside the magazine only got better as page by page fans were let into the brilliant crevices of Harry’s beautiful mind and the depth of his heart. He looked deeply into the camera with mesmerizing eyes and begged the world to accept this uncovered version of himself. He bared his soul, mind, heart, and body to make the shoot speak for him in ways words wouldn’t do justice.
In addition to the photos of himself, there were pieces of the things that make him Harry scattered through the pages as well. From a book he’s written his own lyrics and poems in to a Rumi book of poetry and a mix tape style page of his top 10 most played songs – it was a look into the beautiful mind that makes Harry so pure and so rare.
Then there were the interviews, by Harry’s good friend Chelsea Handler and one of his biggest idols, Paul McCartney. Each interview had a different tone set to it, but there was a universal truth every single person who read them came away with. They’d finally been able to see and embrace the Harry that has always been bubbling just under the surface, waiting to shine so bright that the world is better for it.
Chelsea jumped right in with Harry asking about his new film and his excitement was tangible through the words in print. He spoke about his first day on set, being cold and feeling small but also lucky to be part of something so much bigger than himself. He also spoke about how lovely LA is when you take the time to experience it, not just when you go for a week and miss the heart and soul of the city. For him, it’s a beautiful place that’s always sunny and it makes everything else seem lighter.
He spoke of being spiritual instead of religious and knowing that something bigger than who we are exists, about the life and dream he lived with the band and how he always took a moment to really appreciate the rarity of it, and about how he wants a family one day but for now, he’s enjoying life as it comes.
With Paul McCartney it was less of an interview for Harry and more of him being able to ask his idol for wisdom and them discovering how alike parts of their own lives are. Both men spoke about going home to remain grounded, when life got too big and they felt too lost; they both had home where nothing changed, no matter how long they’d been gone.
Harry asked Paul about being creative on your own vs being in a band and Paul responded quite perfectly. He just did something simple but then he went for something different, wanting to do something opposite of The Beatles. After a while, however, he said he ended up returning to music that was ‘Beatles like’ because he’d said what he wanted to say. Harry responded by saying that he felt like creatively he was able to do what he wanted to with One Direction but he’s enjoying writing more now, he’s trying to figure out what he wants to say.
As far as the inevitable question of ‘will One Direction return’, which actually almost always means more like ‘when will One Direction return‘ Harry gave the perfect answer.
“I don’t know, when we started people always asked ‘where do you think you’ll be in five years”
to which Chelsea replied “I hate that question“.
“People always ask right? It’s a difficult question to answer. I would never say we’ll never do anything again but it’s good for us to be exploring different things. Maybe at some point everyone will want to do this again. If that were to happen it would be amazing. I would never rule that out. It’s the most important, greatest thing that ever happened to me, being in that band. It changed my life.’
There isn’t now, and has never been, a calculated time for One Direction to return to the studio, stage, or the forefront of music. This break was meant to be that, a break in time between Harry, Louis, Niall, and Liam as a band and who they are as individuals that are finally able to think, breathe, and dress as and for themselves.
Fans of One Direction who know that the boys not only need, but deserve this time in their lives to embrace their individual desires and talents embraced Harry’s answer with open arms. If a calendar written holiday was labeled as their great return it would be commercial and predisposed and anything but natural. This time apart ensures that when they do come back around, it will be because they wanted to take on the world together again; as themselves for the very first time.
After six years of non stop giving and working and creating, it’s time for their fans to give them the support, love, and understanding that this time apart is what we owe them, they’ve given us more than enough.
When you’re standing in front of the world and trying desperately to release your bright light into it but being able to only in small glimpses and calculated versions; it hinders a part of you not just physically but creatively. Harry went from wearing a sheer shirt and it being called daring to lying in a field with a leash and being the center of close ups with a thick leather collar around his neck and his personal expression of his freedom is only the beginning. He’s artistic, he’s romantic, he’s young, he’s sexual without being promiscuous, but more than that – he’s free.