Harry Styles. What a guy.
Nowadays he’s been the buzz. And not the typical “omg he’s just been spotted out and about with Kendall Jenner” kind of buzz, but the “Harry Styles has a powerful breakout performance of his new hit single Sign Of The Times” kind of buzz. It’s refreshing, to say the least.
Last weekend, we had the pleasure of attending Saturday Night Live where we witnessed Sign Of The Times in person. As Harry took the stage in his plaid Gucci suit, no one knew what to expect. Everyone had their preliminary assumptions about what Harry would be like, but we believe it’s safe to say it was nothing what anyone had prepared for. You could tell he was nervous. Of course he was. Every performance he’s done over the last 7 years had 3-4 other boys behind him. And not only that, but One Direction’s sound doesn’t exactly run parallel to what Styles has been producing. Which is nerve wracking, to a fault.
Sign Of The Times is authentic and simple. Yet the words and the rhythm have the power to move you to tears. And just recently, Harry spilled to the Rolling Stone what the meaning behind the tune stands for.
The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there’s a complication. The mother is told, ‘The child is fine, but you’re not going to make it.’ The mother has five minutes to tell the child, ‘Go forth and conquer.’
It’s powerful, it’s moving, and is a true testament to the range of talent Harry has. If anyone needed confirmation that he can sing, here it is.
Harry also performed another song off his upcoming solo album Harry Styles due to release on May 12th. Different from the piano ballad/falsetto vibe Sign Of The Times has, Ever Since New York is more of an upbeat acoustic song. But despite the instrumentals making you want to dance, the lyrics actually portray something quite sad.
“… Brooklyn saw me, empty avenues
There’s no water inside this swimming pool
Almost over, that’s enough from you
I’ve been praying, I never did before
Understand I’m talking to the walls
And I’ve been praying, ever since New York…”
One of the many amazing qualities Harry embodies is that when he sings, he makes you feel it. Not many artists have the power to do so. You’re listening with your ears but you’re feeling with your entire body. That’s exactly the effect this song has. You get the sense of feeling lonesome, like you just want to belong; but also thinking that you may never. It’s beautiful in a mildly tragic way – and by the time his performance is finished, all you really want to do is get up and go give him the biggest bear hug possible. (Okay let’s be real, we’d want to do that on any given day no matter the circumstance).
Overall, Harry gave an outstanding performance – to say the least. He’s someone who was born to do this. He was born to be on stage, entertaining people; anyone would be crazy to think otherwise. You’d assume that someone who has as much success as him would walk around with a sense of entitlement, but if we’re honest… for the amount of fame Harry has standing behind him, he acts as if he’s anything but famous. He inspires others without trying, or even unknowingly because he’s just that humble. If someone were to ask us to describe Harry and how down to earth he truly is, this would be it in a nutshell: He could win Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, Emmys, any award this world has to offer. Yet the one thing he’d continue to brag about openly is how he was a baker for three years.
With having the world at your feet, it’s easy to succumb to peer pressure. It’s easy to veer off path into a world where morals and values are rare, but Harry is a walking confirmation that it’s not an impossible task. He’s remained the same old Harry Styles before starting out and he’ll continue to remain that way forever. It’s like he lives life in a way where if anyone were to ever say anything negative about him, no one would believe them. Absolutely no one.
We’re the lucky ones for many reasons. But we’d like to think it’s mainly because we’re around during the same era as Harry. Years from now people will be listening to his music, watching interviews, coping his style, and claim they were born during the wrong time. Surely they won’t be wrong.
We don’t know what the universe had to give up to create someone as remarkable as Harry Styles but we’re thankful in more ways than one.