Harry Styles‘ third studio album Harry’s House is just days away from release, and ahead of its arrival, the Grammy winner sat down with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe for a wide-ranging interview about the album, work-life balance and his mental growth throughout his decade in the spotlight.
He also noted how much Billie Eilish helped him grow out of the need to be the youngest, most exciting star — and just focus on making music. “Being in the band, I’d always felt like we were really young. We were just really young, and it was fun and exciting because we were young,” he said. “And I had a moment seeing [Eilish] do this at such a young age where I felt like, ‘I’m not that young anymore.’ And for a while it was, how do you play that game of remaining exciting? And I just had a moment where I felt like, ‘Okay, we are not the same thing.’ And in the same vein of, you’re not always going to be the young thing, I was like, ‘Okay. I would like to really think about who I would like to be as a musician.’
And while Styles and Eilish have met a few times, Styles said that he’s “from afar, incredibly thankful to her because I feel like she felt like she represented something to me that, I don’t know. It felt like, came in in a way that was like, ‘Don’t worry about being this thing ever,’ because she’s a lot younger than me and there’s no point in me going like, ‘Okay, how do I get back in?’”
“She totally broke the spell for me in a way that I’m very grateful for that,” he continued. “It’s maybe weird because I’ve never told her that, but for me it just let me go. This is so unbelievably liberating to go, ‘I just want to make good music.’ That’s it. That’s what I want to do. And everything else is what it will be. And that’s kind of it.”
Styles fulfilled his goal of making “good music,” as he revealed that Harry’s House is his favorite album at the moment. “I was kind of like, ‘I’d be really fun to make an album called Harry’s House, and thought about it being this smaller thing. And then it was back to that thing of, ‘Maybe that’s an album I’ll make in four years or five years or whatever.’ And as I started making the album, I realized it wasn’t about the geographical location. It’s much more of an internal thing. When I took that title, put it to the songs we were making, it felt like it took on this whole new meaning and it was about, imagine it’s a day in my house. What do I go through? A day in my mind, what do I go through in my house?”
“I’m playing fun music. I’m playing sad music. I’m playing this, I’m playing that,” he continued. “Feeling stuff. Kind of like a day in the life. I like all of that stuff. And I think while it obviously is a lot more electronic in a lot of places than anything I’ve made, it’s also so much more intimate to me. And so much more intimately made […] It was like, ‘I’m going to play in my house and you can come visit 100%, but I’m making this because it’s what I want to listen to.’ And this is my favorite album at the moment, and I love it so much.”
Harry’s House is out May 20. Watch the full interview below.