in the past For several months I roamed the world, following Harry Styles as he rolled out his impressive, groundbreaking third album, Harry’s house, playing explosive, sold-out shows for hundreds of thousands of fans from Coachella to New York to London. We finally sat down in Hamburg for a long conversation that spanned his career and personal life, and later on the phone when he was in Italy.
During our interviews, he revealed his thoughts on fame, relationships, how toxic the internet can be, what he does in his downtime and much more. You can read most of what he had to say in rolling stoneSeptember cover story, but he shared so much we couldn’t fit it all in. Here are 10 more things you’ll learn when you spend time with the protagonist of pop.
No, Harry Styles is not bald.
After a DeuxMoi-blind entry claimed that an A-list male pop artist and a single actor was secretly bald and wearing a hairpiece, a few TikTok conspirators began speculating that Styles could be the star in question: few people are more of a list than styles, and he has starred in several movies, including: Dunkirk and the upcoming movie don’t worry darling, directed by his girlfriend Olivia Wilde. Fans started zooming in on pictures of his hair, wondering if it might be a toupee.
Styles laughed it off, saying he didn’t even know his hairline was a topic of discussion until his friend and collaborator Tom Hull (aka Kid Harpoon) told him about it.
“He’s totally obsessed with it,” Styles says of Hull. “He won’t stop messaging about” [people] trying to find out if I’m bald.”
Styles confirms that he is not bald yet. “What’s with baldness? … It skips a generation or something, right? If your grandfather is bald, are you bald? Well, my grandpa wasn’t bald, so fingers crossed.”
The success of “Watermelon Sugar” started with a bunch of small children and surprised him.
Styles noted that “Watermelon Sugar” – the mega hit from his 2019 album, Thin line – seemed to connect with his tiniest fans at first. “Sometimes you meet people and they’ll say, ‘Oh, can you meet my kid? They’re a huge fan’ and the kid is about 18 months old. This person is a huge fan?‘ says Styles. “And I remember someone came up to me at a party with their son, who was really little, and he started singing ‘Watermelon Sugar,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, OK.'”
The videos kept coming. “‘Watermelon Sugar’ was probably the most videos I’ve had from friends sending me pictures of their kids singing it, like videos of them just dancing around,” Styles says. “It wasn’t a single when we [it] from. It was like, ‘Okay, interesting…this is a lot of videos of little kids singing the song.’”
From there, it exploded in a way Styles hadn’t expected. The song took off during the pandemic, and even though people couldn’t get out, they still showed the love of the song. “We couldn’t do anything, and it just did its thing. I think it was a really nice reminder that songs have the power,” he says. “It’s timing, and when people connect with it, and how people feel, and what they feel like they want … that part of it feels like it’s just real happiness.”
He wants to keep working with Dev Hynes.
Hynes and Styles have been working together a lot lately. Hynes was the surprise guest and musical director for Styles’ Grammy performance of “Watermelon Sugar” in 2021, and he played cello on “Boyfriends.” He is currently opening for Styles’ Madison Square Garden residence with 15 shows, under his stage name Blood Orange.
Styles wants to keep the relationship going. “I think the way he works is very special. I have been absolutely lucky that he has played on the album,” he says. “I hope we can do some things together in the future.”
He’s open to good features on a future album, but only if it happens organically.
Although Styles has worked and performed with many intriguing artists, he has never had any real feature or collaboration on any of his albums. “I’d do it if it happened organically — if I wrote a song with someone and that’s why we wanted to do it,” he says. “I want to put things exactly the way I want them.”
He says that “working together for the sake of it” isn’t something he wants to do. “But if it happened organically, I’d definitely be open to it,” he explains. “I really like disappearing to make music, and I don’t necessarily expect anyone to join me in that process in such a massive way. Maybe one day.”
Steve Lacy and Paolo Nutini made two of his current favorite albums.
Lacy’s twin rights and Nutinis Last night in the bittersweet, both released this year, are recent favorites for Styles. After reading Haruki Murakami’s Absolutely to Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa, Styles also came into contact with classical pianist Glenn Gould, whom Murakami and Ozawa talk about in the book. (“I tried to listen to things while they were discussing, which was nice.”)
He also has Kendrick Lamar’s Mr Moraal and the great steppers on repeat (“It’s one of those albums where when I go to listen to it I know I want to listen to it in its entirety. I don’t dive in and out,” he says), and plays a lot of English rock band Wolf Alice, who opened for most of his European tour dates.
He is overjoyed to have been able to spend time with Joni Mitchell.
In recent years, Mitchell has convened special groups of artists for salons she co-hosts with Brandi Carlile. Styles has been a longtime Mitchell fan and was one of the lucky ones to get an invite. According to Maggie Rogers, he even sang Mitchell’s “River” at one of those gatherings.
“I can’t claim to know her that well,” Styles says. “It’s one of those things where when you listen to her music you feel like you know her really well. And then you realize you don’t. But it was certainly very special to meet her. For me, it’s one where you meet people like that and realize how important songs are.”
One of his favorite books is that of Joan Didion The year of magical thinking.
Styles is famously well-read, and he was particularly struck by the Didion classic. “I think that was the first book I read twice,” he says. Recently he has also been moved by Viktor Frankl’s Man’s quest for meaning and Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness, both donated to him by a friend. He’s also read Jon Ronson’s So you’re publicly ashamed and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad.
He can’t believe how loud people sang the line “Leave America.”
During his European and UK tour dates, fans found a way to express how unhappy they were that Styles had been in the US and had waited so long to see him. During ‘As It Was’ they started shouting the line ‘Leave America’ from the bridge. It got so loud that Styles stopped singing it himself and let the stadiums take care of it for him.
“They definitely reach several decibels,” he joked a few days before packing the dates abroad. “It seems to be getting louder now that I’m about to go back to America. So I’m intrigued about what exactly will be shouted in that section if I am in America.”
It was difficult to fit “Fine Line” into his set list.
Styles played the epic, fan-favorite from his second album during the first few shows of his UK gigs, but felt it didn’t fit the set. “If I’m being honest it’s really hard to put in the set now because there are songs I’d like to play there,” he explained at the time. The nearly seven-minute, slowly building track originally followed the softer ballads “Matilda” and “Boyfriends”. “We played it for the first few shows, and when I played it, it felt like this moment was just a little too long, energy-wise.”
Removing it was a tough decision because of how much he loves the song. “It’s one of my favorites on the album. Since the new album was out, it felt strange to close the set with it because it’s from another album. Everywhere we’ve put it in the set, it feels squeezed in. But I still like the song. It’s not like I’ve changed my mind about that,” he said.
But after he took it out, fans in the UK and Europe spent most of the tour begging him via signs, tweets and endless TikToks to bring it back in. “I’m going to play it before the end of the tour,” he said. promised rolling stone. He fulfilled the promise when he sang it to the public in Lisbon, nearer the European tour.
His friends are a mix of childhood and work friends.
Over the years, Styles has been able to keep a few of his school friends by his side. Most of his closest friends are people he met when he moved to London at the beginning of his career. He describes the past two summers as some of his favorites as he was able to catch up with family and old friends in London.
He is also grateful to be so close to many of his colleagues. “By touring and doing albums and stuff, you get so close to people and spend so much time together,” he says. “I would consider my relationship with the people I work with to be quite unique. I think a lot of the people I work with are the same people I spend time with outside of work.”
In his free months, he focuses on quality time with his friends. As he got older, he realized how important that is to him: “My favorite experiences over the years have been with a group of great people. You can go to a shitty restaurant with your favorite group of people and that’s a much better meal than dining with people you don’t like in the nicest restaurant.”