Harry Styles and Billie Eilish are both young musicians in their 20s (they’re 28 and 20, respectively) and even though their music careers only started a few years apart, they’re very much part of different musical generations. Eilish’s approach to the industry was distinct from Styles’ and it turns out that had a major impact on Styles when he was going solo post-One Direction.
In a new interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Styles said:
“I definitely had a really big moment, I think, when Billie Eilish first blew up. And I think 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. And I had a moment seeing her 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, ‘ OK, 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, ‘OK. I would like to really think about who I would like to be as a musician.’
Well, I think we’ve ran into each other a couple times, but I’m, 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, ‘OK, how do I get back in? How do I get back to… She totally broke the spell for me in a way that I’m very grateful for that. 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.”
Watch the interview above.