Harry Styles has been breaking records musically lately after releasing his album Harry’s House, but on Monday (June 13) he broke another barrier by becoming the first Western artist to appear on the Japanese YouTube series The First Take. The former One Direction member performed a stripped-down, single-take version of “Boyfriends” with the backing of vocalists Sarah Jones and Elin Sandberg and guitarists Ny Oh and Mitch Rowland. The 28-year-old made it look easy.
Though the show’s purpose is to challenge artists to perform similarly to Styles, one-take without any effects, the pop star came in with a bit of an edge as the version he performed on The First Take is identical to his Coachella arrangement from this past April. Prior to Harry, the series welcomed the likes of K-pop artists Tomorrow X Together and Stray Kids plus the Japanese band Chai.
Harry Styles’ aforementioned 2022 album Harry’s House earned the most first-day streams for a pop album in 2022 just two hours after it was made available on Apple Music. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart with 521,500 units sold in its first week, with 330,000 of which being pure sales. With four songs residing in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 Songs chart concurrently, he became the first British solo artist to achieve this feat and joined only the Beatles in terms of overall British acts.
Check out Styles’ performance of “Boyfriends” on The First Take above.