Harry Styles Says After One Direction, He Was ‘Subconsciously Afraid Of Making Fun Music’

Based on Harry Styles’ new songs leading up to Fine Line, it looks like the album will have a more poppy and upbeat energy than his self-titled record from 2017. It turns out that’s something Styles is very aware of, and that while crafting his first solo album, he was actually “subconsciously afraid of making fun music” in his post-One Direction career.

In a new interview with Music Week, Styles said, “Coming off the road, there was a definite feeling of, ‘OK, now I know what it feels like to play a show on my own, what do I want the songs to be like if I’m going to tour again?’ So I definitely went into this album with a freedom that I didn’t have, or didn’t allow myself to have, last time. I was a little subconsciously afraid of making fun music having come out of the band. I tried to get rid of that a little bit.”

Styles touched on similar points during a recent conversation with Zane Lowe, saying that on the day he wrote “Cherry,” he felt pressure to make a “radio record”: “The night that I wrote it, I was saying that I was feeling a lot of pressure because the last record wasn’t a radio record. And I was like, ‘I feel like this record has to be really big. So I feel like I need to make certain songs.’ And Tyler [Johnson, producer] just said to me, ‘You just have to make the record that you want to make right now.’ So then we stayed up and wrote ‘Cherry’ that night.”

Find more excerpts from the Music Week feature here.

Fine Line is out 12/13 via Columbia. Pre-order it here.