Harry Styles released his new music video for “Adore You” on Dec. 6 and took fans on an exclusive trip to the isle of Eroda. The whimsical video was written and directed by Dave Meyers, who is renowned for his work on Missy Elliot’s iconic “Get Ur Freak On” as well as Normani’s “Motivation.” But Styles and his team gave the word “iconic” a whole new meaning in this odd, yet uplifting tale of a boy and his fish.
Fans were investigating the sudden explosion of #VisitEroda advertisements, especially on Twitter. It was only a couple days after heated speculation that the “Watermelon Sugar” star revealed he was behind the imaginary vacation destination.
— visiteroda (@visiteroda) December 6, 2019
In a recent interview, Styles said, “We just had so much fun making it. They’re usually the ones that end up working the best. The ones where everyone’s having fun making it. It doesn’t feel like ‘Oh, God. We have to write this song.’ It kind of just writes itself. It was a good experience making the song. I’m excited to have it out, and I’m excited that people are hopefully watching it.”
The soulful rhythm laced into the song makes it difficult to sit still but when paired with the music video, Styles is clearly making the statement that “Fine Line” is destined to be an unforgettable album.
The music video for “Adore You” takes on a short, interesting narrative of a desolate village just off the coast called Eroda. At first glance, the island seems to be a picturesque venue perfect for a quiet getaway until fans get a deeper dive into what makes the scenic town unique. There is Sally’s Tavern, Kieran’s Studio and the Fisherman’s Pub.
But what really sets Eroda apart from all other dream destinations is the fact that no one smiles. Ever.
Until something “peculiar” happens, and a baby is born. Instantly, he is outcasted by those on the island for his overwhelmingly bright smile. The baby turns out to be Styles, who is turned away at every stop by the locals of Eroda.
In the “Adore You” video, Spanish singer Rosalia narrates, “No one ever meant to be mean towards him, but in a town grown used to the way things were, no one knew what to do with something different.”
— Julianna (@Juliannab14) December 13, 2019
Lonely and desperate, the 25-year-old attempts to take his own life when a fish out of water stops him. The two build a questionable bond over tacos and music. Not to mention the fish is growing and growing by the day. It is only when the sweet creature becomes far too large for his fish tank that Styles must toss him back into the ocean. The kicker is he does not do it alone. For once, the people of Eroda unite and help the boy with the blinding smile to send his fish friend home where he belongs.
Many people were at a loss for exactly what the music video was trying to convey. The man does seemingly fall in love with a fish … Who could blame them? Some fans failed to take the message at face value, while others believed it spoke to the relationship between the singer and his fans.
In an interview with SiriusXM, Styles casually joked about the concept of the “Adore You” music video and what the fish might represent. “Is the fish even a fish? Is the fish a metaphor? Who is the fish?”
But the idea of the video appears to be much more than Styles serenading an aquatic creature.
The idiom of a fish out of water alludes to the idea of someone being unfamiliar, different and uncomfortable in their surroundings. In “Adore You,” the fish and Styles were victims of such mistreatment amongst their neighbors, who were afraid of their unique qualities. The pressure to be something they are not is constant to the point where both are willing to feel nothing at all rather than the agony of not being accepted. It is the mutual feeling that unites the two and as their relationship progresses, their self-image transcends what they were used to hearing from others. Styles and the fish had rightful places in the world even though they were both different. The reason he is able to identify with him so well is because Styles, himself, is the fish. They longed to be a part of something without realizing it was okay to embrace their differences and for Styles, this concept branches beyond the music video. It vividly depicts his journey as an artist emerging from one place in his life to another.
In past interviews, he discussed a lot about how the initial process of making his debut album was challenging because he was so worried about what people would think of him. Because of One Direction’s immense success, Styles felt pressure to either match or elevate the progress he made with the band. The self-titled album showed fans and nonfans alike what he was capable of as a musician. The “Fine Line” album, however, is a crossover and a manifestation of this growth period where he is able to come into his own and be fearless while doing so.
“When I listen to the first album now, I can hear all of the places where I feel like I was playing it safe because I just didn’t want to get it wrong. I just didn’t want to get it wrong,” he told Zane Lowe. “Making this album was all about freedom. I had a big moment through the making of this record, where I was redefining what success meant for me. When I made the first record, it was kind of freeing because I don’t have to do this anymore. With this one, I just wanted to have fun.”
The storytelling in the music video demonstrates this journey of self-discovery, although it has very little to do with the lyrics of “Adore You.” This is not new for Styles or his eclectic taste. The “Lights Up” singer is known to challenge the odds and with this album, the sky is the limit.