Let’s be real: if you don’t know who Harry Styles is, you are living under a rock. He is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, musicians in the world right now. Currently, he’s on tour for “Harry’s Love on Tour,” and he recently starred in two movies: “Don’t Worry Darling” and “My Policeman.”
Sure, he’s doing all these great things, but where did he start? Going all the way back, Harry grew up in a small town in the United Kingdom: Homes Chapel, Cheshire. A child of divorce, he was raised by his mother along with his sister, Gemma. Cut to his teen years, he was working at a small, local bakery right before he made a name for himself.
The popular boy band, “One Direction,” was born on the popular British voice competition series, “The X Factor,” in 2010. But how did the well-known group first come about? Well, each member of the band originally auditioned as a solo artist but all failed to make it through to the next round. The judges of the show, Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger decided to give the boys a second chance.
There you have it, and that’s how they were born, and the rest is history. Thanks to the judges, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik made a name for themselves. One Direction, or “1D” for short, performed together for six years from 2010 through 2016. Sadly, they eventually broke up due to personal exhaustion, poor management, and burgeoning solo careers.
Nevertheless, their run was good while it lasted. Everyone knew the band was going to be something special when they released their debut single, “That’s What Makes You Beautiful.” It was a cultural reset. It was played everywhere. In talent shows, on the radio, public outings, you name it.
Not only was it a good song sung by cute boys, but its message resonated with the band’s young, primarily female fanbase. It emphasized the appeal of inner beauty, ie: Your heart. Your strength. Your bravery. Your kindness. That’s what makes you beautiful. And it was far from their only massive hit, the numbers tell all. One Direction made 5 studio albums, 10 extended plays, 17 singles, 2 video albums and 17 music videos. On top of all of that, the boy band went on 4 world tours.
After the band fractured, the 1D boys went their separate ways and embarked on their respective solo careers. “Sign of the Times” was Styles’ debut solo single, and the music video was unlike anything we’d ever seen. Rather than providing watchers with a linear narrative, or a couple of shots of him standing and singing, Styles’ debut music video featured him flying over the countryside. Styles’ videos tell a mournful tale, and he later revealed that the song was written from the viewpoint of a mother who is about to die in childbirth. “Sign of the Times” is her final goodbye.
His songs are intensely personal, intimate even, but also universally relatable. They’re simultaneously profound and catchy and all the music videos are incredibly visually appealing. The first song that comes to mind is “Adore You,” and most recently, “Music for a Sushi Restaurant.”
Can we also take a moment to talk about Styles’ fashion sense? He’s not afraid to reject toxic masculine norms and wear things that most guys won’t. And let’s face it: Harry looks great in everything. His unique brand of self-expression is hard to come by, and frankly, it’s a breath of fresh air. He contradicts the harmfully narrow ideal of masculine gender presentation despite the cruel commentary of his detractors.
Furthermore, the man can put on a great show. He really is a true performer and wants to be his best for the audience. On his latest tour, during the Chicago night 5 concert, he said, “I am here to put on a show and wants you guys to have fun and be entertained. I am yours.”
In addition to 90 minutes of good music, Harry offers his fans heartwarming and even life-changing interactions. He even helped a fan come out to her mom when she was afraid to. Imagine Harry Styles himself helping you express who you truly are, and a whole arena cheering for you. Talk about a night to remember.
And Harry isn’t just a musician, he’s an actor, too. Styles recently starred in two films: “Don’t Worry Darling” and “My Policeman.”
A lot of the hype around “Don’t Worry Darling” surrounded both Harry Styles and director Olivia Wilde, and many reviewers stated that Styles’ acting was mediocre. Nevertheless, their criticisms were grossly exaggerated. If you’re a fan of phycological thrillers, or you just love Harry Styles, I highly recommend watching this film! I went in completely blind and loved it.
“My Policeman,” is a serious romantic drama about a policeman in 1950s Britain named Tom. While courting a schoolteacher on the Brighton coast he falls in love with a museum curator named Patrick. Due to the strict laws surrounding homosexuality in 1950s Britain, their relationship is illegal. The omnipresent conflict between the universal desire to love and be loved, and the brutal reality of societal homophobia creates a beautiful film with a much-needed narrative.
Beyond simply being relevant, Styles is a true renaissance man. His fans love everything he’s created so far, and we can’t wait to see what his future holds.