The Emergence of Harry Styles, Solo Artist
Back in December of 2017, I wrote a long analysis of the current state of One Direction and where its “current” member’s careers could be heading in the future.
I saved my take on Harry for last, because I felt he is the one people have been placing their bets on going solo for years. For many of reasons, he has the strongest voice of the five, he is the “fan appointed” leader of the group backed up by his central staging in most photos and group lineups. Finally, we are humans driven by emotions. When One Direction made its debut back in 2010 on the stage of X Factor UK our eyes locked on Harry Styles. Not in a “he’s the best singer” or “he’s your favorite member type of way,” but he has “It”. He is the Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake of the group. He has the charisma and presence to be a star, not as part of a group, but as an individual person.
Maybe this charisma and presence is placed on him by sheer luck, good marketing by Harry himself, Simon Cowell, or some music executives, but once the music industry sees where the attention and future money is building under they follow it.
Harry Styles is in the stage of what will go down in his Wikipedia page’s table of contents section as “Solo Career Beginnings” as the first paragraph. Where did it start, what were the events leading up to it and what was released first.
His solo career as a whole or even the first few years is unknown and too hard to predict. However, what we do know is that him going solo has already been promoted to oblivion and has been story waiting to be covered by music and entertainment press for the past couple years.
So where does Harry’s solo stardom begin…
Harry is part of the main cast of the Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film, Dunkirk, about the French and British army evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk to escape the advancing Nazi armies.
Harry’s role is mainly unknown and does not appear he plays a control role based on the trailer of Dunkirk.
Harry’s actions following the collective One Direction member’s decision to go on “hiatus” to purse independent projects and opportunities.
Him having a role in an upcoming anticipated feature film is the generic go to action for any star or soon to be star. However, the announcement that Harry had signed a three solo album deal with Columbia Records coupled with his acting work conveyed the message he was laying the careful ground work to launch his solo career.
Throwing no shade to the other former and current members of One Direction, but Harry has been very careful in revealing his future plans, unlike Liam who has been very open with all he is working or Zayn who’s attempts at solo stardom have been uneven in the attention gained. People are attracted to mystery and a building suspension in what’s coming next. Something Harry and his time have been successful in the lead up to the last couple weeks.
The careful preparation has been reaching its conclusion with the release of first the cover art of his first solo single “Sign. Of. The. Times.” and then the music release on April 7.
The mix of slow soft and pop rock single off the self-title Harry Styles album caused a frenzy on Twitter upon its release.
The usual signs of an upcoming release have set up with a change in social media profile pictures of the cover art and posts plugging the release date. Not to mention, a release of the tracklist courtesy of Billboard for all of us to pick a part in predicting what the songs are about in anticipation of the release.
“Meet Me in the Hallway”
“Sign of the Times”
“Ever Since New York”
“From the Dining Table”
Here are a couple of my predictions to join in the fun. “Ever Since New York” I am betting is about Taylor Swift. To be honest, she deserves a few songs written about her for the free pass she’s had to write about everyone under the sun without a rebuttal. I think “From the Dining Table” will be about his life growing up Cheshire before he stepped on the X Factor stage. Going on a wild card guess here I will say “Sweet Creature” is a David Bowie Lady Gaga introspection about fame and visibility.
We finally have a chance now to hear Harry sing as an individual. Yes, we have watched him for several years perform already, but that was with his One Direction bandmates. Who is he as a solo performer?
Does he like a band backing him up or just a pre-set track? Is he like Bruce Springsteen who goes up and plays, or is he a follower of Sia, who performs each song with a conceptualized story backed by dancers and visuals? One performance does not tell all, but we will got a glimpse tonight on Saturday Night Live where Harry performed for the first time solo.
Him the musical this week with The Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon, as host for the live coast to coast episode.
It is unknown what a solo career will look in the new year, five years, and so on. All we can do is watch Harry Styles Wikipedia page grow and the future right now looks promising.
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