Harry Styles is the face of Better Homes & Gardens 100th anniversary issue. In his interview for the cover, Harry talks about the pressure he’s felt since skyrocketing to fame at 16 and how his forthcoming new album Harry’s House is the first time he’s been able to have fun making music.

Spending time “in the moment,” swimming in icy water, and looking inward are just some of the things Harry Styles has been doing over the last few years. While it might seem like we’ve moved past a lot of the heavily pandemic-inspired work that came out in 2020 and 2021, Harry’s House is the product of Harry’s pandemic experiences.

“Suddenly, the screaming stopped,” he told Better Homes & Gardens about what it was like to have to pause (his Love On Tour shows for Fine Line were canceled) and not constantly think about the spotlight. It seems like Harry has put a lot of stress on his own success since X-Factor led him to One Direction fame. According to Harry, boy band stardom isn’t easy. Everything was “all about how do you keep it going and how do you get it to grow,” he said. He confessed that he was “terrified” of it ending and losing his music career.

But it did end, and Harry was one of the first of the group to take off on his own. Still, he played it safe. He shares that he felt like he couldn’t make fun music if he wanted to be more than just a former member of One Direction. “It was like, if I want to be taken seriously as a musician, then I can’t make fun music.” His second album and major hit Fine Line was “freer,” and full of nods to his musical favorites both in fashion and in sound. But now? “I just want to make stuff that is right, that is fun, in terms of process, that I can be proud of for a long time, that my friends can be proud of, that my family can be proud of, that my kids will be proud of one day.”

During the pandemic, Harry did “practically nothing” at first, living with a quarantine bubble of friends, but it seems, like that period was for many of us, it became a time for introspection, “difficult conversations,” and really just figuring things out. During that time, Harry started to figure out what home was which would eventually inspire Harry’s House. “I realized that that home feeling isn’t something that you get from a house; it’s more of an internal thing. You realize that when you stop for a minute.”

Some of these things are already obvious in the album’s lead single, “As It Was.” The song opens with a clip of one of his goddaughters asking him to come say goodnight, and the lyrics “it’s not the same as it was” are reflective not only of Harry’s changes in perspective but also permanent changes in the world.

Harry’s House, Harry’s “most intimate” album comes out May 20, so we’ll soon get to experience how his new understanding of home translates to music, and what “fun music” really looks like from him.

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Veronica Good has been with Showstopper Magazine since 2016. When she isn't keeping you updated on the latest trends, she is at home with her many pets or probably playing The Sims 4. Veronica has a BA in English and an MA in writing from Coastal Carolina University. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and her work can be found in Archarios, Tempo, and Scapegoat.