Harry Styles on Taylor Swift: ‘It was a learning experience for sure’

Chris Brown plays Miami

I’m so into Harry Styles’ solo career. I love “Sign of the Times” and I’m really hoping that Harry’s self-titled solo album is a big success. It’s no surprise that Harry covers the latest issue of Rolling Stone. What is a surprise is that the cover image is so bad, though. Like, he looks about 13 years old here. No bueno. Anyway, I don’t want to chat too much because I need to have room to excerpt all of these epic quotes from his profile. What’s lacking in the photo department, Rolling Stone makes up for it in the feature writing. Harry really gave RS access to everything, and he even made his biggest statement (ever) about his relationship with Taylor Swift. You can read the full piece here. Highlights:

His album was originally going to be called “Pink”: “Pink is the only true rock & roll colour.”

He asked the One Direction guys in late 2014 if they should take a hiatus: “I didn’t want to exhaust our fan base. If you’re shortsighted, you can think, ‘Let’s just keep touring,’ but we all thought too much of the group than to let that happen. You realize you’re exhausted and you don’t want to drain people’s belief in you… I love the band, and would never rule out anything in the future. The band changed my life, gave me everything.”

Writing “Sign of the Times”: “Most of the stuff that hurts me about what’s going on at the moment is not politics, it’s fundamentals. Equal rights. For everyone, all races, sexes, everything. …  ’Sign of the Times’ came from ‘This isn’t the first time we’ve been in a hard time, and it’s not going to be the last time.’ The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there’s a complication. The mother is told, ‘The child is fine, but you’re not going to make it.’ The mother has five minutes to tell the child, ‘Go forth and conquer.’”

His dedicated of fanbase of girls and young women: “Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.”

On Zayn Malik’s criticism of One Direction: “I think it’s a shame he felt that way but I never wish anything but luck to anyone doing what they love. If you’re not enjoying something and need to do something else, you absolutely should do that. I’m glad he’s doing what he likes, and good luck to him.”

He’s not your tortured, self-destructive artist: “People romanticize places they can’t get to themselves. That’s why it’s fascinating when people go dark – when Van Gogh cuts off his ear. You romanticize those people, sometimes out of proportion. It’s the same with music. You want a piece of that darkness, to feel their pain but also to step back into your own [safer] life. I can’t say I had that. I had a really nice upbringing. I feel very lucky. I had a great family and always felt loved. There’s nothing worse than an inauthentic tortured person. ‘They took my allowance away, so I did heroin.’ It’s like – that’s not how it works. I don’t even remember what the question was.”

Getting pap’d with Taylor Swift on their second date, in Central Park: “When I see photos from that day, I think: Relationships are hard, at any age. And adding in that you don’t really understand exactly how it works when you’re 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn’t make it easier. I mean, you’re a little bit awkward to begin with. You’re on a date with someone you really like. It should be that simple, right? It was a learning experience for sure. But at the heart of it – I just wanted it to be a normal date.”

The songs Taylor allegedly wrote about him, “Out of the Woods” and “Style”: “I mean, I don’t know if they’re about me or not …. but the issue is, she’s so good, they’re bloody everywhere. I write from my experiences; everyone does that. I’m lucky if everything [we went through] helped create those songs. That’s what hits your heart. That’s the stuff that’s hardest to say, and it’s the stuff I talk least about. That’s the part that’s about the two people. I’m never going to tell anybody everything.” Was he able to tell her that he admired the songs? “Yes and no,” he says after a long pause. “She doesn’t need me to tell her they’re great. They’re great songs … It’s the most amazing unspoken dialogue ever.”

What he would say to Taylor now: “I don’t know… Certain things don’t work out. There’s a lot of things that can be right, and it’s still wrong. In writing songs about stuff like that, I like tipping a hat to the time together. You’re celebrating the fact it was powerful and made you feel something, rather than ‘this didn’t work out, and that’s bad.’ And if you run into that person, maybe it’s awkward, maybe you have to get drunk … but you shared something. Meeting someone new, sharing those experiences, it’s the best sh-t ever. So thank you.”

[From Rolling Stone]

He’s very diplomatic throughout the entire piece, but it never comes across as “he’s so media-trained.” He seems like what he is: a nice guy from a nice, close-knit family. He’s a guy who has good people around him, people who have his best interests in mind. Plus, I do think he’s clever/smart. His answers about Taylor prove that he’s smart, just as it was smart of him to save these comments for years, for his first solo Rolling Stone interview. As for what he says about Taylor… I enjoy that both Harry Styles and Tom Hiddleston are basically making the same argument, which is that they really liked her, they were on a date and suddenly the paparazzi were everywhere. “…Adding in that you don’t really understand exactly how it works when you’re 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn’t make it easier.” I take that to mean that he didn’t fully understand how Taylor operates.

Taylor Swift & Harry Styles Have Split!***FILE PHOTOS****

Photos courtesy of Theo Wenner, Fame/Flynet.


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83 Responses to “Harry Styles on Taylor Swift: ‘It was a learning experience for sure’”

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  1. Shambles says:

    Yeah, that’s what I thought too. He navigates this landmine well, very diplomatic. Good job.

    That said, I take “learning experience” to mean that he learned what a boy-crazy, pap-crazy, crazy-crazy person Taylor is reeeeeaaaal fast. Lol

  2. Nicole says:

    Dear Zayn,
    This is how you promote your solo career without trashing your career as a band mate

    Also his quote about his teen fans was SO GOOD. Yes yes yes. He’s much nicer than Taylor is to…anyone who she feels slighted her.

    You go Harry. Here for this and I never listened to 1D

    • Sixer says:

      I like what he says about his fans too. I’m personally no fan of light pop music and never have been even as a tween or teen, but I hate it when young girls get disrespected for liking cheerful music sung by boys they might fancy. Why on earth shouldn’t they?

    • KJA says:

      I really liked his answer about his fans that are teenage girls-they got him where he is today and it’s great that he’s aware of that. Often for teenage girls-regardless of what they like-they’re seen as the silly part of any ‘fandom’ etc-when they’re often the ones that contribute the most.

    • farah says:

      ehh. Harry and Zayn’s experience in the band were VERY different. Harry was the golden boy. He was the star. He got control over the music. The dad-rock sound One Direction went into wasn’t Zayn’s thing. It was the other guys music. He complained about that. But it was 4 against 1 in that department.

      Harry once said the hardest part about Zayn leaving was the paperwork. I don’t think there’s love lost there.

      • Nicole says:

        I don’t think so either. However I’m never a fan of people that spit on the career that made them famous. I find that classless. And I don’t think Zayn had any right to whine about the guys not talking to him considering. Same thing I feel about Camila and 5H.

      • Craven says:

        I agree Farah. Harry would be a complete twat to trash a system that elevated him as “the star” and handily provided him with a sound perfectly suited to his voice and tastes. And then when you factor in the Zayns mental health challenges, I’m just glad he made it out alive. That over-managed, gold fish bowl existence in which you are playing music you hate and singing second lead despite having the stronger voice all because the management doesnt think it can sell a pop band with a brown muslim lead to white pre-teens would crash a mentally healthy young adult. I cant imagine what it would be navigating that with an anxiety and eating disorder.

      • mar_time says:

        Zany didn’t have the best voice in the band. Harry and Liam have the best voices, Zayn coming in third and that’s how their solos were divided. When Zayn left, Liam was able to take over most of his parts with no issues because, technically, he has the strongest voice. This isn’t about him being brown or Muslim, Zayn was soooo many people’s “favorite” but you can’t build a great group around his voice.

      • Hannah says:

        I disagree, if your friend had mental health issue that was making him ill (from what i read he had eating disorder and anxiety) due to the job…Why would you be mad if he wanted to quit the job? If this was a normal job nobody would have had an issue with a person dealing with such issues taking sick leave or leaving the job entirely.
        The fact that they didn’t talk to him/ fans were mad at him seems like theres a lack of understanding about mental health issues.

      • Aren says:

        Zayn has continued to be really nasty towards old band members and people he began his solo career with.
        Those tweets saying “we’re not friends” to the guy who made his first demo was uncalled for.
        Zayn is arrogant, and I get it because of his background as a minority, but you don’t hear Beyonce talk like that.

    • INeedANap says:

      Agreed about his answer re: teenage fans. It’s almost a given that young women are bashed for their tastes and behaviors, and he defended them to the max. I love his reminder to everyone that those same teenage girls have a ton of potential. Girls run the world indeed, with Harry Styles cheering them on.

  3. detritus says:

    I have inappropriate feelings for Harry.
    Originally I thought it was the hair, but no, I think it’s the way he speaks.
    Okay, or it’s the hair AND the way he speaks.

    • Sixer says:

      I’m so old and knackered that the Sixlets have taken to saying “inappropriate, mother, inappropriate” almost every time that I say I fancy someone on the tellybox!

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      This 33 year old woman has the same problem. I’m not ashamed. He has never given a bad interview, that’s for sure. He’s always known how to make his fans think they know him without putting it all out there. The hair is the least attractive thing about him, tbh. And I’m pretty sure I could have a better conversation with him than with a few 35 year old men I know. I mean the sh*t they say sometimes.

      I LOVE how he talks about the 1D fans. He’s right. I was a teenager who listened to all kinds of music. I love Britney and Disturbed equally to this day just like I loved them nearly 20 years ago. I hate how “cool” people try to tell the masses they’re uncool just because they don’t know the latest garage band. The hipster with the obscure taste in music is such a tired cliché. I remember the guys we went to festivals with. I was the boring one because I was excited for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. So mainstream. I have no regrets.

      I digress. I love him. Haven’t heard the songs but wish him ALL the best. I think he’s always been the smartest one in that band.

  4. KJA says:

    Oh no, he’s growing on me… But seriously though, that was a good interview-kudos Styles.

  5. jinni says:

    He does not have the nose to make a photo from that angle work. He looks gross and like he breathes through his mouth on the cover. Is anyone grossed out by the blatant Jagger comparison? It is so I obviously manufactured, why won’t he and his team try to come up with his own image I stead of biting off of some else.?There’s a difference between inspired and cheap knock off and this kid is coming of as the latter.

  6. ell says:

    lmao at the idea any of these 2 dudes didn’t know the paps would be there. of course they did, especially hiddleston.

    he comes across ok, i like the quote about teens and music, but his song is meh to me. it’s very robbie williams in the ’00.

    • Alleycat says:

      I have to agree with you. He may have been 18 at the time, but Taylor was still a big deal and he had to know what he was getting into. You think going to Central Park as two huge pop stars was going going to be a private affair? Anyway, it’s not like he loves to be private, he did date a kardashian too.

  7. Erinn says:

    I like this guy. I’m surprised how genuinely nice he seems – and he did this interview beautifully. It came off as genuine, and not overly coached, which makes me think he just IS nice, not ACTING nice.

  8. Moonstone says:

    I was not a fan until this interview, so polite and grateful to the band that made him famous. Good for him!

  9. third ginger says:

    For me, he’s an embryo. I did, however, give him a chance[ I don’t like to comment on performers I have not seen perform} by watching him sing and cut up on SNL. He was fine. What impresses me is that Christopher Nolan gave him a part in the upcoming DUNKIRK alongside noted “big boy” actors Hardy, Branagh, and Rylance. Good luck to him.

  10. Lucy says:

    I only have three words: Honk. For. Harry. :)

  11. grabbyhands says:

    I think he gave a good answer about fans and was extremely diplomatic considering (some) 1D fans are some of the most frighteningly obsessive, batsh*t crazy people on the planet.

  12. SM says:

    He is winning me over. If the SNL performance was not perfect after reading this, I am so in. These are some really beautiful answers. He seems abnormally normal considering his experience and early fame. I love what he says about his fans. If more so called artists would get of their high horse and admit that pop loving teenage girls are the future of the society, the world would get better in the future for women and for humanity overall. It seems to me that little Harry knows a few things about feminism and respect his more famous ex could learn. His commitment to pink is awesome too. The cover photo though- not so much.

  13. akua says:

    Between him and taylor Lautner, I will say this. TS didn’t dissed them. So I will say it a good thing. Out of the woods, styles and back to December, is my favorite taylor swift song. Lol don’t judge me.

    • virginfangirl2 says:

      When my teenage daughter liked pop I heard a fair amount of Taylor Swift but never got into her music, but Back to December I always loved. I actually am beginning to like her music now for some odd reason. Maybe because it can be immature but in a clever, classy way, never grossly sexual like much of the pop music currently.

  14. L84Tea says:

    It finally hit me who Harry Styles reminds me of! He looks like a young David Johansen/Buster Poindexter!! Oh God, I can’t unsee it now….

  15. Keiko says:

    He’s the spitting image of Owen Jones, a journalist here in the UK, if Owen Jones were to plonk on a brown wig. I can never see the “he looks like Mick Jagger” thing.

  16. Bucketbot says:

    Gosh that pic is bad. He looks like Norman Reedus after he’s had a bath….which is a good thing ideally, but Norman Reedus just gives me greasy feelings + the creeps. Though I understand lots of people who know him ( Reedus) say that he’s a nice man.

  17. greenmonster says:

    I like his answer about teenage girls taste in music. I would even say that’s a general thing: people judging others because of the music they listen to. I do love me some pop music and constantly experience judgement for that – not even kidding. My colleague makes fun of me because I like Take That. He is very into alternative and is constantly mocking me or calling Take That “not a band”. Whenever TT goes on tour in Germany, I’m there and I’m having a such a great time. Guess who went to see one of his favorite bands of his youth and came back very dissapointed?

  18. Jeesie says:

    Taylor really had a thing for not quite legal teens who looked about 14 for a while there didn’t she?

  19. Maiden says:

    I had the briefest crush on him about 3 years ago and went to tumblr, of all places, to look around and see what he’s like from before 1D and outside the band and fame.

    He’s always seemed genuine and sweet and kind. There are GIFs of him from when he was about 13 or 14 years old talking about how people should be able to love who they love.
    He’s been an ally of the LGBT community for a long time and I think that’s really great.

    Good luck to him and his music. Quite the charismatic guy and out of everyone in 1D, he came across as the most laid back and I’ve never heard or read anything about him having bad attitude.

  20. DahliaDee says:

    I never cease to be surprised at who some of the nicer/more interesting people choose to date, if it’s true about him and Kendall Jenner. The same goes for Angelina Jolie, who I thought kept trading down after Johnny Miller. And I honestly thought Brad Pitt was barely an improvement over Billy Bob Thornton, if only because I thought boring was better than messy. Little did I know. And don’t get me started on Rihanna. Or Jennifer Lopez.

  21. MellowMarsh says:

    Harry says a bunch of good stuff, but let’s just focus and make the title about T.Swift,because that will get the clicks.

    What he said about her was the least interesting part of the interview.

  22. Radley says:

    Didn’t he say that being female was not important in terms of having a relationship with him? Why didn’t Rolling Stone ask him about that? A teen idol not being straight would be a big headline grabber. I’m calling bullsh*t on this whole article. You don’t miss something that provocative by accident. Why is he peeking out of the closet only to slam the door again? What’s going on there?

    And everybody knows Taylor Swift’s “relationships” are all showmances. To me it’s just another red flag to bring that up again. It’s my understanding they were papped together a few times over the course of a couple of months. That was an epic romance? I think not.

    • mar_time says:

      Oh Radley he’s been wearing a rainbow pin the last few days (sorry guys I love one direction, I’m 32 and not ashamed!!) but let’s still focus on Taylor…I think he’d love to come out but can’t. Look up Rainbow Bondage Bear (lol I’m not making it up) two bears they dressed up and put out before shows, they had a twitter account at one point…you can get sucked into their crazy little world verrrrrry quickly

    • Turtle says:

      Not a particular 1D fan, but I did see that interview. I think Liam (?) was the other band member with him. They’re asked about qualities a love interest or something has to possess. Liam (or whoever it was) says being female is important; Harry says, “Not so important.” It’s interesting how that revelation never really took hold in the media. I like Harry, but I guarantee that when he publicly comes out, he’ll say, “I was never really in.” I wish him well. It’s got to be stressful and weird to be required to promote yourself and talk about your life and art and keep something so important hidden. Easy way to fix that.

  23. Cee says:

    In 2012 I begun working in the music industry and one day I had to connect journalists with Harry and Zayn, separately, for their promo of their second album. I had no knowledge of One Direction then, and had to google how to pronounce Zayn’s name correctly.

    Harry was so NICE and polite to me. He actually asked me how my day was going and if I was planning on doing something fun after work. After I connected him with the journalist and the interview was over, he thanked me for putting everything in place and wished me a wonderful week.

    My experience with Zayn was the oppposite. He wouldn’t pick up the phone so the interview got rescheduled. By the time he finally picked up the phone he was so brusque and rude I was put off. I connected him to the journalist directly and the interview lasted 5 minutes. He just shut off the conversation and the journo just said to me “what a POS”. HQ sent me an email apologising for the debacle.

    So yeah, I’m not surprised at how differently they handled their solo careers.

    • virginfangirl2 says:

      Maybe Zayn is just a complete ass, but he also has anxiety, and my teenage daughter, at the height of her anxiety, was very mean. They say flight or fight kicks in and her fight definitely kicked in sometimes.

      • Cee says:

        I have anxiety too*, so I get it but this was not it. He was downright rude. I did not want a chat, just a “hello, yes, this is Zayn” and the minimum recognition of what I was saying to him (journalist’s name, publication, country, etc. info he NEEDS).
        He had a friend with him who would not stop sniggering and talking over him. This was a work thing, I wasn’t calling his hotel room and squealing at him.

        *I’m very much a flight or fight person, holding still is very hard but I’ve gotten better at it.

      • pinetree13 says:

        Sorry your daughter was probably being mean because she was a teenager NOT because she had anxiety. I have anxiety issues (runs in my family) and know a lot of people with anxiety. I think it generally makes people NICER because people with anxiety tend to over-think/worry about everything including offending other people. So no one should be given a pass to be mean just because they suffer from anxiety. That doesn’t even make sense to me at all. People should be held accountable for their rude behavior.

      • Dee says:

        In 2012 zayn WAS a teenager. If he’s still a twat fair enough.
        Generally surprised people compare these two. Harry is a nice middle class white boy favoured by cowell and the media..Zayn is working class Muslim boy who has faced completely different struggles including racism and mental health issues. They have completly different life experiences tbh.

      • virginfangirl2 says:

        Pinetree13: While I would have agreed with you until I went through it, I have become aware that anxiety does not look the same in everyone. In fact, my daughter was first diagnosed with Bipolar & given some very strong meds (that did nothing to help as she had anxiety). My daughter has a very supportive family & I’m a teacher, so we knew about discipline and all but her behavior was not typical kid bad behavior. Then a Child Psychiatrist diagnosed her with anxiety, and with 2 yrs of therapy and Zoloft she’s doing much better. My daughter would hit me (although you could always see she was restraining her lashing out), crush bananas on the floor, spill water on the rug, threw many remote controls, & it surely looked like anger issues. But an expert assured us it was not, it was in fact anxiety and my daughter was immature and dealing with it this way because she had no tools to deal with it in a better way. My daughter always showed signs of anxiety, but when she changed schools and was bullied for 2 yrs the shit hit the fan. She’s doing much, much better now. So what I’m trying to say is an expert diagnosed her behavior as anxiety even though we would have never thought that to be true, and after being treated for anxiety her behavior as a 15 yr old is mostly a pleasure.

    • Diane says:

      Yeah Zayn was young at the time. What’s his excuse now? Being Muslim, brown, and/or having mental health issues doesn’t give you an automatic pass on basic common courtesy, especially in relation to your profession of choice. If it did then Kanye West would get all the passes. Kanye doesn’t, nor should he, neither should Zayn. Zayn could have been having a bad day. It’s telling that there are quite a few stories about Zayn’s lack of professionalism and his bad days. That Cee and the journalist’s experience was both negative speaks for itself, as does her experience with Harry who seems to have consistently good days in relation to his profession and people’s contact with him….hmmm.

  24. Florence says:

    Harry is incredibly overhyped. SNL and Rolling Stone after 1 single song. And he’s already called out on plagiarism for his second song.
    I really don’t see it – I’m baffled. I found his singing performance at SNL very underwhelming. But I guess they’ll keep pushing him until we buy the hype.

    • Arizona says:

      Right. All the boys in 1D are overrated but with Harry it’s reached extreme levels of delusions of grandeur.
      And the quotes i’ve seen from that shit are pretentious af, even for rolling stone, seriously, this explantion for his song is a ridiculous level of reach even from a first year college student who is drunk and has only 10 mins to fulfil a deadline and has run out of ideas to describe whatever piece this would be ridiculous.

  25. MI6 says:

    I like this kid.
    Go Harry. Rock on.

  26. Hannah says:

    “The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there’s a complication. The mother is told, ‘The child is fine, but you’re not going to make it.’ The mother has five minutes to tell the child, ‘Go forth and conquer.’” ”

    Say what? This is hilarious, was he high or is he really this pretentious and try hard?

  27. madly says:

    Well, she uses these boys for publicity so why can’t they return the favor?

    Also, she has shaded the hell out of him publicly. There is a youtube video of her telling him to “shut the f— up”. Her petty behavior is legendary. His being gracious now just makes her look smaller, not better. And it gives her no ammo to look like a victim later. Say nice things, use her name to sell your album and then get out so she can’t cause the drama you know she wants to have. Slick.

  28. Zoe says:

    He comes across as eager to please and hyper aware of his image. Similar to Hiddleston. Very inoffensive a bit bland.

  29. trtgfc17 says:

    She dresses like my great aunt Roberta in that coat lmao.

  30. Aren says:

    Wasn’t expecting him to speak so nicely and fluently. Couldn’t spot any pretentiousness.
    I hope he’s successful because pop music could really benefit from a wave of singers (songwriters, musicians, whatever) like Harry.

  31. Arizona says:

    Lol @ that struggle stash. reminds me of bieber. They look like 12 year olds, would feel like a creep if I fancied them. At least Zayn can grow a beard.