Harry Styles’ debut solo album is coming out very soon according to Columbia Records CEO Rob Stringer. It’s official so One Direction fans should start preparing themselves for a mind-blowing musical experience that will “blow the socks off the world.” So, be careful, there will be a lot of socks flying around in the near future, perhaps without warning.
One Direction’s other members, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson won’t be far behind Harry. Liam’s music is said to be almost finished as well. Is Harry Styles going to put out his album first?
The Harry Styles solo album is very close to completion according to Rob Stringer, who is Chairman and CEO of Columbia Records. While no release date has been set it will be out soon. Mr. Stringer told Billboard Columbia is “incredibly excited” about Harry Styles’ “authentic vision.”
“We’re close and we’re very excited. We have a record we’re incredibly excited about and it’s not far away from being ready. We obviously want everything to be beautifully done because we think he’s here to stay. Harry Styles has stepped up with the vision of someone who’s authentic.”
One Direction’s Harry Styles has probably completed or nearly completed his part of making the album, and now it is all about the studio polishing up the tracks and putting everything together, then it is just packaging and promoting.
Liam Payne is reportedly putting together an R&B album. Zayn Malik’s work is also R&B. Niall Horan’s “This Town” was an amazing example of an Irish Folk ballad. Louis Tomlinson’s “Just Hold On” was EDM electronic. What will Harry Styles’ music be like?
Harry Styles friend and collaborator Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol was quoted by Digital Spy last May with predictions about the One Direction crooner’s solo album.
“[Harry Styles is] really authentic and he has an incredible voice, so we’ve been writing a lot of songs. We’ve been writing songs for years together. I’m really excited by the way he’s sounding at the minute, he’s such a talent. I think the world is going to be really shocked at what he comes up with.”
Then Harry Styles’ friend Johnny McDaid added the most exciting description of what Harry’s music will do.
“From what I’ve heard, it’ll blow the socks off the world.”
One Direction’s Harry Styles is an authentic musician. So what does this mean? It’s been said twice at least. Rob Stringer and Johnny McDaid both used the word authentic to describe Harry Styles debut album. Authentic means something within the field of music beyond the common definition, or both music experts would not have used the same phrase. There are two different definitions.
One Direction’s Harry Styles performing authentic music could mean it is a musical style from an earlier time according to Merriam Webster’s definition of authentic performance.
“The practice of performing musical works from an earlier period… using instruments modeled on those of the period and in a style as close as possible to that of performances of the time.”
Is One Direction’s Harry Styles going retro? Perhaps the One Direction star is going to adapt some classic rock style. That he will pull ideas from the classic rock genre is likely but at the same time, it is going to be very original, and definitively from Harry Styles.
As much fun as it would be to see Harry Styles go crazy on a vintage Fender Stratocaster while pretending to be Mick Jagger that is really sort of the opposite of authentic, even though Mick and Harry have much in common, Harry Styles isn’t going to do cover tunes or copy someone else’s style.
One Direction’s Harry Styles performance of authentic music is more likely to fall within the other definition. A good explanation of that is given by Worship in the City. Though their article deals with church music, it explains the concept very well. First authentic music is not “commercial” or “fake.” It’s about not being a “sell out.” Sell outs are people who just write music for profit and popularity, without caring about quality, creativity, self-expression, spirituality, or art.
Authenticity is the opposite of that. Authenticity is about originality and art, not just copying other people’s style but having one’s own style that comes out of one’s own culture and experience, rather than being borrowed from someone with a different background. According to Worship in the City, it’s about being true to who one is and where one comes from.
“Authentic gets determined by the culture in which the expression is coming from.”
For example, Loretta Lynn singing about being a “Coal Miner’s Daughter” while playing an acoustic guitar is authentic. Her dad was a coal miner, and she grew up around guitar music. If she’d written a song about growing up in Asia and played it on a xylophone, that would not be authentic for her, though it might be for someone else. Paris Hilton singing “Coal Miners Daughter” would not be authentic at all, but it would be comical.
Though Harry Styles was the topic of conversation, Rob Stringer had kind things to say about One Direction as a group, and Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan’s future solo successes.
Rob Stringer was asked why while most boy bands only have one breakout star, One Direction “is bucking this long-standing norm.” One Direction, after all, has five break-out stars.
Zayn Malik made solo music look easy with an amazing hit album Mind of Mine, and his debut single “Pillowtalk.” Zayn recently released, a duet with Taylor Swift for 50 Shades Darker, which will be featured as the theme song of the movie and of course it will be part of the soundtrack.
Harry Styles knows Zayn Malik set the bar high, and so do Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne. Rest assured, though, all the One Direction boys are capable of putting out quality music, and each one is a star. One Direction is one band with five superstar soloists.
Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson saw tremendous success with their solo singles. Niall’s lovely and timeless folk ballad “This Town” was masterfully done and a lot more complex than some armchair critics understood.
One Direction’s Harry Styles isn’t the only one who is putting out authentic music. Nial Horan’s “This Town” was structurally an authentic folk ballad with every detail it needed to qualify for that genre. It was not nor was it intended to be commercial pop.
Zayn Malik also found authenticity within the R&B genre he grew up with. R&B was in Zayn’s nature and background. That is why One Direction felt less than authentic for him specifically. Pop did not feel right for Zayn Malik, so he found it hard to be authentic as a pop star.
Louis Tomlinson just ripped out hearts with the touching lyrics of “Just Hold On.” Performing his debut single on the X-Factor days after his mother’s death showed a level of professionalism that was simply astounding.
One Direction’s Liam Payne is working diligently in a studio in LA, leaving his pregnant wife Cheryl in Britain so he can complete his work before the baby comes. Fans are very curious about Liam’s music.
Rob Stringer sees a bright future for Harry Styles who he says is “here to stay,” but he believes that Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne are also going to do great things. Stinger praised One Direction’s smart image, telling Billboard they avoided the typical boy band traps.
“They didn’t box themselves into a corner singing and dancing. It didn’t have all the rules of the boy bands of the past where they’re too boy-next-door, too sickly sweet. They weren’t caricatures.”
While One Direction was a boy band, they were not a cliché. Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson would not allow themselves to be pushed so far into the boy band mold that the could not get out.
Payne, Tomlinson, Horan, Styles, and Malik each had their own style. They didn’t dress alike or do synchronized dancing. Not one of them was ever just blending into the background. Each of them captivated their share of the audience.
One Direction’s Hiatus should serve to shake off what’s left of any boy band image by the time they reunite. Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne are all stars, all front men now, and all ready to rock whether separately or together.
Harry Styles and Zayn Malik have powerful charisma. One Direction’s Niall Horan always has tremendous energy and a great personality. Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson have tremendous star quality as well. All five are not only eye candy, they are all talented and each one has a unique stage presence.
One Direction music was always a bit more rocking than most boy bands. Besides Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik could actually sing and wrote most of their own songs.
Rob Stinger continued to praise One Direction as Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan distinguish themselves as solo artists.
“And today, they’re making smart choices. It doesn’t surprise me that there’s is a different path and they’re doing pretty well. With One Direction, they became so big everywhere and from day one that their spread is much wider than other previous boy bands.”
One Direction has a huge fan base, with Directioners on every continent of the earth. While some may like Harry Styles a bit better than Niall Horan, or Liam Payne better than Louis Tomlinson for example, there is a powerful unity among most Directioners. Directioners want the boys together.
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Despite Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson’s repeated assurances that One Direction will reunite eventually, rumors to the contrary keep going around. Still, with the One Direction members themselves promising a reunion it seems likely that there will be another One Direction tour in the future, though not the near future.
One Direction’s Harry Styles will have a debut album out soon. Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson are nearing completion of their music as well, but reunion has also been promised. So just relax and enjoy the music.
Harry Styles of One Direction, as well as Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson, are preparing to release solo material, so get ready to lose your socks Directioners.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]