"I wanted to write my stories, things that happened to me. I hadn't done that before." There isn't a yellow light he doesn't run as he speaks excitedly about the band he's put together under the tutelage of producer Jeff Bhasker (The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, "Uptown Funk").He's full of stories about the two-month recording session last fall at Geejam, a studio and compound built into a mountainside near Port Antonio, a remote section of Jamaica.But as he recounts the events leading up to his year out of the spotlight, the layers begin to slip away.It was in a London studio in late 2014 that Styles first brought up the idea of One Direction taking a break.Behind the effervescent stage persona, there is more lore than fact. "With an artist like Prince," he says, "all you wanted to do was know more. It's not about trying to make my career longer, like I'm trying to be this 'mysterious character,' because I'm not.
As we arrive, Styles bounds up the steps to the studio, passing a bored pool cleaner.
7 Things We Learned About Harry Styles' Debut Solo Album From the LP's original title to surprising recording locations, here is what the One Direction member revealed to Rolling Stone in his cover story We arrive at a crowded diner, and Styles cuts through the room holding a black notebook jammed with papers and artifacts from his album, looking like a college student searching for a quiet place to study.
He's here to do something he hasn't done much of in his young career: an extended one-on-one interview.
"I didn't want to exhaust our fan base," he explains.
"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.
A lanky guy in a wool hat, overcoat and jogging pants, hands thrust deep into his pockets. He had spent five years as the buoyant fan favorite in One Direction; now, an uncertain future stretched out in front of him. The white noise of adulation was gone, replaced by the hushed sound of the city below.