The countdown is on, people! Next Friday, December 13, Harry Styles‘s sophomore solo album, Fine Line, will officially be out for all to hear. And in a new interview with L’Officiel out today (December 4), the “Watermelon Sugar” crooner opened up about the songwriting process, striking a balance with his subject matter, and which music icons have served as his personal inspirations.
“Songwriting is like surfing,” the “Lights Up” singer said before explaining the often unpredictable journey of creating a hit song. “You can train as much as you want to get on the board, but sometimes the wave comes and sometimes it doesn’t.” And although the singer has previously spoken at length about using psychedelic drugs to aid in the process, he maintains that songwriting “takes a lot of hard work.” “We still need to train to become better,” he said. “You can’t just sit down and decide to write a song and think you’ve written the best song of your life.”
In both songwriting and in life, Styles is still deciding what he feels comfortable sharing and what he’d prefer to keep to himself. “Celebrity is something I am still learning, experimenting,” he said, confirming our suspicions that, no, fame doesn’t come with a manual. “I learn to sort out what I like, what I don’t like, what I’m willing to give in my songs, and what I’m not inclined to share,” he added. “We have to find a balance.”
Being a famous musician does making finding a balance especially tricky. And when it comes to Fine Line, specifically, Styles does wonder what people will think of its subject matter. “We wonder what people will think of such and such words,” he explained, hinting that the LP’s lyrics will likely be his most honest yet. “It’s accepting to be vulnerable, but at the same time it’s what makes this whole adventure exciting.”
Overall, the former One Direction member just hopes the album will resonate with his fans in a way that feels like “freedom” — much like the music of his own personal icons, including Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger, Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin, Prince, and more. “When I look at them, I don’t know what it is, but it’s this, this something special,” he said before naming Paul McCartney as his biggest songwriting influence. “I had the chance to meet some of them,” he said. “They don’t stop being great to me.”