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Harry Styles: ‘I think we’re kind of adjusting to the new normal’

Written by on 26/03/2020

Harry Styles FaceTimes Zane Lowe on Apple Music to discuss how he is adapting to the coronavirus pandemic and focusing on maintaining routine, checking in with family and staying healthy.

He also talks about being ready to tour once the quarantine is over, singing his own harmonies and how he believes that artist output will be much more powerful and honest following the current situation.

On Adjusting To The New Normal…
I think we’re kind of adjusting to the new normal. I think for a lot of people, the reality’s setting in of at first it’s like, “Oh, we’re all in and we get to watch movies and eat burritos,” and live the kind of meme life. And then you speak to people around the world and I have some friends in Italy and for them it’s really scary. There’s hundreds of people dying every day and in your house, you get to kind of remove from it a little bit and you get to watch films and read books and listen to music, which is amazing. But I think you get that humbling moment where you just remember that actually this is a very serious thing. So yeah it’s definitely been an adjustment and there’s people who aren’t with their families, it’s a really hard time to be a single person living on your own right now. I’m lucky because I’m staying in with friends, but we’re checking on people all the time who are living on their own and stuff because it’s a long time to be in your house.

On Eating in Quarantine, Maintaining A Routine, and Checking in With Family and Friends…
We’ve been cooking a little bit. We’ve been ordering as long as we can because we figured there’ll be a point where we can’t and we obviously know the businesses are struggling so we kind of don’t want to eat all our stuff. But yeah, we’ve been trying to hold some sort of routine, trying to stay positive and stay productive, and any moment where we kind of find ourselves not doing anything we check in with family and stuff like that or friends who have businesses which have closed and stuff like that. I’m obviously really lucky that I am someone who can work from home. But there’s so many people who aren’t and it’s just a difficult time right now.

On Being Ready To Hit The Road Prior To Quarantine…
We were [meant to be] hitting the road in a couple of weeks. Well, it’s kind of one of those things where it’s obviously disappointing, you get ready to play shows, but ultimately it’s not the most important thing. And also, it’s not like we’re being singled out. It’s kind of across the board. Everyone’s shut down so it doesn’t feel so, woe is me, why is this happening to me type thing. So we’ll take the rest and try and be positive and productive and then we’ll be ready to go whenever the time is right and it’s safe. It’s an adjustment because obviously there’s all the crew and stuff and everyone who’s ready to go. But we’ll just wait it out and whenever it’s safe to do so and people are ready to go to shows again, we’ll start doing it.

On How Family and Friends Are Adapting To The Current Situation…
I think obviously initially people are a little slow to come to the realisation of the seriousness of it I guess. I think that’s a natural thing with so many of these things when they’re pummelled at you in the news. It’s obviously a large group of people who are like, “Ah, this isn’t a thing.” So really for me, the first couple of days when you can’t be with people is just worrying that they’re taking it seriously enough. I think once you have the conversation with your parents and stuff about whether you think this is serious or not, we’re asking you as your children to just take it seriously and stay inside and everything. It’s hard. People adjust to these things in different ways and cope with different things. But now that I know everyone’s safe and being careful and no one’s on their own either. So yeah, I feel better. We’re talking every morning and stuff and checking in with each other. And everyone has plenty of food and everyone’s great. So we’re doing good. I think everyone’s trying to just do something with the time…I think eventually some positive things come out of it in terms of the learning. I hope and I think overall, the human race comes out of this humbled and educated. So yeah, it feels like the world is on pause right now, which is very strange.

On Keeping A Routine and Staying Healthy…
I’ve been keeping somewhat of a schedule. I’ll get up in the morning, I’ll meditate in the morning and then have a coffee and do some reading to kind of just try and wake up a little bit. And then I go for a run, try and get some air and some sunshine, and try and work out in the morning or something. And then I’ll try and do a little work and just go for a walk in the afternoon. I just been trying to get some air and not see anyone. But I’ve been going for drives and stuff just to get some air and some sun on my face. I’ve been writing so much. I think you just naturally, if you’re in this kind of situation, you find yourself just at instruments so much. To be honest, I’m doing some of the stuff that I should be doing more often anyway, probably I should be playing the piano more. I should be playing the guitar more. I should be writing poems and lyrics more. So I’ve been doing a lot of that. And yeah, I think trying to allow the moments of happiness and just try not to make it feel like the world is ending so much. I think it’s important to have conversations with friends and laugh and have those moments right now. Because I think those are the things you’ll ultimately take from it. And that’s the stuff that I think will get you through everything.

On Singing His Own Harmonies On His Record…
I have a funny video of me recording some harmonies from the record. I’ll send it to you. It’s definitely squealing. I usually stack my own harmonies and I can’t remember when I started doing it, but I remember trying to get a crowd sound so I’d just do each harmony in a different accent. And you ended up with someone’s Scottish in there and a French guy in there, and it just sounds like you go London, Northern, a couple of Americans in there and you end up with this amazing crowd.

On Believing Artist Output Will Contain More Honestly In The Future As A Result Of This Moment…
I think a lot of powerful music is going to come from that because ultimately you have people who have a need to express themselves through music and writing and film and so many different ways who are now having a lot of extra time with no distractions to sit down and think and stay in their own head and think about everything they have to think about. You have people who don’t necessarily have their life where they want it right now thinking about, “Okay, what do I actually want? If I was going to be stuck inside for years, what do I actually want in my life?”
I think you have people assessing what’s important in their life and you reduce down to a time where you don’t have all the flashy things that people think you need to get by and do things. And what people consider to be important is very redundant right now. I hope that it comes out in terms of the music, I think we’ll probably get a lot of honesty, which is amazing. Because also I just think people just want honesty right now, especially in times like this and they want to know that this is something that’s affecting everyone.

I think in terms of the output that will come from it, I think we’ll probably get a lot of self reflection, a lot of reflection about just the world. It gives you an ability to have almost like a bird’s eye view of the world and your life. I think you get to step out of your routine for a second with the distraction that you usually have. And also a big one, you find out a lot of friendships, I guess. You see who’s checking in on you, who hasn’t checked in on you, who you feel like you want to check in on. Who you kind of think about and be like, “Oh shit. I didn’t really think about them.” And I think it’s just a time where everyone’s on pause and gets to have a minute to just reassess I guess.a

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