Music

Harry’s House Is Inspired By A Japanese ‘70s Pop Icon & TikTok Fave

The album’s title is a nod to Styles’ favourite musician.

‘Harry’s House’ Is Inspired By This Japanese ‘70s Pop Icon
Harry's House

Like transfixed viewers glued to an especially gripping episode of Grand Designs, right before the reveal, it’s safe to say that we all want to know what’s inside Harry’s House. Dropped on May. 20, Harry Styles’ third solo album is his most introspective yet, sweeping from strutting soul to sparse, reflective ballads. And according to the former One Directioner, that’s the point; with the house at the heart of the record actually being a metaphor for the inside of his mind.

As Styles revealed to Zane Lowe in an interview with Apple Music, the title is also a tribute to the trailblazing Japanese pop icon Haruomi Hosono, who’s best known for leading electronic pioneers Yellow Magic Orchestra, and shaping the genre of City Pop (which is currently enjoying something of a resurgence on TikTok).

“It was very kind of literal and on the nose: I wanted to make an acoustic EP or something and make it all in my house, and make it really intimate,” Styles told Zane Lowe. “[‘Harry’s House’] was named after [Haruomi] Horsono, who had an album in the ‘70s called ‘Horsono House’.”

“As I started making the album I realised [home] wasn’t about geographical location,” he continued. “It was much more of an internal thing… [and] it felt like it took on this whole new meaning and it was about, like: imagine, it’s a day in my house, what do I go through? A day in my mind, what do I go through? In my house I’m playing fun music, sad music, I’m playing this, I’m playing that. It’s a day in the life.”

Elsewhere in a cover feature with Better Homes And Gardens earlier this year, Styles and journalist Lou Stoppard went for a dip at a London lido, and discussed the themes that informed his third solo album.

Originally, the singer had huge touring plans for 2020 – his Love On Tour was set to kick off in April that year – but when lockdown put a spanner in the worlds, he initially struggled with slowing down for the first time since One Direction rapidly soared to fame as contestants in The X Factor.

"It was the first time I'd stopped since I left my mum's,” he said. Like all of us, Styles was spending a lot of time staring at his living room wall, and arrived at the realisation that staying constantly on the move had let him avoid difficult conversations in the past.

Through being stuck at home, he eventually became closer to his true self, and the music he wanted to be making. "I realised that that home feeling isn't something that you get from a house,” he said. “It's more of an internal thing. You realise that when you stop for a minute."

He also opened up about his experiences of starting therapy five years ago, after initially resisting the idea. "I thought it meant that you were broken," he said. "I wanted to be the one who could say I didn't need it." Expanding on the benefits, he added that it has helped him to "open up rooms in himself" – and all of these homely metaphors seem to lay down the groundwork for ‘Harry’s House’ as a whole.