One Direction went on indefinite hiatus shortly after Zayn Malik's internet-breaking exit back in 2015, but that hasn't stopped the boys from rolling out their own work in the interim. Zayn christened his solo career with last year's Mind of Mine, Niall Horan unveiled his debut single, "This Town," in September, and Louis Tomlinson teamed with Steve Aoki for December's "Just Hold On." So, Harry Styles' April 7 announcement is pretty much a neon sign that he, too, has new music on the way. What exactly the project is has yet to be confirmed — though it's likely a song — but if there are any clues about Harry Styles' debut single, the singer is keeping them tightly under wraps.
Thanks to some online sleuthing, there are a few guesses to be made about what Styles may be brewing behind scenes. But, first, let's review some of the more definitive details. Over the weekend, a video started circulating from a recent TV spot Styles appeared in. Backed by a piano track, it features him walking through a smoky room toward the white light streaming from an open door. It then shows a close-up of his face before "April 7" flashes on screen.
Around the the time that the ad aired, Styles also posted three blank photos on Instagram. To be fair, it's something he'd done in September before debuting three separate covers for Another Man magazine, though the addition of the date seems to suggest he's plotting something bigger. That's about all Styles has revealed thus far, but here's a roundup of hints that may help piece together some more info.
1. He's Starting With A Blank Slate
Both the teaser and Styles' Instagram have themes of bright light and blank space, which could point to a theme of starting over and turning a new page. That makes sense, given the circumstances, but it could also mean a departure from 1D's pop-centric style.
2. It Could Be A New Sound
The song backed in the video seems to confirm Styles will be road-testing a new sonic direction. The brief clip played is a sparse, somber piano ballad — a far cry from 1D's generally upbeat, chart-friendly anthems.
3. It May Have Some Old School Touchstones
According to record industry trade magazine HITS Daily Double’s Rumor Mill, Styles has been crafting solo work in the vein of industry greats like David Bowie and Queen. That wouldn't be off the mark, considering Styles has a well-documented love for old school music. In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, he cited The Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac among the artists that have most influenced him.
4. We May Already Know the Title
Back in 2015, reports surfaced that Styles had begun registering new songs on The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). At the time, Billboard reported that Styles had added four new songs to his credits: "5378 Miles," "Already Home," "Coco," and Endlessly." It's entirely possible that these tracks will never see the light of day, but don't be surprised if you see one (or all) of these titles sprout up in Styles' discography.
5. He May Have Collaborated With Some Big Names
Over the last few years, Styles has reportedly worked with a number of veteran musicians, including Bruno Mars, big-time producer Max Martin (Britney Spears, Taylor Swift), Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid, and English songwriter-producer Gary Go. Any one of those names could pop up as a collaborator.
6. It Likely Means His Solo Album Is Officially On the Way
According to Billboard, Styles officially signed a recording contract with Columbia Records last June. If April 7 does brings Style's first solo single, it likely means a full album won't be far behind.
And that's all, folks. The details thus far are certainly vague, but April 7 is only two short weeks away. It won't be long until we know for sure what Styles has up his sleeve.