By Sarah Carroll
So when the band announced its hiatus back in March of 2016, the pop star opted to take some much-deserved time off. But it turns out Styles couldn’t stay still for long.
Styles managed to get quite a bit accomplished during the past year. He not only nabbed his first film acting role in the Christopher Nolan-directed Dunkirk, but he also wrote an entire solo album.
He dropped the first single, “Sign of the Times,” earlier today (April 7) and opened up about writing and recording the new material in Jamaica.
“The last couple of One Direction records we made on the road and that was amazing and a lot of fun,” he explained. “And I think for me, I just wanted to kind of, more so than be different from that, I just wanted to get out of somewhere where I had all my friends and where I’d want to go for dinner at a certain time. I just didn’t want to get distracted. I kind of just wanted to very much immerse myself in doing it.”
All that hard work and focus produced a song with a decidedly 70’s rock-influenced sound.
“I wanted to write something honest and something that I wanted to listen to and I think it’s impossible to not be influenced by stuff that you grow up listening to, you know, stuff that my parents played and stuff that I still listen to now.”
But the lead single’s unique vibe isn’t necessarily indicative of the entire album.
“I think ‘Sign of the Times,’ just in terms of honesty, is a good representation of the album, but I don’t know if it all sounds exactly like it. I think there’s a lot of different little bits on there.”
Coming up next, Styles will perform “Sign of the Times” on Saturday Night Live on April 15 and will appear in Dunkirk, which opens in theaters July 21.
“I think the thing with the movie is it’s so intimate within the characters that I think if you’re not a history buff, you’re still going to love it,” said Styles. “It doesn’t feel like a war movie. It feels like a very intense, suspenseful survival story.”