Taylor Swift and Harry Styles had a short-lived romance, but five years after they were an item, it’s still one of Swift’s most-talked about relationships. So now that Styles is embarking on his own musical endeavors apart from One Direction, of course that liason is coming back up.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Styles opens up — perhaps more than he ever has — about Swift and their time together.
“Certain things don’t work out. There’s a lot of things that can be right, and it’s still wrong,” the 23-year-old told the magazine. “In writing songs about stuff like that, I like tipping a hat to the time together. You’re celebrating the fact it was powerful and made you feel something, rather than ‘this didn’t work out, and that’s bad.’ And if you run into that person, maybe it’s awkward, maybe you have to get drunk … but you shared something. Meeting someone new, sharing those experiences, it’s the best s–t ever. So thank you.”
Two of Swift’s 1989 tracks have been rumored to be about Styles, “Style” and “Out of the Woods.” While he suggested that he doesn’t actually know if they’re about him or not, he conceded, “but the issue is, she’s so good, they’re bloody everywhere.”
Adding that Swift’s songs are “the most amazing unspoken dialogue ever,” Styles also made sure to note that she’s simply writing from experience the way he does (in fact, his co-written 1D song “Perfect” was rumored to be about her). “I’m lucky if everything [we went through] helped create those songs. That’s what hits your heart. That’s the stuff that’s hardest to say, and it’s the stuff I talk least about. That’s the part that’s about the two people. I’m never going to tell anybody everything.”
Styles also briefly discussed the famous Central Park stroll he took with Swift in 2012, which was the second date for the pair. “When I see photos from that day,” he says, “I think: Relationships are hard, at any age. And adding in that you don’t really understand exactly how it works when you’re 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn’t make it easier. I mean, you’re a little bit awkward to begin with. You’re on a date with someone you really like. It should be that simple, right? It was a learning experience for sure. But at the heart of it – I just wanted it to be a normal date.”
When it comes to the music Styles is making himself, as he alluded before, it’ll be centered around what he has gone through in the past several years. He hinted at a more recent relationship — without naming names — that drove a lot of inspiration for his first solo record (which comes out May 12). Whether it is Swift, his other rumored fling Kendall Jenner, or someone else, Styles seems to have a feeling whoever the subject is will likely know upon listening.
“She’s a huge part of the album,” says Styles. “Sometimes you want to tip the hat, and sometimes you just want to give them the whole cap … and hope they know it’s just for them.”