It looks like Harry Styles is following his former bandmate Zayn Malik in a different direction, away from the band that made him a household name. The One Direction singer has officially split from his longtime management team, Modest Management, and has signed with CAA’s Jeffrey Azoff, son of industry veteran Irving Azoff.
Modest confirmed the move in a statement provided to Billboard. “We wish Harry the very best. It has been a real pleasure working with him,” said Modest execs Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee. “Harry is a total gentleman, and we know our good friend Jeffrey Azoff will look after him.”
According to an earlier report in The Sun newspaper, Styles’ new team is working on launching the artist’s solo career “by around this time next year.” Whether that involves retaining Simon Cowell’s Syco Music as his U.K. label remains to be seen, though sources told the tabloid that “he wants to completely disassociate with [One Direction] and that includes any professional connection.”
So does that mean it’s curtains for One Direction? Maybe not. A source close to the band recently told Billboard that ”nothing has changed regarding the hiatus plans for the group, and all will be revealed in due time from the band members’ own mouths.” Even Malik, who split from the group last May and recently dropped a solo video, has said he’s open to a reunion. “Who knows?…I don’t know,” he told Culture magazine. “If the time was right and that was the thing to do, then I would make that decision when it came around.”