Cameron Crowe says Harry Styles’ music writing is “clever and soulful”


Everyone’s been talking about Harry Styles’ cover issue of Rolling Stone magazine, which included an in-depth interview with none other than Cameron Crowe. Besides producing the cult classic movie ‘Almost Famous’, Cameron has interviewed music legends like David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young – just to name a few. So Harry was in good hands.

After the issue hit newsstands, Cameron jumped on Rolling Stone’s podcast ‘Music Now’ in an episode named ‘Almost Famous 2: Cameron Crow on his Harry Styles Cover Story’. Along with Brian Hiatt, Christian Hoard, and Brittany Spanos, they discussed Cameron’s interview with Harry at length. 45 minutes, to be exact.

According to Cameron, “melodies first” was the method by which Harry wrote songs for his album. When it came to the inspiration behind ‘Sign of the Times’, the melody was inspired by a mother giving birth to a child and then finding out she’s going to die. Despite the somewhat strange inspiration, though, Cameron explained that Harry learned that “the words don’t have to be completely logical” from working with Jeff Bhasker. He went on to add, “Sometimes you can be not exactly what you’re saying lyrically, and you’ll get the same feeling across.”

He promised that the rest of Harry’s album will prove him as a supremely talented songwriter, beyond the initial impact of ‘Sign of the Times’. “I think he was nervous about how [the first single] was going to be received,” Cameron said. “But when it came out, and people embraced it for being ‘real music’, I think he was super relieved and happy.”

When speaking with Harry, Cameron explained how he had to bite his own tongue to wait for Harry for formulate well thought-out answers to each of his interview questions. When he was a part of One Direction, all the interviews were fast-paced and protected; the boys had to answer immediately and instinctively or else another guy would jump in over him. However, Harry’s (now viral) answer to the question about writing music that appeals to an older demographic came out the quickest.

“Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy. That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious?”

Cameron also described hanging out and traveling around with Harry as the same as any other guy; there was no ducking from paparazzi or enthusiastic fans, just a normal guy driving a Range Rover jamming to his favorite music. He was a “great student of the aesthetic and so unguarded.”

Listen to the Podcast now.

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