After two years, the wait is finally over. On Friday, Oct. 11, Harry Styles released the first single, “Lights Up,” from his long awaited album. It’s been over two years since the One Direction alum released his self-titled debut solo album.
It has become a common trend of Styles — to seemingly drop off the face of the earth each time he finished a project — but he pops up from time to time on Twitter liking fan messages. His last post on Instagram, before the release of his new single, was in July 2018. Styles ended the caption of his post by saying, “Goodbye for now. I love you all. H.”
— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) October 5, 2019
Styles began the build up to his song release by Tweeting the word “Do” two weeks ago with no context. Fans of Styles immediately began speculating what the Tweet could mean or if it was just a typo.
About a week later, fans spotted signs popping up all over different cities. The signs were from Columbia Records, Styles’ record label. They had the words “Do You Know Who You Are?” on them, and they were signed TPWK. Fans immediately knew that it stood for “Treat People With Kindness,” Styles’ coined phrase, and figured out the signs were his and that new music was on its way.
Days later, fans of Styles were given yet another gift: the song itself. The night started off with all of Styles’ profile pictures and designs on his website being changed. Styles then Tweeted the confirmation an hour before midnight, posting stills from the music video that would also drop at midnight.
Surprising fans, Styles not only dropped the single “Lights Up” on Friday, but he also released the music video for the song at the same time. Styles told Rolling Stone in his interview for the September cover story that this album was going to be all about “having sex and feeling sad.”
In the music video, the main sequence is a topless Styles confined to a steamy scene that could be described as an unconventional dance party. There are other clips cut in of Styles riding backwards on the back of a motorcycle with his arms outstretched, floating in a puddle of water and walking around what looks like a hotel.
The song itself is of the lighter pop genre with piano riffs, calming guitar and an exciting chorus where Styles repeats the lines, “Step into the light. So bright sometimes. I’m not ever going back.” That mixed with Styles’ voice, which sounds like melted chocolate, it’s a sure hit.
‘Lights Up” mostly focuses on finally getting rid of the darkness in our hearts with light. Styles finishes off the song by repeating the words, “Do you know who you are?” which explains the signs posted everywhere. It also could be Styles talking about people finding themselves and making it clear that it’s okay if you don’t know who you are just yet.
Some fans have speculated that this song is the first step of Styles coming out as bisexual, with their main source being the men and women dancing around him in the video. This wouldn’t be the first time Styles has hinted that he isn’t straight. Styles has become the face of Gucci’s genderless fragrance, Mémoire d’une Odeur. He has also worn fashion pieces by gender-fluid designer Harris Reed. Additionally, he has waved bisexual, trans and pride flags at his concerts and indicated that he wants to be as inclusive as possible to his fans.
While this has not been confirmed by Styles himself, fans are very excited to get more insight into their theories when the album is released.
Whether the song is about Styles’ sexuality or not, it has been topping the charts as his fans take to Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services to get his song to number one.