Harry Styles took the internet by storm after dropping his much-anticipated new song As It Was. The track is the first and lead single from his upcoming third studio album Harry’s House, scheduled for release on May 20, 2022.
The two minutes and 47 seconds long track also arrived with an accompanying music video starring Styles. The pop star teamed up with his longtime collaborators Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson, who produced the new song.
As It Was is Styles’ first music release since he last dropped his blockbuster album Fine Line in 2019. The song opened to immediate rave reviews among listeners and started trending on social media.
Fans were also left curious about the song's underlying meaning, with many speculating about a possible lyric reference to Styles’ rumored girlfriend Olivia Wilde.
Exploring the meaning of Harry Styles' As It Was
Harry Styles revealed his much-awaited single As It Was earlier this week before dropping the track on April 1, 2022. Although the song emanates a catchy vibe with its upbeat synth-pop tune, the lyrics take a more vulnerable and melancholic route.
The track opens with the voice of a child, saying:
“Come on, Harry, we wanna say goodnight to you!”
It then proceeds to touch upon a sense of personal conflict with the undertone of an emotional, romantic plea:
“Holdin' me back / Gravity's holdin' me back / I want you to hold out the palm of your hand / Why don't we leave it at that?”
Some listeners also believe that the song focuses on Styles’ relationship with fame and how his life changed after achieving stardom:
“In this world, it's just us / You know it's not the same as it was.”
At one point, it also highlights possible themes of isolation and loneliness. The singer directly refers to his name and croons:
“Answer the phone / ‘Harry, you’re no good alone / Why are you sitting at home on the floor? / What kind of pills are you on?”
The line before the final chorus leaves fans speculating further as many consider it a possible lyric reference to Styles’ rumored love interest Olivia Wilde and her two children with ex-fiance Jason Sudeikis:
“Leave America, two kids follow her / I don't wanna talk about who's doin' it first.”
Wilde and Styles met after the singer was cast in the former’s upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling. The duo was first linked after being photographed holding hands at a friend’s wedding in early 2021.
Prior to the release of As It Was, a source told In Touch Weekly that there was a “really good chance” of Styles writing one of his songs on “how he feels” about Wilde in his new album. However, the insider also asked fans not to expect anything “straightforward”:
“He likes to keep his personal life private. But then again, he is in love, so maybe, he’ll surprise us with a song that’s all about his feelings for Olivia.”
The source further said:
“He likes to write in a general way, about his experiences, dreams, whatever inspires him, but nothing that points directing to a specific individual. That may have changed.”
Although Styles and Wilde are yet to officially confirm their relationship, they have been spotted together on several occasions throughout 2021. Wilde even joined Styles in his sold-out Love On Tour concert last year.
Fans react to Harry Styles’ new single
Harry Styles’ new single, As It Was, has become one of the most anticipated releases ever since the singer dropped the announcement of his upcoming Harry’s House album.
Fans were sent into a frenzy shortly after Styles dropped the track, and listeners noted a possible lyric reference to Olivia Wilde within the song. Several people took to Twitter to react to the single and its speculated Wilde reference:
Harry Styles’ 13-track album Harry’s House will be released globally on May 20 and available for preorder. According to Rolling Stone, the musician will debut As It Was live while headlining the Coachella Festival on April 15 and 22.