In January of 2020, before the world collapsed, my parents gifted me tickets to see the one and only Harry Styles. As soon as Styles’ hiatus ended in October of 2019, he dropped Fine Line’s first single, “Lights Up,” and I couldn’t shut my mouth when it came to the British pop sensation. I was, and still am, unashamedly a fangirl. Patiently, I waited over a year to experience “Love on Tour,” and one chilly November day, I did. After that, Styles once again dropped off the face of the Earth. Granted, he was busy with other projects–you know, the casual movie career and cosmetic brand launching. In all honesty, I was relieved. The hustle and bustle of keeping up with Harry’s every move slowed down, and I was able to focus on other things instead. But then, to my horrific surprise, the Twitter page “@youarehome” was created. And my world, once again, collapsed.
Styles has become the king of easter eggs and cryptic messages, so as soon as the Twitter account launched, people were already speculating that he was behind it. I followed along, watching as the account posted tweets, and tried to decode the meanings alongside other Harry fans. Eventually, a website by the same name, “youarehome,” was created. On it appeared a closed-door and nothing else. Days went by, and more tweets came out, but nothing from Styles helped us confirm if the new mystery was his doing. Until one fateful day, the door opened. Well, it became…ajar.
Behind the now slightly opened door came several images, all of which lead back to one person: Harry Styles. There were zoomed-in photos of Harry’s favorite books and places, which overly-obsessed fans like myself figured out in minutes. Instantly, the fandom was back in full force. Styles was making his return. On March 23, 2022, he once again broke the internet.
I was woken up with my phone in a permanent ringing state and not from an alarm. Notifications bounced off of my walls. The door had opened and revealed Harry Styles, pondering. Moments later, the unspeakable occurred—Styles posted on his Instagram. A full album photo appeared, the caption reading, “Harry’s House. May 20th.” For the third and certainly not the last time, my world collapsed; It’s pretty fragile, I know.
With the album announced, fans began speculating when the first single would come out. Luckily, Harry didn’t leave us wondering for too long. On March 28th, after plenty of hints, Styles posted another photo. The image showed his back, sporting a sparkly red jumpsuit. The caption stated, “As It Was. April 1.” After that, we waited.
For once, time differences between London and California came in handy, as the music video and song dropped at 4:00 p.m. for me, rather than midnight. This meant that I got to watch the premiere and experience “As It Was” in all its glory. While watching the video, my jaw was open the entire time, long enough that my mouth got dry, and my cat got worried. It’s safe to say that I was astonished.
“As It Was” exceeded all of my expectations. True to Styles’ usual productions, the music video was visually stunning and artistically raw and vulnerable. The song was fantastic, carrying an upbeat, experimental sound while having some darker, curious lyrics.
Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out the entire meaning of the song and every individual lyric that it details. I assume that once the album, Harry’s House, comes out, I will have a deeper understanding of the meaning and the message that Styles is provoking. However, I do know this: Styles has yet to disappoint. “As It Was” offers an ironically hopeful message, telling people that though things may not be the same as they were, there can be beauty in change and uncertainty. With that, I conclude, Harry Styles is a creative genius– but I’m sure you didn’t need to finish this article to find that out.