One Direction breakout star Harry Styles is a solo act now, but he’s not about to dismiss the fan base that made him the international icon he is today.
In a new cover story for Rolling Stone, Styles tells writer Cameron Crowe why he’ll never fall all over himself trying to please older potential fans when he’s already got such savvy and devoted ones in the demographic that made One Direction a sensation: teenage girls.
“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?” Styles said. “That's not up to you to say.”
And Styles was far from finished defending teen girls:
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? How can you say young girls don't get it? They're our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans — they don't lie. If they like you, they're there. They don't act “too cool.” They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.
On some level, this sentiment could be (and probably is, at least in part) some clever PR on Styles’s part. Sure, the pressures of being the most beloved personality of an obsession like One Direction were intense. But why should he alienate the group that launched him into the pop music stratosphere now that he needs to prove he can forge ahead on his own?
Styles has always had a reputation for being a particularly easygoing and considerate pop star (a rarity), especially when talking about his fans and the incredible fame he and One D skyrocketed to in just a few years. But it’s still very cool to see him come out so forcefully for a demographic that’s so often mocked — and not just because they love him, but because they’re smart.
You can read the entire profile of Styles at Rolling Stone. Not only does it feature the singer recounting the time he made Stevie Nicks a carrot cake just because, but Crowe is a thoughtful and informed profile writer (as was previously documented in his movie Almost Famous). He takes Styles and his ambitions for solo musical success seriously — and with moments like this, it’s easy to see why.