Harry Styles Says He Won't 'Apologize' for Being in One Direction: 'I Loved My Time in It'

"It was all new to me, and I was trying to learn as much as I could," the singer said of his boy band days

Harry Styles in Vogue
Photo: Tyler Mitchell

Sorry, not sorry — Harry Styles has no regrets about his boyband roots.

In a conversation with Vogue for the magazine's December 2020 cover story, the "Watermelon Sugar" singer, 26, reflected on his One Direction days, saying that he "loved" starting his career in the group.

"I think the typical thing is to come out of a band like that and almost feel like you have to apologize for being in it. But I loved my time in it," Styles said. "It was all new to me, and I was trying to learn as much as I could."

"I wanted to soak it in. ... I think that’s probably why I like traveling now — soaking stuff up," he added.

Harry Styles in Vogue
Harry Styles in Vogue. Tyler Mitchell

The band — which consisted of Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson before officially disbanding in 2016 — marked 10 years since its formation over the summer.

With Vogue, Styles looked back on how he took time to find his footing when first venturing into a solo career. In 2017, he debuted with a self-titled album, followed up by Fine Line last year.

"I was very much finding out what my sound was as a solo artist. I can see all the places where it almost felt like I was bowling with the bumpers up," he told Vogue. "I think with the second album I let go of the fear of getting it wrong and … it was really joyous and really free."

Harry Styles in Vogue
Tyler Mitchell

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"With music, it’s so important to evolve — and that extends to clothes and videos and all that stuff," he said, before adding, "That’s why you look back at David Bowie with Ziggy Stardust or the Beatles and their different eras — that fearlessness is super inspiring."

The artist, who has delayed his Fine Line tour dates more than once due to the pandemic, said he can't wait to tour again — when "it's safe for everyone" again, of course. "You can’t really recreate it in any way," Styles said of performing live for crowds of fans.

Confronting stage fright was something he overcame with the support of his fans, he added.

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"I just always thought I was going to mess up or something," he said of his early concerts. "But I’ve felt really lucky to have a group of incredibly generous fans. They’re generous emotionally — and when they come to the show, they give so much that it creates this atmosphere that I’ve always found so loving and accepting."

Styles hasn't completely let go of his 1D days, for those Directioners who were worried.

Back in January, he admitted to Ellen DeGeneres that he sometimes prefers to work out to their old hits. When asked “What’s your guilty pleasure?” during an appearance on her talk show at the time, he said he enjoys “working out to One Direction."

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