Harry Styles Says People Pit One Direction 'Against Each Other' But It's 'Never Been About That'

"We loved being in the band," he told Variety. "It's about a next step in evolution"

Harry Styles for variety
Harry Styles. Photo: Parker Woods for Variety

At the "End of the Day," Harry Styles loved being in One Direction.

In Variety's latest cover story, the "Watermelon Sugar" singer opened up about being in the group and how everyone going their own way was a "next step in evolution."

“When you look at the history of people coming out of bands and starting solo careers, they feel this need to apologize for being in the band," the 26-year-old said. "‘Don’t worry, everyone, that wasn’t me! Now I get to do what I really want to do.’ But we loved being in the band."

Styles — who was part of 1D from 2011 to 2015 with Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson — added that his and his bandmates' success as soloists goes to show how hard they've worked for their careers.

Harry Styles for variety
Harry Styles. Parker Woods for Variety

“I think there’s a wont to pit people against each other," he said. "And I think it’s never been about that for us. It’s about a next step in evolution. The fact that we’ve all achieved different things outside of the band says a lot about how hard we worked in it.”

Styles also explained that he "learned so much" during his time in the group, especially since One Direction worked with some great songwriters.

“When we were in the band, I used to try and write with as many different people as I could," he said. "I wanted to practice — and I wrote a lot of bad s—."

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This isn't the first time Styles opens up about his time in the "Steal My Girl" boyband.

During his cover story interview with Vogue last month, the singer said he "wanted to soak in" his time in the band.

"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 told the outlet. "It was all new to me, and I was trying to learn as much as I could."

one direction
One Direction.

His bandmates have also shared happy memories about the group. Over the summer, Payne, 27, said that he still sometimes listens to the group's old discography.

"Usually when I'm really drunk is when the One Direction playlist starts to come out," he told BBC Radio 1.

"It can go one or two ways," he added. "We can be one of those really happy drunks that wants to listen to 'Act My Age' and all those kinds of songs, but then also I get a little bit thoughtful when I'm drunk sometimes — then we go into 'Once in a Lifetime' and all the slow jams."

harry styles Variety
Harry Styles on the cover of Variety. Parker Woods for Variety

The band celebrated 10 years of being formed over the summer with all of its members —aside from Malik, who left the band before its official hiatus — posting celebratory messages.

"I've been struggling to put into words how grateful I am for everything that's happened over the last 10 years," Styles wrote in his post. "I've seen things and places that I'd only ever dreamt of when I was growing up. I've had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the most incredible people, and gained friendships that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life."

Payne also shared a sweet message of his own about the "journey" of 1D.

"I had no idea what we were in for when I sent this text to my Dad 10 years ago at this exact time the band was formed," he tweeted, sharing an old screenshot. "Thanks to everyone that's supported us over the years and thanks to the boys for sharing this with me."

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