Harry Styles: Pop Music’s Golden Boy
By Daisy Hill
With the recent release of the music video for Harry Styles’ ‘Golden’, track number one from his critically acclaimed 2019 album ‘Fine Line’, buzz about the soft-faced singer has resurfaced on Twitter timelines everywhere. The adoration for Harry Styles on social media reminds me of that intense, bubbly love that we’ve all had for some boyband at one moment or another: a complete infatuation, their every movement hailed perfect. Styles is smart. He plays on this charismatic, carefree, almost too-perfect guy and structures his image around it, justifying the obsession. ‘Treat people with kindness’ is literally his catchphrase, endorsing his fans to treat every individual with love, and without judgement. How could anyone not like him? ‘Golden’ fits right into his identity. An energising, upbeat bop, the track portrays the excitement of entering a new relationship and letting go of fears of heartbreak. Harry’s kindness pours out in his lyrics, with the key line being ‘you’re so golden’. If the melody doesn’t put you in a good mood, Harry Styles calling you golden should surely do the trick.
The video plays into this carefree, friendly image, presenting Styles at golden hour-strolling along the Amalfi coast, running through nature in a loose white shirt and cotton shorts, cruising in a classic car and swimming in clear turquoise water. Directed by Ben and Gabe Turner, the video emulates warmth, making you wish it was summer and you had nothing to do but relax. Styles grins at the camera in the certain way that he does, pulling the viewer under his spell with his expressive mannerisms and inviting charm. While this sense of warmth and invitation is very fitting to the title, it is also incredibly effective at reinforcing the idea of Harry Styles being a loveable guy to any spectator. It isn’t at all unique to this video: Harry presents this idea of love for all, with no exceptions or judgement, in multiple music videos. Take a look at ‘Watermelon Sugar’, an ode to touching, which featured scenes of Styles making skin to skin contact with a large group of people, while cheekily grinning right at the camera. The same can be seen in the video for ‘Lights Up’. The impact isn’t creepy as you might imagine it to be-Styles’ allure means the viewer finds themselves asking why they weren’t invited.
This carefully curated image has proven Harry Styles to be a talented businessman, making the right moves to seal his mark on the music industry for a long time. It is a clever path to take. Who’s going to hate the guy that loves love? The one who is so chill, he could put any onlooker at ease?
This talent extends beyond his image, however. This week it was announced that the singer was investing in Co-op Live, a new £350 million area in Manchester seating 23,000. Projected to be completed in 2023, the indoor venue will be the UK’s largest and claims to extremely sustainable. Considering the way that fans respond to even a blurry paparazzi shot of Styles walking into a shop, his endorsement will definitely reap massive benefits business-wise. Not only that, imagining the size of his bank account would make anyone feel dizzy.
It seems that Harry Styles won’t accept being a short-term figure in the entertainment industry. His impact will clearly live on, and he is taking the right steps in ensuring that security.
Image reference: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/9472593/harry-styles-golden-video