The new song from Harry Styles, “As it Was,” is taking the Billboard charts by storm! Here are Facts About Harry Styles’ New Hit “As it Was” That You Didn’t Know.
Almost immediately, the song flew to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Everyone from serious music critics to long-time stans are fans of this teaser from Harry’s upcoming album. But what is the true story of “As it Was”? What are some fun facts from behind the scenes? Read on to know everything there is to know about this new hit song from the world’s favorite floppy-haired crooner.
“As it Was” Is About Two Lovers Growing Out of Their Relationship
If you think that the song’s music has a tinge of melancholy in it, then you’re right.
“As it Was” describes the moment when you realize that you and your partner are no longer the same people that you were at the beginning of the relationship.
The lyrics “You know it’s not the same as it was” repeat, showing that at least one of the lovers is starting to come around to the truth and realizing that they’re too different to be together now.
However, change is not all bad. Styles explained in a radio interview that, “it’s about metamorphosis and embracing change.” The two lovers in the song are different people now, but sometimes that’s for the better.
The Mystery Lover in the Song Isn’t Olivia Wilde
As soon as the song was released, fans began speculating about who the woman that Harry is drifting apart from in the song might be. People initially suspected that the song was about Olivia Wilde, Harry’s current partner.
Lyrics in the song reference a lover from America with two kids, which would describe Olivia Wilde.
However, Harry has neither confirmed nor denied this allusion. Publicly, their relationship certainly seems happier than the melancholy in the “As it Was” lyrics.
For now, this is just a very plausible fan theory. When talking about the album, he mentions that it’s about a more personal metamorphosis rather than changing away from a specific person.
Harry First Teased This Song Through the You Are Home Campaign
Harry Styles is known for his complex, dedicated release campaigns for his albums, and the upcoming Harry’s House is no different. Styles first teased the album through a social media and poster campaign titled “You Are Home.” A secretive website and scheduled Coachella headlining performance sent fans even further into investigative mode.
“As it Was” was officially released on April 1, but the first mention of the song is a cryptic lyric posted on the teaser account’s Twitter page.
Fans and music critics alike are excited for Harry’s new album—and so is the artist himself.
He’s mentioned in interviews that he feels as if this album is a place where he can be his most authentic self musically. If the lead single is any indication, the rest of the album is going to sound great!
The Song Draws Heavily on Retro Influences
The artist has always paid tribute to songwriters who came before him in his music, and that influence is felt heavily in Harry Styles’ “As it Was.” The song’s sad lyrics play over upbeat synth beats and melodies that sound as if they came straight from an ‘80s pop tune.
The retro vibe goes beyond the production in the song. In the official music video, Styles wears a red sequined jumpsuit that looks as if it could belong to any glam rocker of old. Even the album title, “Harry’s House,” is a reference to a song by Joni Mitchell, one of the best singer-songwriters from the 70s. Mitchell approved the reference, continuing the tradition of rock and pop music’s greats mentoring Harry Styles.
The Voice You Hear at the Start of the Song Doesn’t Belong to Harry
When you first listen to “As it Was,” you expect to hear Harry Styles’ gorgeous voice. However, the very first thing you hear is a little girl’s voice saying, “Come on, Harry, we wanna say goodnight to you.”
In an interview, Harry confirmed that the voice belongs to his young goddaughter, Ruby Winston. The two have a habit of speaking on the phone every night, and one time when Harry didn’t pick up, his goddaughter left him this voice note. He used it in the song to show feelings of isolation and pushing away your other loved ones when you’re fixated on one person.
The Music Video Had a Mostly Ukrainian Team
Showing his big heart, Harry Styles made a point of using a predominantly Ukrainian creative team to work on his music video. As the war in Ukraine rages on, many Ukrainian creatives need opportunities to support their families and show the world that they are still living. Harry gave his team that opportunity on one of the biggest songs of the year and made sure to mention Ukraine in the Vevo Music Video credits.
The music video was directed by Tanu Muino and creative directed by Molly Hawkins.
The Entire Album Was Heavily Inspired by Lockdown
In interviews, Harry Styles mentioned that he wrote the album while inspired by his personal experience, particularly during his experience under lockdown. In the past, Harry has been more transparent about his influences (although he makes a point never to confirm whether songs are about specific people in his life), but he’s been more cryptic about the meaning of “As it Was” and his upcoming album.
For now, fans have put together that many lyrics in the song are about craving human connection and feeling increasingly alienated from others. The music video’s potential references to The Matrix support this theme. Maybe the answer to what “As it Was” is really about will be clearer when we get the rest of the album.
Harry Styles’ “As it Was” is a hit and a song for the ages. Its lyrics and backstory are rich with meaning, including some allusions that you maybe didn’t get on the first listen!
You can learn to play the song with ease if you download sheet music here.