Harry Styles got personal during his first-ever interview with “The Howard Stern Show” on Monday (March 2), opening up about Zayn Malik leaving One Direction, his ex Taylor Swift and getting robbed at knife point over Valentine’s Day.
The British singer-songwriter sat down with Stern at the SiriusXM studios in New York City and was asked his opinion on songs that were written about him, to which he responded, “There’s not a lot of, like, interviews where I talk a lot about personal stuff, but I’m fine doing it in music.”
Stern, ever the expert interviewer, pressed on: “But how do you feel when someone does that to you? “When Taylor Swift writes a song and everyone assumes it’s about you, Harry, does that upset you?”
Said Styles: “No, that doesn’t upset me. I think about what it means to me to write a song about somebody else and, if somebody has to do that, I think it’s like flattering. Even if the song isn’t that flattering, you’ve still spent time on it and, ultimately, using Taylor as an example, she’s a great songwriter. The only time you really, like, think about, ‘Oh, is this song too personal?’ is if you think about is this going to be really annoying for this other person.”
The 26-year-old rose to stardom in the group One Direction along with four other bandmates, including Zayn Malik who left in 2015 — an exit that ultimately led to a One Direction hiatus of unknown legth. When asked by Stern if Malik’s departure was an insult to him, Styles responded by saying, “I don’t know if I could say it’s something he shouldn’t have done because I just didn’t feel that way, so it’s hard for me to condemn it… looking at it now, the last thing I would’ve wanted was for him to stay there if he didn’t want to be there.”
In addition, Styles went into detail about how he was robbed at knife point on Valentine’s Day while walking the streets of his London neighborhood. As Styles recalled: “The guys cross the road and I’m like, ‘Oh that’s weird. I cross the street again and they cross the street again, and I’m like ‘Oh, for f–k’s sake. I think I’m about to get robbed.”
The singer went on to explain how there were multiple men involved in the robbery, despite reports of there being only one perpetrator, and that they offered him weed before trying to steal his phone to which Styles contemplated throwing it in a nearby pond. When cars appeared nearby, Styles saw an opportunity to escape, “I ran into the road and tried to stop a car. Obviously if a mad man runs into the road and tries to get in your car you’re not gonna let them in, so they don’t let me in.” Eventually Styles made it home and filed a police report.
The British superstar also spoke about his friendship with Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks performed his current single “Adore You” from his platinum-certified sophomore album “The Fine Line,” as well as a cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.” Styles is set to kick off his world tour in the U.K. next month.