Not everyone who found fame transitions to adulthood with ease, but Harry Styles made it seem as if it was simple. With each year, Styles’s popularity only increases as the beloved former One Direction hitmaker proves that not every teen heartthrob in the limelight turns into a Hollywood tale of tragedy. However, Styles revealed to Zane Lowe for Apple Music that it was Billie Eilish who, from a distance, taught him how to make the shift into the new stage of his career.

In Styles’s chat with Lowe, he discussed his career at length as well as his forthcoming project, Harry’s House. The album is slated for release this Friday (May 20), and with the anticipation growing among his fanbase, Styles revealed that he became more accepting of his transition out of the boy band life after observing how Eilish catapulted into fame. 

Harry Styles
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“I definitely had a really big moment, I think, when Billie Eilish kind of first blew up. I think being in the band, I’d always felt like… it was fun and exciting because we were young. And I had a moment, seeing her do this at such a young age, where I felt like, ‘I’m not that young anymore,'” he said. “For a while, it was like, ‘How do you play that game, of like, remaining exciting?’ And I just had a moment where I felt like, ‘OK, we’re not the same thing.’”

“And in the same vein of, like, ‘You’re not always going to be the kind of young thing,’ I was like, ‘OK, I would really like to think about who I would like to be as a musician.’” Still, Styles hasn’t told Eilish how she helped him figure out his new approach to music. “I’m kind of like, from afar, incredibly thankful to her because I feel like she felt like she represented something to me there.”

“It felt like [she] came in in a way that was like, ‘You’re not—like, don’t worry about being this thing, ever.’ Because, you know, she’s a lot younger than me, and there’s no point in me going, like, ‘OK, how do I get back in? How do I like, get back to like… She just totally broke the spell for me, in a way, that I’m very grateful for.”

You can check out Styles and Lowe’s lengthy interview below in its entirety.