HITS Daily Double


The hotly anticipated first solo salvo from Columbia’s Harry Styles is a five-minute track billed as a pop-rock record some describe as a contemporary-sounding nod to British rock of the ’70s. Label execs have actually been requiring some who hear the track early to sign non-disclosure agreements. Part of the rollout plan's big reveal is to withhold the single title until the drop date.

The song is expected to go for adds on 4/7, when it becomes available on all DSPs.

Key media gatekeepers who have heard the track say it’s unique-sounding in today’s tempo-driven Top 40 environment, and a bold move by the artist, who is expected by everyone to be a massive concert attraction.

Expect a very short window between single and album releases. New Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, who inked Styles to a new deal last year, is said to be exceptionally hands-on in the rollout.

As we noted earlier, Styles has been bucking the pop-by-committee trend by working with a single producer—namely versatile writer/producer Jeff Bhasker (Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Pink!, OneRepublic, Rolling Stones, “Uptown Funk!”).

Styles will perform on Saturday Night Live on 4/15, hosted by Jimmy Fallon.

Coincidentally or not, Styles’ former One Direction bandmate ZAYN released a new single—featuring PartyNextDoor (of Drake’s OVO camp)—from his forthcoming, as-yet untitled album last week. Some say he’s experiencing Harry-related angst and looks nervous about being in Styles’ jet wake. But ZAYN’s first single was #1 record, as was his Fifty Shades duet with Taylor Swift. Still, critics say ZAYN has not yet realized his full potential yet as concert attraction or album seller.