Tag Archives: Harry Styles

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

The Harry Styles album arrived on Friday, and it’s predictably acceptable. I don’t hear any huge hits but it’s lovely to hear Harry’s voice without bracing for Louis to arrive and ruin the song at any moment. It also feels really genuine, not overthought – unusual for a debut album with so much riding on it. By not trying too hard, it shows confidence that this will be the first of many – just like when Harry speaks, and his slow drawl shows confidence that we’ll keep paying attention. Surprisingly (to me) it’s the ballads I like best, as they have the best vocals and songwriting. My favourite is Two Ghosts, the one that’s rumoured to be about Taylor Swift. Fans have linked the lines about “red lips” and a “white shirt” to Style, the song she allegedly wrote about Harry, and he giggled his way out of denying or confirming it on Radio 1 last week. I find it more likely  he’s just politely playing along with a convenient PR angle, but it’s interesting to speculate nonetheless.  My favourite fact about the album is that it’s produced by the same team responsible for Cam’s Untamed, a 2015 country-pop album that I always thought deserved a shot in the UK.

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

It’s a shame not to have any music to review in this post, but by the time I send the next Future Pop, Harry Styles will already be a successful solo artist with a no.1 hit under his belt. His debut single Sign of the Times is released on Friday and he’ll perform it on Saturday Night Live a week later. Harry’s solo stardom has always been so certain that I would have featured him here the week I first saw his X Factor audition, or the week What Makes You Beautiful was released, if Future Pop had existed at the time. The only seed of doubt comes from the astronomical expectations, which he could never fulfil. But once he’s had a wobble (the “difficult second album,” perhaps), I believe he’ll get back on track and enjoy a long career. It’s natural to compare the 1D solo ventures to Take That, and wonder who is the Gary or Robbie, but I think Harry might actually be the Beyoncé. It took her a while to get into her stride as a solo artist after Destiny’s Child, and Kelly even had the upper hand for a brief moment, but it seems crazy now that her future was ever in doubt. I think that’s how we’ll see Harry in years to come. He certainly doesn’t have the talent of Beyoncé, but he has the star quality that even some of the biggest artists of today lack, and a special place in the hearts of millions of girls, creating a loyalty that is extremely hard to break. Take That are still selling albums, despite stealing the UK’s money and becoming totally unlistenable, after all!

Happy New Year! It’s time to reveal the results of the Stars of 2017 poll that you’ve all been voting in for the past few weeks. Basically, it’s like the BBC Sound of 2017 poll without the boring stuff: Only pop stars allowed! The votes were spread widely between the 10 nominees, but two singers took the lead early on and came out on top.

The artist that pop fans THINK will be huge in 2017 is…

1. Harry Styles 38%

2. Grace VanderWaal 35%
3. Camila Cabello 11%

And the pop star you HOPE will be huge in 2017 is…

1. Grace VanderWaal 38%

2. Noah Cyrus 16%
3. Kehlani 11%

Congrats Harry and Grace! I’m very pleased with the results as I’ve been a fan of them both since they first appeared on their respective reality shows, and hope they will each have a fantastic 2017. Read more about them and the other nominees here.


Over the past two weeks I’ve featured 10 artists I believe could be the breakthrough pop stars of 2017. I don’t think pop acts get enough attention in the ones to watch lists from the BBC, Brits, MTV etc, especially considering that they have a tendency to become the biggest selling artists. To redress the balance, it’s time we pop fans had our say about who we think and hope will be the next big thing. There are no restrictions on what the artists in this poll have done before. If they’re a new act by any definition, they are eligible. The only rule is that they must be pop. Click here to read about the nominees and sample their music so far.

Cast your votes below, and look out for the results in the first Future Pop of the new year on 2nd January.


When compiling my top 10 Stars of 2017, I originally planned to include Liam Payne and Niall Horan. In last year’s poll, Zayn was one of the most popular choices, and of the remaining 1D members, those two seem most ready to launch. Niall has already released a single, and Liam is posting regularly about his recording sessions on social media. However, we all know that anything they release will simply be filler until the main event, when we finally get to meet solo Harry Styles.

Harry may have kept tight-lipped about his solo plans, and allowed us to think he’ll be focusing on acting for now, but that $80 million three album deal he reportedly signed won’t wait forever. I believe we will have a Harry single by the end of 2017, and perhaps an album too. A starring role in the new film by a respected director is the perfect pre-release promo for a classy, carefully constructed debut.

As for his sound and positioning, ever since Harry grew his hair long and started wearing blazers made from soft furnishings, I’ve been hoping he’s modelling himself after BØRNS. A classic singer-songwriter sound would suit his voice, feel like a natural yet not too obvious progression from the later 1D albums, and broaden his appeal enough to start making back that hefty advance.

Click here to find out more about This Must Be Pop’s Stars of 2017 and come back on 19th Dec to vote for the artists you think, and hope, will be the biggest pop breakthrough of 2017. The results will be announced in the Future Pop mailer on 2nd Jan.