Pop star Harry Styles' debut single Sign of the Times is all about a dying mother's final words to her newborn after a difficult childbirth.
The One Direction singer scored his first solo number one in the U.K. with the single last week (ends14Apr17), but what many listeners may not be aware of is the fact the song is written from the perspective of a dying mother, moments after giving birth.
Styles shared the surprising information in a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, in which he tells director Cameron Crowe he wanted to address hot-topic social problems with his new music.
"Most of the stuff that hurts me about what's going on (in the world) at the moment is not politics, it's fundamentals... Equal rights. For everyone, all races, sexes, everything...," he explains.
"Sign of the Times came from (the perspective of), 'This isn't the first time we've been in a hard time, and it's not going to be the last time.' The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there's a complication. The mother is told, 'The child is fine, but you're not going to make it.' The mother has five minutes to tell the child, 'Go forth and conquer.'"
Ironically, Styles recently compared debuting the first single from his forthcoming self-titled album to giving birth as he discussed his new project on BBC Radio 1.
"It's a bit weird, I feel like I've been hibernating for so long now... and now it's time to give birth...," he said, adding of Sign of the Times, "It's the song I'm most proud of writing."
Styles' first solo album is set for release next month (May17).