Harry Styles’ new single “As It Was” became the most-streamed song in the United States in a single day after its release on Thursday, March 31. According to Spotify, the song was streamed 8.3 billion times on its release date, surpassing Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License,” which had previously held the record with 8 million streams in one day.
Globally, “As It Was” was streamed 21.6 million times on Spotify and thus earned the global title for most-streamed song in a single day so far in 2022. The single is the first release of Styles’ new album “Harry’s House,” a 13-track record that was first announced on March 23 and is set to be released on May 20. “As It Was” is the only confirmed song so far, but the cover art and a 40-second trailer were released as teasers of the upcoming album.
“I feel very lucky that this is the proudest I’ve been of something that I’ve made so far,” said Styles during an interview on Sirius XM‘s The Morning Mash Up. “I feel the most comfortable I’ve been with myself and happiest with what I’m making.”
Styles’ previous albums include “Harry Styles” and “Fine Line,” which debuted in 2017 and 2019, followed by a three year hiatus with no new music. This drought came to an end last week with the release of “As It Was,” although Styles has spent the past several months performing his “Fine Line” world tour after facing various COVID-19 delays. Still, fans are excited for new music from Styles.
“Harry Styles is one of my absolute favorite artists. He carries his own personal style and aesthetic throughout his work,” said Julian Rebelo, a junior biology student. “‘As It Was’ poses the same unique storytelling style of his other music while ushering in a new era of Styles growing in his music journey. I’m so excited to see what this era brings and the impact it’ll have on me and other fans.”
“‘As It Was’ feels like a different sound for him,” added Jayme Martini, a senior communication student. “Each of his albums or eras has had a very distinct sound. I almost feel like this single sounds like a mid-2010’s type of song, kind of like the Arctic Monkeys type of vibe.”
Rebelo and Martini weren’t the only fans to notice the different sound of Styles’ new single compared to his past albums. “As It Was” received overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans on Twitter, many of whom noted the contrast between the song’s upbeat sound and personal lyrics.
“‘As It Was’ is about losing oneself, finding oneself, and embracing the change,” speculated Twitter user @emrrystyles.
“The way this song and this music video instantly made me so happy, the vibe, Harry’s happiness at the end, everything Harry Styles does is a masterpiece,” said Twitter user @isharrypride.
Prior to Styles’ formal announcement of the single and the upcoming album, fans speculated that new music was on the way. Many noticed that the singer had followed mysterious new accounts titled “You Are Home” on various social media platforms. Furthermore, fans also stumbled across the website YouAreHome.co, which shows a beige door that opens up to a different image every day. The first door appeared on March 19 and opened up to reveal the cover of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature and Selected Essays. The next day, the door showed the cover of Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Later doors unveiled images of Earth and Cavallini’s mushroom puzzle. Following the announcement and subsequent confirmation of fan theories regarding “Harry’s House,” the door has since changed to the album’s cover art.
Fans are now left anticipating more content from Styles leading up to the release of the full “Harry’s House” album in May. In the meantime, Styles will be headlining Coachella on April 15 and April 22 and has confirmed that he will perform “As It Was” at the music festival.
“It’s pretty funny, I think, the idea that the first place you play something is to that many people,” Styles said in an interview for Audacy. “I’m really excited about it, and I think it’s going to be the perfect, kind of, first moment for it.”