Album: Harry Styles
Genre: Pop/Soft Rock
Written by: Harry Styles, Jeff Bhasker, Mitch Rowland,
Ryan Nasci, Alex Salibian and Tyler Johnson
Produced by: Jeff Bhasker, Alex Salibian and Tyler Johnson
‘Sign of the Times’ is the debut single by former One Direction member Harry Styles, and part of his 2017 debut selftitled album. The single was released a little over a year after One Direction announced their indefinite hiatus and was well-received by critics and fans, peaking at number 1 in the UK Singles chart and being certified 4x Platinum. The song was co-written and produced by award-winning producer Jeff Bhasker, who has also worked with Kanye West and Mark Ronson. Harry Styles’ debut album is noteworthy for its musical style, taking influence from ’60s and ’70s rock music with some critics comparing Harry’s sound to David Bowie and Queen.
Since One Direction disbanded, Harry Styles has continued to release music as a solo artist, releasing a total of two studio albums. Harry Styles has continued to win awards as a solo artist, including two Brit Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance in 2020.
This is an abridged arrangement of Harry Styles’ original recording, where he demonstrates his command of legato phrasing and the ability to add different textures and tone colours to his voice. You should choose a key where you are able to support the upper part of your voice with accurate pitching at all times. Applying ample breath support will help you achieve this.
You can use the original version to inspire your choice of tone colour, with the aim to create some contrast between your chest voice and falsetto. For instance, try to position the tone a little further back in the mouth to create a breathier tone, as heard in the pre chorus on the original recording. There are some great opportunities to apply dynamic variation when moving between the sections, whilst maintaining strong communication with clear articulation of the lyrics throughout.
Note: In bar 13 (marked with ‘†’), the phrase “fi – nal show” starts with an E note which Harry Styles intentionally sings slightly flat in the original recording. Variations of this phrase happen throughout the piece and candidates are free to emulate the technique if they wish.