Watermelon Sugar

Album: Fine Line (2019)
Charted: 4 1

Songfacts®:

  • This sensual song finds Harry Styles spinning a romantic tale. He compares the way he feels about his lover to the taste of "strawberries on a summer evening."
  • It is likely that the girl Harry is singing of is model Camille Rowe; they dated between the summer of 2017 and July 2018. The clue is in the title: Camille revealed to Elle in 2017 that Richard Brautigan's post-apocalyptic novel In Watermelon Sugar is one of her favorite books.
  • The song was released just before Styles debuted it while hosting the November 16, 2019 episode of Saturday Night Live. He also sang "Lights Up" on the show.
  • Harry Styles wrote the soulful tune with:

    His go-to songwriting partner Mitch Rowland. The one-time pizza shop worker contributed to all but one of the songs on Harry Styles.

    Tyler Johnson, who has also lent songwriting expertise to cuts by Miley Cyrus ("Maybe You're Right," Cam ("Burning House") and Sam Smith ("Palace"). Another frequent Harry Styles collaborator, he contributed towards nine out of ten of the songs on the former boy-bander's self-titled debut album.

    Kid Harpoon: The English singer/songwriter born Thomas Hull has co-written several songs for Florence + the Machine, including "Shake It Out" and "Never Let Me Go," plus Florence Welch's collaboration with Calvin Harris, "Sweet Nothing." Hull also co-penned Harry Styles' 2017 single "Sweet Creature."

    Tyler Johnson and Kid Harpoon produced the track.
  • Harry Styles wrote the song in 2017 while he was touring his first album. He recalled during a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR Music. "I was in Nashville on my day off, and we went to the studio to play around for a little bit. It's probably the longest that it's ever taken me to finish a song. I kind of liked it when we first had it and then I hated it for a long time."

    He continued: "It's kind of about that initial euphoria of when you start seeing someone, or sleeping with someone, or being around someone and you have that excitement, you know."
  • Directors Bradley & Pablo shot the song's music video in Malibu, California. The clip shows Styles throwing a sexy beachside picnic with a bevy of beautiful women, and also plenty of watermelons and other fruit. Styles warns the viewer there is an abundance of human contact. "This video is dedicated to touching," said the singer regarding the blatant lack of social distancing. (It was filmed pre-Covid-19 pandemic on January 30, 2020).

    Styles previously shot a culinary-themed video for his "Kiwi" single. That clip involved a food fight.
  • "Watermelon Sugar" is Harry Styles' first US #1 hit, either as a solo artist or with One Direction. After a 20-week run on the Hot 100 chart it jumped from #7 to the peak position helped by a sale on vinyl and cassette singles bundled with digital songs on the singer's website. His previous best had been the #2 that One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" reached.
  • Styles is the second One Direction member to reach #1 in the US. Zany Malik previously topped the chart in 2016 with his debut solo single, "Pillowtalk."

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