On Dec. 18, Styles sat down with Ellen DeGeneres to share stories about the genesis of “Fine Line,” including living in Japan alone for a month, and how he ended up posing nude for the artwork inside the physical edition.
“I did the photos for the album with a British photographer called Tim Walker, who I’m a really big fan of,” Styles said. “I’d never really done a shoot like this.”
“Most of us haven’t,” DeGeneres cracked, holding up a large poster of Styles in the buff.
“It was one of those things where he’s like, ‘This shirt’s not really working, so let’s try it without the shirt.’ And then it’s like, ‘Oh, those trousers aren’t really working, so let’s try it without the trousers,” Styles said. “And then he kind of looked at me, and I was like, ‘These pants aren’t working, are they?’ and he’s like, ‘No.’ So, yeah, now I’m naked in that thing.”
Styles also addressed rumors about whether “Fine Line” was about a personal breakup, telling the talk show host: “I definitely write from personal experience, I think a lot of people do. I think if you want your songs to kind of be honest and connect with people, it’s usually from writing honestly. The thing about this album is at the times when I was kind of sad were probably, like, some of the saddest times in my life. But then, at the same time, the times when I was happy were some of the best times I’ve ever had in my life. So it’s both. It’s a fine line.”
Also revealed on Wednesday, Styles’ cover of Lizzo’s “Juice” on BBC Radio 1. Watch the performance below.