If you’ve been paying attention to Twitter, you might have noticed that “#HarryStyles” and “#AdoreYou” were trending. For those of you who aren’t familiar with his music (if you aren’t, listen to his newest album STAT), it’s one of his singles that still plays on the radio even after its release in 2019. It’s a good, catchy song curated for mass consumption, so there’s no surprise that it’s still playing in malls. The reason why it was trending is because fans, without direction (pun intended), are trying to get the song to one billion views on Spotify before the end of the year.
As a retired Directioner™, this is something that brought a knowing smile to my face. I remember all those hours I dedicated to tweeting, retweeting, liking, listening, etc., to make sure these fan-made projects ended up being successful. What makes this all so surprising is that I thought that era of fandom for the 1D boys was long gone. I’ve only recently seen this kind of dedication from K-Pop fandoms which makes sense because they are known as the center of stan culture on Twitter now. Over the years, I’ve seen some lingering One Direction fans stick to their dedicated ways by promoting new singles from the boys’ solo projects here and there, but to see a full-blown project like this again was a little surprising.
The magic about this kind of undertaking is how simple it is. One or two big Harry Styles stan accounts ask their followers to pass on a set of rules and the magic happens. For this specific project, fans have been asked to make a playlist with “Adore You”, share the song on social media, and create videos on TikTok to increase its popularity. There’s even a website that was created to make the information easily accessible. This is some serious organization. At this point, the people who put this kind of stuff together deserve an honorary PR degree. By the looks of it, it seems as if it might pay off, because the song has just under 957,000,000 listens on Spotify at the time of this writing. Just one trend-sparking TikTok can push that number over the mark in no time.
This is the power of fandom. Harry Styles wouldn’t be Harry Styles without One Direction, and One Direction wouldn’t be One Direction without the fans. We were the reason why they smashed record after record and won fan-voted awards like they were nothing. Despite the band being on “hiatus” (longest hiatus I ever did see…), that same spirit still lives on in the fans that he has been able to transfer into his own world, and maybe that’s just because we were the first generation to grow up with a boyband during social media.
Back in the day of The Beatles, the fans' primary functions were to buy records, show up at concerts, scream, and repeat. Those things were obviously enough to make The Beatles a huge success. Now, it’s a completely different ball game with social media. We’ve been given a free tool to connect with fellow fans globally and instantly, which creates a camaraderie that can do wonders. The wild part is that Harry didn’t have to say or do a damn thing. As of now, he hasn’t said anything about the project, but if he does acknowledge it, or, better yet, directly thank fans after it eventually hits the milestone, fans would eat it up. At the end of the day, all fans want is to be seen by their idol, and if he gives that to them, that will only mean bigger projects for fans and bigger gain for him.
Attached - Harry performing during "Harryween" Fancy Dress Party at Madison Square Garden the other night.