Harry Styles, who has embarked on a successful solo career after the break-up of One Direction, says taking magic mushrooms helped him write his upcoming album, Fine Line. He spoke candidly about the experience with Zane Lowe on the latter’s New Music Daily podcast.

“I was with my friends and we were in Malibu,” Styles said. “I felt so safe. It was like, ‘I want to take some mushrooms, I’m going to take some.’ Like, now’s the time to have fun. We’re in Malibu. I’m 24. I’m also in music … I’m not a politician. I don’t think it’s that crazy. I think my thing with with drugs is, if you’re taking anything to escape both to try and hide from stuff then you shouldn’t even drink. And if you’re taking anything to have fun and be creative, then great.”

For Styles, the drug enabled him to overcome the stress and self-consciousness he says he encounters while making an album.

“I was with my friends and making an album, you obviously get so in your head and you get so self conscious about everything and you hit these bumps in the road where you’re thinking, ‘This is good enough, and is it this enough? Is that enough?’ There’s an after flow of some of that stuff where sometimes you take something, and then for 10 days after you’re like, ‘Don’t worry about it, everything’s going to be fine.’ It’s stress-relieving in a sense. I think that that’s been a big part of this whole thing for me is I’m just trying to go through life being a little less worried about stuff.”

But his experience with shrooms wasn’t all a bed of roses. In August, when Styles first spoke publicly about experimenting with the psychedelics, he told Rolling Stone that he accidentally bit off the tip of his tongue while high.

“We’d do mushrooms, lie down on the grass, and listen to Paul McCartney’s Ram in the sunshine,” he recalled. “We’d just turn the speakers into the yard. This is where I was standing when we were doing mushrooms and I bit off the tip of my tongue. So I was trying to sing with all this blood gushing out of my mouth. So many fond memories, this place.”

Published by Seth Graham

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