AceShowbiz - Harry Styles was "scared to get it wrong" with his debut solo album.
The "Watermelon Sugar" singer still loves his 2017 self-titled LP but if he listens back to it now, he can hear where he "played it safe" in certain songs because he didn't want to push himself too far out of his comfort zone.
"I love that album so much because it represents such a time in my life, but when I listen to it - sonically and lyrically, especially - I can hear places where I was playing it safe," he told Variety. "I was scared to get it wrong."
When he's making music, the 26-year-old star tries to listen to his songs with the ears of a fan.
"People within (the industry) feel like they operate on a higher level of listening, and I like to make music from the point of being a fan of music. Fans are the best A&R," he said, adding that writing "for the right reasons" is far more important to him than commercial success.
"There's no part that feels, eh, icky - like it was made in the lab," he insisted.
And the "Golden" hitmaker doesn't listen too much to speculation about awards, though he acknowledged receiving them is "nice."
"It's always nice to know that people like what you're doing, but ultimately - and especially working in a subjective field - I don't put too much weight on that stuff," he explained. "I think it's important when making any kind of art to remove the ego from it. It's about the work that you do when you're not expecting any applause."
"I learned so much. When we were in the band, I used to try and write with as many different people as I could. I wanted to practice - and I wrote a lot of bad s**t," he concluded.