band Fleetwood Mac; English singer and songwriter David Bowie, a five-time GrammyAward winner; andCanadian singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell.
Listening and Learning Rather than simply listening to and enjoying their works, Styles started soaking in everything about them, which helped shape his sensibility and began to lay an important foundation for a career that was still a long way away from even its infant stages. Being a successful singer and performer entails much more than just having a superb voice (though that’s a great starting point and an obvious requirement). It’s about stage presence and controlling performances; for pop artists, body language and dance moves are important, interacting and connecting with the audience, and even the smallest of details such as how to hold a microphone. Styles listened, watched, and learned from these superstars. Some of them would even become not only great friends years later but admirers of his, too. After spending the bulk of his childhood years with his mom and sister, it’s interesting that many of the musical influences in his life are female. “I think ultimately feminism is thinking that men and women should be equal, right? People think that if you say ‘I’m a feminist,’ it means you think men should burn in hell and women should trample on their necks. No, you think women should be equal. That doesn’t feel like a crazy thing to me. I grew up with my mum and my sister—when you grow up around women, your female influence is just bigger. Of course, men and women should be equal. I don’t want a lot of credit for being a feminist. It’s pretty simple. I think the ideals of feminism are pretty straightforward.”
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